Health professionals prepared for a surge after President’s mandate announcement

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MOBILE COUNTY, Ala. (WKRG) — With sweeping changes announced this week for COVID-19 vaccine requirements, health care providers are preparing to see an increase in those getting vaccinated and tested.

Local health care facilities including USA Health and the Mobile County Health Department say they are ready for any potential surge.

Natalie Fox with USA Health says, they’re not ready, in fact, they’re ready to protect the community as they have been since the pandemic began.

“This is something that we prepare for every day, and we just adapt to change… so as the demand increases, we will be ready for that, and do whatever we can to try and meet that demand,” said Fox.

Rendi Murphree with The Mobile County Health Department says they were already preparing for a surge in vaccinations and testing, so finding larger facilities to serve the community was already in the works.

“Very close to securing a retail space that we will be able to give the vaccine and provide testing for a larger number of people than we can accommodate in our clinics,” said Murphree.

Both USA Health and the health department say there are still a few things up in the air…

“We’re still trying to wait to learn who it will apply to, when will it apply, who can be exempted or how can you be exempted,” said Murphree. “So yeah, we’re all just starting to think how can we do even more with the resources we currently have.”

Murphree says officials also have questions regarding staffing to facilitate both testing and vaccination, as there is already a shortage.

“Staffing is always a limitation,” said Murphree. “It will be tricky to see where the funding will come from for all of those tests.”

In the meantime, officials are encouraging people to get vaccinated.

“USA Health supports vaccines. And, I think this is something I think most people have been getting vaccinated more and more as we have been highly affected by the delta variant,” said Fox.

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