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DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH IN BAY COUNTY PROVIDES WEEKLY COVID-19 UPDATE

January 25, 2021

Panama City, Fla.— The Florida Department of Health in Bay County (DOH-Bay), in partnership with the Florida Department of Health, Florida Division of Emergency Management, Bay County Emergency Management, Emerald Coast Medical Association, Panama City Surgery Center, and Nations Best Community Health Care are providing COVID-19 vaccination sites. In an effort to keep Florida residents and visitors safe and aware regarding the status of the virus, DOH-Bay will continue to issue this update every week.

County health departments have an important role to play in administering vaccine. Here’s a summary of some of our top efforts January 18 - 24.

  • Provided 1,391 doses of COVID-19 vaccines to seniors 65 and older, healthcare providers, and first responders.
  • Held a mass vaccination event at Hiland Park Baptist Church on Martin Luther King Jr. Day with 300 appointments.
  • Held a mass vaccination Point of Distribution at the Callaway Arts and Conference Center with 600 appointments.
  • Offered 250 appointments on-site at DOH-Bay.
  • Bay County Emergency Services continued efforts to provide vaccines to first responders.

The Florida Department of Health in Bay County continues to fight to protect health and safety as the rollout of COVID-19 vaccine continues. This week DOH-Bay will provide at least 1,100 vaccines to our community. The total number of doses administered to Bay County residents is 11,004 with 7,476 of those doses given to seniors 65 and older. This means that 68 percent of vaccines have gone to Bay County seniors and 24 percent of Bay County seniors have received their first dose of COVID-19 vaccine. The State COVID-19 Vaccine Summary by County is available here.

People with questions about COVID-19 vaccines can email Bay.COVID@FLHealth.gov. We do not have the ability to make appointments through email at this time.

COVID-19 Vaccine Appointments

Publix is now offering COVID-19 vaccination at all five Bay County locations. To make an appointment, visit https://www.publix.com/covid-vaccine.

To learn about available COVID-19 vaccine appointments with DOH-Bay, text bayhealth to 888777 or visit bit.ly/bayhealthalert. You may also visit BayCOVIDVaccines.Eventbrite.com. Eventbrite offers some instructions on making COVID-19 vaccination appointments here.

The Florida Department of Health has created a vaccine locator site at https://floridahealthcovid19.gov/vaccines/vaccine-locator/. The vaccine is available to all persons who meet the authorization criteria. You can receive the vaccine in any county; you are not limited to your home county.

People who are not in this priority population for vaccination are asked to assist family members, friends or neighbors who may need help with online registration. Please reserve DOH-Bay’s phone lines for seniors who have limited digital literacy.

Please remember there are tens of thousands of people in Bay County alone trying to register at this time for a limited number of vaccines. This is a historic mass vaccination effort and it is going to take some time to vaccinate everyone who wants to be vaccinated. Your patience and understanding are essential and appreciated.

Second dose appointments for persons who received their first dose with DOH-Bay will be scheduled by phone close to the due date of your dose. If you are not contacted by the due date on your card provided at your appointment, please call (850) 872-4455. If you received your first dose on or after January 19, your second dose appointment will be provided to you at the time of your first dose. 

State Surgeon General Scott Rivkees issued a Public Health Advisory on January 21 prioritizing vaccines for residents of the State of Florida or individuals in Florida for the purpose of providing health care services involving direct contact with patients. To prove residency an adult resident must provide a copy of his or her valid Florida driver license or a copy of a valid Florida identification card. Seasonal residents must provide two proofs of residential address as defined in Florida Statutes.

COVID-19 Data

The percent positivity for new cases in Bay County residents is at 18.51 percent for the week beginning with January 16. DOH-Bay received confirmation of 1,196 additional cases of COVID-19 in Bay County residents for the past 7 days and a total of 1,971 cases for the past 14 days. Bay County’s total positive residents case count is at 14,644.

There have been 266 COVID-19 related deaths (2% of all cases) of Bay County residents. Eleven deaths were confirmed in the past week.

As posted on the Agency for Health Care Administration dashboard, there are 82 persons in Bay County hospitals with a primary diagnosis of COVID-19. The total number of Bay County Residents who have been hospitalized at some point during their illness is 623 (4% of all cases).

The COVID-19 daily reports continue to be updated daily and the Florida Department of Health COVID-19 Dashboard also continues to be updated daily. Please find all daily reports here. 

COVID-19 Testing

To reach maximum capacity for COVID-19 vaccination, DOH-Bay is temporarily suspending testing for COVID-19. If you need a COVID-19 test, please check with your healthcare provider first. Please visit Bay.FloridaHealth.gov for testing options or see the information below on testing provided by Bay County.

Bay County Testing
Lynn Haven Sports Park, 2201 Recreation Drive

Panama City Sports Park, 50 Chip Seal Parkway
Hours: Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. and Tuesday and Thursday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Criteria: Testing is available to adults over 18 and children ages 5 and up who are accompanied by an adult.
Cost: Free

Test Type: Antigen (rapid in 20 minutes) and PCR
Appointment required. To make an appointment, visit BayHealthCOVID19.org.

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About the Florida Department of Health 

The Department, nationally accredited by the Public Health Accreditation Board, works to protect, promote and improve the health of all people in Florida through integrated state, county and community efforts. Follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter at @HealthyFla. For more information about the Florida Department of Health, please visit www.FloridaHealth.gov.