On Wednesday February 3, 2021, teachers from the Tahoe Truckee Unified School District received their first COVID-19 vaccinations, administered by Tahoe Forest Hospital staff and school nurses from Tahoe Truckee Unified School District. Nevada County is currently in Phase 1B of COVID-19 vaccinations, which includes essential frontline workers. Vaccinating educators helps children remain in or return to the classroom, where critical social interactions and the best learning takes place, while preventing outbreaks in congregate school settings and supporting parents to remain in the workplace.
“I am so thankful for the amazing collaboration between all parties – Nevada County, Tahoe Forest Hospital, Placer County and the school district,” said Kim Szczurek, Tahoe Truckee Unified School District Board President. “The work of these entities, both by the elected officials and the Superintendent Chief Learning Officer, County Executive Officer, TFH CEO, and their staffs make me so proud. We have done this to protect our TTUSD staff with one goal in mind – focusing on the education and social and emotional well-being of our kids."
The Tahoe Truckee educator clinic is the biggest single-day COVID-19 vaccination clinic hosted in Nevada County so far, with approximately 700 teachers and school support staff vaccinated in one day. Tahoe Forest Hospital took the lead in making this event happen for the Tahoe Truckee community.
“Tahoe Forest Health System is very happy to assist in the vaccination efforts for our educational staff in our region,” said Harry Weis, President and CEO of Tahoe Forest Health System. “Helping the students, teachers, staff and our schools return to a greater sense of normalcy or health security is very important to us!”
“From a public health perspective, we recognize the value of vaccinating school staff,” said Jill Blake, Nevada County’s Public Health Director. “National data tells us that families and women in particular have been negatively impacted by schools closing, with many forced to leave the workplace and stay home because there is no school for their children and they cannot afford childcare. These vaccinations help keep teachers safe, children engaged, and parents employed.”
Nevada County has received 10,625 vaccines to-date, which includes first and second doses of the vaccine. Nevada County has partnered with local hospitals, clinics, pharmacies, and local healthcare providers to vaccinate our community.
“The complexity associated with vaccination programming and the actual scarcity of the vaccine has put the County in a really tough position,” said District 5 Supervisor Hardy Bullock. “Vaccinating educators and getting our schools back toward a more normal operation is a top priority. It allows our families to return to work, our children to begin learning and connect socially, and get our economy back on track. We want every person to get vaccinated. This group of educators is a catalyst, not only for learning but now our entire economy and social connection. County Public Health staff and all the officials from the Tahoe Truckee Unified School District, Tahoe Forest Hospital, Placer and Nevada County have been working full time on this. I’m so proud of this decision and our teamwork; this is how government serves and leads.”
While COVID-19 vaccine supply is still limited, California is prioritizing vaccines for specific groups based on exposure risks, health risks, and health equity. My Turn is the State of California's new tool where you can find out if it's your turn to get vaccinated and schedule vaccination appointments. If it isn't your turn yet, you can register to be notified when you become eligible. Although there are currently no appointments available in Nevada County via this system, we expect this to change over the next few weeks.
Find more information and ways to receive updates on COVID-19 vaccines in Nevada County at www.mynevadacounty.com/coronavirus/vaccine. Vaccination is an essential tool for ending this pandemic. Even after you are vaccinated, we must all stay vigilant and continue to wear masks, keep our distance, wash our hands, and avoid gatherings so that we can return to a more normal way of life as quickly as possible.