MARIETTA – Since March of last year, Jim Miller Park has been ground zero for Cobb’s coronavirus response efforts, serving as a testing and vaccination hub.
That’s likely to come to an end soon, Lisa Crossman of Cobb-Douglas Public Health told the county’s governing board this week.
Cobb-Douglas Public Health currently offers vaccinations at the park Monday through Friday, from 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.
With an eye toward reopening the park for summer festivities, the health department will only be offering vaccination appointments between Wednesdays and Saturdays starting May 17. The last mass vaccination day for the park will be Saturday, June 19, and the health department hopes to be packed up and out of the park by the end of that month.
“I know that our fair fans and some of the event fans are cheering at this announcement,” Crossman said. “We feel like with the declining demand for mass vaccinations, that it is the time to start planning for that.”
The North Georgia State Fair is set to return to the park between Sep. 23 and Oct. 3 of this year, after being canceled in 2020. An inquiry with the county regarding other events at Jim Miller Park this summer was not returned as of press time.
Demand for the vaccine has begun to level off at Jim Miller Park, said Dr. Janet Memark, health department director. While the park has the capacity to administer up to 1,200 doses per day, only about 700 appointments are being booked daily.
As of Thursday, one quarter of Cobb’s residents are reported to be fully vaccinated. While the vast majority of residents over the age of 65 have received at least one dose— 100% of 75 to 84-year-olds, for example — Crossman said the county has work to do reaching underserved groups.
“We need to focus our attention on individuals who are 55 years of age and younger, our Black population of all ages, and our Hispanic/Latino residents of all ages. They are also tracking lower on vaccine usage,” Crossman said.
To that end, as appointments at Jim Miller Park are phased out, Cobb-Douglas Public Health is working with Wellstar Health System to conduct vaccinations at senior centers, shelters, churches, and other sites.
The county’s health department has also resumed administration of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, which was temporarily suspended this month after a small number of patients across the country developed extremely rare blood clotting symptoms. The department is also continuing to use the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines.
Memark said the department has not encountered any reluctance from residents to use the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, but is telling residents which vaccine will be used at each vaccination event. Most of the Johnson & Johnson doses, she added, are being used at outreach events.
Here’s a look at Cobb County and state coronavirus numbers reported April 29, and how they compare to the day before. All information comes from the Georgia Department of Public Health.
Cobb County’s COVID-19 Numbers
Georgia’s COVID-19 Numbers
A Cobb-Douglas Public Health report, including data on how the coronavirus is affecting different ZIP codes, genders and ages, is available at reports.mysidewalk.com/17554e75c1#c-452027..
For the Georgia DPH’s full report, visit dph.georgia.gov/covid-19-daily-status-report.
National data can be found at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s website at cdc.gov.