COVID-19 cases decrease, vaccination rates still have uphill climb

by Kate Evans

COVID-19 cases have been declining amid the increasing numbers of people becoming fully vaccinated against COVID-19.  However, COVID-19 cases are rising in places where people are not getting vaccinated. COVID-19 vaccinations are now available for ages 12 and above.

Some 54% of Maryland residents are fully vaccinated for COVID-19.  An estimated 47% of Pennsylvania residents and 50% of Virginia residents are fully vaccinated.GoVAX

Dr. Matthew Hahn of River Bend Family Medicine said they had a huge day of COVID-19 vaccinations last Friday giving out second doses of the vaccine, along with COVID-19 testing. They were glad to be able to play their part.

Dr. Hahn said that people must get the COVID-19 vaccine so the variants don’t come here and mutate to the point where the vaccine doesn’t cover them, like has happened in India.

Hahn said that 175 million people have been vaccinated against COVID-19 with minimal problems and the vaccines appear to be more effective than health officials thought they would be.

“We’re not seeing the bad effects,” Hahn noted.

Hahn said that the pandemic has the potential to continue where people refuse to be careful — wearing masks and staying socially distant — and it has perpetuated people getting sick and people dying.

“We have a chance to beat it,” he said COVID-19 and vaccinations.

People can also still get the COVID-19 virus if they are fully vaccinated but it’s very rare.

Hahn said we were safe from COVID a year ago.  Then it went from a handful of COVID-19 cases to it spreading like wildfire.  Eight cases went to 900 cases and it could happen again.

“The only thing that gets us out of this is more people getting vaccinated,” Hahn stressed.

Vaccine, testing locations

Here is a current list of area health facilities, pharmacies and physician’s offices that are offering COVID-19 vaccinations and testing.  Other locations in surrounding states and counties are available if people want to make the drive.

War Memorial Hospital

War Memorial Hospital is not doing COVID-19 vaccinations but is offering COVID-testing with a physician’s order. No appointment is necessary. Call 304-258-1234 for more information.

A free COVID-19 testing clinic is also being currently held on hospital grounds Monday through Friday from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Walgreens

The Walgreens Pharmacy in Berkeley Springs offers Moderna COVID-19 vaccines by online appointment.  The pharmacy is open late Friday, June 25 to accommodate COVID-19 vaccinations and walk-ins.  They don’t offer COVID-19 testing. Call 304-258-4955 for more information.

Reed’s Pharmacy

Reed’s Pharmacy in Berkeley Springs offers COVID-19 vaccinations by appointments that are normally scheduled on Thursdays.  People give their name, address, date of birth and what COVID-19 shot they prefer.  Vaccine appointments are given for the following week after you call. Reed’s Pharmacy’s number is 304-258-3800.

Reed’s Pharmacy in Berkeley Springs also offers free rapid spit COVID-19 testing.  Call for an appointment and come through the drive-through pharmacy to get the test.  Have nothing to eat, drink, chew or smoke for 30 minutes before your test. A Smart phone is needed to set up your account and to get your results, which are provided in 48-72 hours.

Reed’s Pharmacy in Hancock

Reed’s Pharmacy in Hancock is offering COVID-19 vaccinations according to availability but is not doing COVID-19 testing.  Call 304-678-2930 to schedule a vaccine.

Area physicians

River Bend Family Medicine is offering COVID-19 vaccinations to patients and also to those that aren’t patients.  Call to get scheduled for a vaccine-301-678-7007.  They also have COVID-19 testing for symptomatic patients and do a gentle nasal swab COVID test similar to a flu swab.

Tri-State Community

Health Center

Tri-State Community Health Center in Berkeley Springs (304-258-5790) and Tri-State Community Health Center in Hancock (301-678-7256) don’t have COVID-19 vaccinations. Both sites offer COVID-19 testing for their patients only if they are symptomatic.  Call for more information and for an appointment.

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