Physically distanced registration booths are set up at the Elks for the safety of patients and staff. NCH Housekeeper Shannon Warner disinfects stations at registration and at flu vaccine stations after every patient.

NCH preparing for two more community flu clinics at the Elks Lodge in Derby

in Health/Newport/News

DERBY — Last Wednesday, North Country Hospital conducted the first of three community flu clinics at the Elks Lodge in Derby.

With many restrictions still in place surrounding the pandemic, the hospital says the decision to move the clinics off the hospital campus made sense.

“The Elks facility allowed the parking and social distancing necessary to run a smooth flu clinic,” said Karen Silvestri, RN, North Country Primary Care Clinical Manager.

There are still two more clinics coming up at the Elks again.

Wednesday, October 7, will run from 3 – 7 p.m., and Saturday, October 10, will be from 8 a.m – noon.

“They did an excellent job of moving everyone through the long line efficiently,” said Gail Martin of West Charleston, after receiving her flu shot. “They sterilized between every person, and they came out to the vehicles to give the flu shot for the people who were not mobile. The whole experience was professional, and I felt safe.”

While getting a flu vaccine will not protect against COVID-19, North Country Hospital says there are important benefits, including Flu vaccines have been shown to reduce the risk of flu illness, hospitalization, and death.

Getting a flu vaccine can also save healthcare resources for the care of patients with COVID-19.

Silvestri emphasized that receiving a flu shot is the best way to protect yourself and your family against the flu.

“It’s likely that flu viruses and the virus that causes COVID-19 will both spread this fall and winter,” she said. “Healthcare systems could be overwhelmed, treating both patients with flu and patients with COVID-19. This means getting a flu vaccine during the 2020-21 season is more important than ever.”

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