SWEETWATER COUNTY — Sweetwater County Sheriff’s Office today announced that it is partnering with Sweetwater County Public Health to help them with appointment scheduling for their COVID-19 vaccination clinics.
As more and more doses of the Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines arrive in Sweetwater County, Public Health Director Kim Lionberger said that her office has quickly become overwhelmed by hundreds of callers per day seeking immunization information.
“While all of us were in a planning meeting last week, our office received in excess of 200 phone calls in just over an hour. We know many people are anxious and have questions about getting the COVID-19 vaccine, and our limited staff is working tirelessly to organize these vaccination clinics on top of our existing services and responsibilities,” Lionberger said.
Lionberger added that public health expects to have a new online scheduling system in place by the end of the month.
In response and until then, beginning on Tuesday, January 19, 2021, Sheriff John Grossnickle said that he will dedicate a few members of his staff to man a makeshift live call center to help public health officials schedule COVID-19 vaccination appointments.
“I spoke to [Lionberger] last week, and it was pretty clear that they are dealing with an unprecedented high-call volume at their office,” Grossnickle said. “We have a few employees who are available to help right now, so we wanted to do what we could so that public health can focus on administering these new
Grossnickle plans to assign a few of his employees who are currently on light duty to answer calls and schedule appointments.
Sheriff’s office spokesperson Jason Mower explained, “It’s not uncommon in law enforcement for a few deputies at any given time to be on light duty, which means that they’ve been certified by a qualified medical professional as being temporarily unable to perform all of the necessary job functions of a sworn peace officer. When this happens, the sheriff has the authority and discretion to assign these employees to different support functions as needed.”
Mower credited a cooperative effort between the sheriff’s office, public health and the county’s information
technology department for making the temporary call center possible.
We know that our local healthcare professionals have been fighting this war nonstop for almost a year now. We’re happy to help, and none of this would’ve been possible without the technical expertise of our county’s IT department.~ Sheriff’s office spokesperson Jason Mower
As for the vaccination plan itself, Lionberger’s staff is working to vaccinate everyone who is eligible at each tier of the Wyoming Department of Health’s distribution plan as the vaccine becomes available.
While the vaccine is not yet available to the general public, Sweetwater County Public Health is now
immunizing those listed in Phase 1a and Phase 1b of the state’s distribution plan. For eligibility
requirements, please visit covid19.wyo.gov.
If you meet the criteria in Phases 1a or 1b, please call Sweetwater County Public Health at (307) 922 5390 on Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. to schedule an appointment. Please do not call Memorial Hospital of Sweetwater County for vaccines.
Watch and listen for vaccination schedule updates from local media; on public health, MHSC and Sweetwater Cares Coalition Facebook pages; or, by logging on to sweetwatermemorial.com or sweetwatercares.com.