Monday Memo

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Monday Memo is a regular column from the Chair of the Orange County Board of Commissioners. You can sign up to receive this and other Orange County news in your inbox.

The current edition is posted below. Archives are available on the right.

Monday Memo: Jan. 11, 2021


Responding to COVID – a countywide priority

Orange County began vaccinating people in the Phase 1b, Group 1--that is, people 75 years and older--on Thursday, January 7. More than 4,200 people made appointments on the first day the registration system went live. We will provide vaccinations at both of our Senior Centers beginning this week.

We heard horror stories about seniors waiting in line for hours in other counties and states only to be turned away when the vaccine supply was exhausted. So, our Health and IT Departments have created an online registration system to ensure an orderly process. For residents without access to a computer, the County has established a phone or call-in center. Also, foreign language translators are on hand to assist.

Team Orange remains diligent in fighting the novel coronavirus. We are marshaling all our forces to support this effort. Our Human Resources Department is recruiting staff members from other departments to bring more operators to the phone lines to speed up the registration process. Orange County Public Transportation will provide transportation for residents who need a ride to a vaccination clinic. Staff from our Department on Aging will help manage the process at the clinics.

The online system is the best way to get registered quickly. It only takes a few minutes, and you do not have to include any sensitive personal information nor do you have to have insurance. Following the guidelines from NCDHHS, Orange County vaccinated 999 people in our first two weeks. 

The Health Department continues to ask for your patience as we ramp up our vaccination efforts. Unfortunately, vaccine supplies remain limited.  When it is your turn, Get Your Shot. It is safe and effective, and it is FREE.

Looking forward

The Board of County Commissioners will continue listening to public comments on the Efland Station project during a virtual special meeting on Tuesday, January 12, at 7 pm. We will hear from the rest of the 111 people who had signed up to speak in December. If anyone wishes to provide written public comment, please do so by emailing: ocbocc@orangecountync.gov. We ask that you refrain from attaching Microsoft Word documents; either convert to PDF or paste the message within the body of the email.

Our Human and Civil Rights

At our Jan. 19 meeting, the Board of County Commissioners will be considering the adoption of an ordinance that will provide new safeguards against LGBTQ discrimination in our community. Orange County is joining Hillsborough, Chapel Hill and Carrboro, as well as other local governments across North Carolina, in this effort. Discrimination of any sort is wrong. Here in Orange County, we are responding to the appeals for the basic human rights and civil rights that all persons deserve. 

The draft ordinance will be available at the end of this week in the BOCC agenda packet for our January 19th Business Meeting.