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Collaborative Approach Pushes Grand Forks to Tier 2 of Phase 1b in COVID-19 Vaccinations

Grand Forks, N.D. – The Grand Forks Public Health Department and Altru Health System have completed vaccination of nearly 2500 individuals in Tier 1 of Phase 1B. Tier 1 of Phase 1B is those 75 and older.

The City of Grand Forks, the Grand Forks Public Health Department, and Altru Health System are now expanding to Tier 2 of Phase 1B of the North Dakota Department of Health plan.

Community members who are 65-74 and have 2 or more high-risk medical conditions are asked to visit mychart.altru.org or call 701.780.6358 to be included on the COVID-19 vaccine waitlist. If you've already contacted Altru and have been added to the waitlist, there is no need to call again. You are already on the list and will be contacted to schedule your vaccine.

“The collaborative work by Grand Forks Public Health, Altru Health System, and our community vaccine providers under our centralized plan have far exceeded expectations.” Said Grand Forks Mayor Brandon Bochenski. “In conjunction with the Governor’s office and the ND State Health Department, the city of Grand Forks is now receiving a much larger vaccine allotment than anticipated next week. Under the previous decentralized strategy, next week we had originally expected to receive a few hundred doses, we will now receive 2,340 due to our efficient, orderly, and effective community approach. In concert with the incredible and safe execution by Grand Forks Public Health and Altru Health System at our community scheduled clinics at the Alerus Center. We can all be grateful for the time, hard work, and dedication of the public health team.”

Phase 1B includes individuals who meet the following criteria per the North Dakota COVID-19 Vaccine Prioritization Plan (tiers in order of priority):

  • Persons age 75 and older
  • Persons age 65 – 74 with two or more high-risk medical conditions*
    • Cancer
    • Chronic kidney disease
    • COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease)
    • Down Syndrome
    • Heart conditions, such as heart failure, coronary artery disease, or cardiomyopathies
    • Immunocompromised state (weakened immune system) from solid organ transplant
    • Obesity (body mass index [BMI] of 30 kg/m2 or higher but < 40 kg/m2)
    • Severe Obesity (BMI ≥ 40 kg/m2)
    • Pregnancy
    • Sickle cell disease
    • Smoking
    • Type 2 diabetes mellitus
  • Staff and persons living in other congregate settings (i.e., corrections, group homes, treatment centers, homeless shelters, etc.)
  • Persons age 65 and older with one or more high-risk medical conditions
  • Persons age 65 and older with or without high-risk medical conditions
  • Persons with two or more high-risk medical conditions* regardless of age
  • Childcare workers
  • Workers employed by preschools or Kindergarten through 12th grade:
    • Teachers, nutritional services, aides, bus drivers, principals, administrative staff, custodians, etc.

Those who fit in future tiers of Phase 1B and future phases should refrain from calling until we communicate that we are expanding to the next tier which is staff and persons living in other congregate settings (i.e. corrections, group homes, treatment centers, homeless shelters, etc.)

As additional priority groups become eligible for vaccination, The City of Grand Forks, Grand Forks Public Health, and Altru Health System will share those details through local media, social media channels, including Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, and our website: www.grandforksgov.com/vaccine.

Community members should continue to follow #NDSmart guidelines to slow the spread of COVID-19, including staying home when sick, staying six feet apart, avoiding large gatherings, washing your hands often, avoiding touching your face, wearing a mask, and continuing to clean frequently touched surfaces.

Grand Forks Public Health and Altru Health System have enrolled providers for the COVID-19 vaccine and follow the North Dakota Department of Health recommendations and guidance related to the distribution of the vaccine. For more information on the COVID-19 vaccine and who is currently eligible, visit www.grandforksgov.com/vaccine.

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