EMH adds online waiting list; gives instructions for vaccination site

Three hundred residents who were lucky enough to get through Ephraim McDowell Health’s call center on Friday are lining up for their first round of COVID-19 vaccinations today. Another 300 are already scheduled for next week, and a new online registry for people to be added to the waiting list is up and running.

This past Friday, the hospital’s call center was overwhelmed with 187,000 calls, according to hospital spokesperson Jeremy Cocanougher. By that afternoon, 10 more staff were added to the call center, and by evening an online waiting list registry was added.

That doesn’t mean nearly 200,000 people are trying to get their vaccine here, “some people called multiple times,” Cocanougher said.

The hospital filled 600 appointments within two hours, he added.

The hospital is adjusting and “tweaking” the sign-up process as needed, he said. “It’s changing very quickly.”

For now, EMH is allotted 300 doses each week. If more become available, then more people will be scheduled, he added.

Three hundred doses a week for this area may not sound like much, “But at least it’s better than what we had,” he added.

The vaccine site is on the second floor of the EMH Surgery Center on Third Street, adjacent to the city parking garage. Do not use the Main Street entrance.

When going to your appointment, you may park in the city parking garage free of charge.

Be sure to get your ticket when entering the garage and take it to your appointment where it will be validated, Cocanougher said.

There will be signs inside the parking garage and at all of the doors showing the way to the site. And volunteers will be on hand to guide those coming for their vaccine. If you need assistance getting inside the building, you may bring someone with you, he added.

Once in the building, someone will check your registration because no one will be allowed to walk in without an appointment.

People are asked to print off the consent form and fill it out at home prior to arriving for their appointment, if possible. If not, they will be able to complete the paperwork on site.

Cocanougher said having it already filled out before arrival, “Will speed up the flow,” which is 36 people per hour.

SO YOU KNOW
To add your name to EMH COVID-19 waiting list, visit www.emhealth.org and click on the blue box that says “Click here for more information.” Or you may call 859-936-8350 Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.