Posted 1/13/2021 in Public Health
Brought to you by Delaware County Public Health
Yesterday, January 12, 2021, the Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH) announced plans for the expansion into Phase 1B as advised by the Iowa Disease Advisory Council (IDAC) no sooner than February 1, 2021. This timeline is subject to change with upcoming federal administration changes.
Phase 1B priority populations have been identified as:
- Persons aged 75+ OR
- Populations vulnerable to high risk of exposure or severity of illness such as:
- Individuals with disabilities living in home settings whom are dependent on attendant care staff, and their attendant care staff
- Correctional facility staff and individuals incarcerated, including state and city or county operated facilities.
- Staff of and individuals living in congregate settings, not covered by the first two bullets, including shelters, sober living homes, behavioral health treatment centers, and detention centers. College dormitories are not included as part of Phase 1B.
- Where public health data indicates outbreaks or clusters of disease among food, agriculture, distribution and manufacturing workers whom work in or live in congregate settings that do not allow for social distancing. For example, working in a meatpacking or manufacturing production line or migrant workers whom live in bunkroom style housing.
- PK-12 school staff, early childhood education, and childcare workers. Sub-prioritization should consider persons who work with younger and at-risk children in care, to better ensure child-wellbeing and mitigate impact to parent workforce.
- First responders (e.g., firefighters, police officers, and dependent adult abuse and child welfare social workers).
- Inspectors responsible for health, life and safety, including those in hospital and long-term care settings, child, and food production safety.
- Government officials, including staff, to ensure continuity of government, engaged in state business at the Iowa Capitol during the legislative session.
Contrary to what federal partners and the CDC announced yesterday, there currently is not sufficient vaccine supply in Iowa to expand beyond the identified priority populations in Phases 1A & 1B. The goal of your local public health as well as IDPH is to expand upon the availability of the COVID-19 vaccine. Once Iowa has reasonable confidence that supply meets the demands of CDC eligibility criteria, the state will then activate the broader distribution from the CDC such as the 65+ population.
IDPH is actively working with federal partners to learn more about the CDC’s announcement of expanding vaccine eligibility so clear communication and planning can take place for everyone in our community. We acknowledge and understand the confusion surrounding the differing information that has been released to the public this week. As we know more and learn where vaccine rollout can be expanded to, as required by the state of Iowa, we will share it with the community. Thank you for your patience and understanding.
Until the COVID-19 vaccine is widely available, it is critical that Iowans continue to practice the mitigation measures to help slow the spread of the COVID-19 virus.
- Avoid large gatherings
- Keep 6 feet of distance from others
- Wear a face mask when in public
- Stay home when able
- Wash your hands frequently
- Stay home when you are ill (even mildly sick)
- Get your flu shot