Beth Crook

Mille Lacs County Community & Veterans Services Director Beth Crook.

by T.A. LeBrun

Discussion of the Mille Lacs County website and available COVID-19 vaccine information took place at the regular county board of commissioners meeting on June 1.

Mille Lacs County Community and Veterans Services Director Beth Crook brought the possibility of sending postcards with upcoming vaccine clinic information out to Mille Lacs County households. She requested spending some COVID relief funds to purchase the mailings.

Mille Lacs County Commissioner Genny Reynolds brought up concerns about the county’s website not providing enough information for those seeking to find information on getting the vaccine, noting that it may be confusing to some.

Reynolds said, “The feedback I’m getting is from people who are older who can’t navigate this well.”

Mille Lacs County Community Health Services Administrator and Supervisor Kay Winterfeldt said her department is trying to work through issues with the Minnesota Department of Health on the vaccine finder. Winterfeldt said they are focusing on Princeton and Milaca which allows walk-ins. “When I get vaccine notice, we put the next available clinic on the website,” she said and added that they don’t have regularly scheduled clinics but could add the Mille Lacs Health System information to the website.

Mille Lacs County Commissioner Tim Wilhelm noted, “It’s nice to have these facts, but it would be nice to have a phone number.” Crook said that the phone number is listed at the bottom of the page but that she could move it up to make it more visible.

Crook said, “I clearly hear that improvements need to be made, but we haven’t had enough residents to sign up. Is that because they can’t find the information or we’ve saturated the people who needed the vaccine? It’s a new population we’re trying to reach. The twelve-year-olds and up.”

Commissioner Phil Peterson said, “If people are serious, they’ll find it.”

Winterfeldt noted that it takes a lot of planning ahead of time in scheduling clinic staffing, ordering a vaccine and that they have to know they have enough people scheduled so that they don’t waste the vaccines once they are opened. “The population that hasn’t been reached don’t have internet. We have the Amish population to reach as well,” she said.

A motion was made and passed to approve the postcard mailing with recommended additions.

As of last week, 58% of Mille Lacs County residents have had at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. And 94% of Mille Lacs County residents aged 65 and over had had at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.

To register or find more information on getting a COVID-19 vaccine in Mille Lacs County, visit,  https://www.millelacs.mn.gov/2707/Register-for-the-COVID-19-Vaccine#liveEditTab_widgets.

A Pfizer COVID-19 vaccination clinic for ages 12 and up (all minors will need to be accompanied by a parent or guardian) will be held on Tuesday, June 8 from 1:45-6:15 p.m. at Princeton High School  at 807 8th Ave S., Princeton. Appointments are required but walk-ins are welcome. See to https://prepmod.health.state.mn.us//appointment/en/reg/0661305592 register.

Mille Lacs County Public Health vaccination efforts are being focused on the Milaca and Princeton areas (southern half of the county).

Mille Lacs Health System is focusing on the Onamia and Isle area (northern half of the county).

If you need additional assistance with scheduling your appointment or have any questions, please call Mille Lacs County at 320-983-8448.

To schedule an appointment with Mille Lacs Health System in Onamia, please call 320-532-3154.

If you’ve missed your second dose and need to schedule an appointment, contact Sierra Cotter at sierra.cotter@millelacs.mn.gov or call the County at 320-983-8448.

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