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Island COVID-19 Task Force discusses getting information to the homebound and homeless

By PAULETTE LeBLANC - | Apr 14, 2021


Pine Island Task Force facilitator Eric McCrea reported at the April 5 meeting that in a poll done in his church on Easter morning, he was able to ascertain approximately 70 to 80 percent of those attending had received their first immunization shot.

Task Force member James Koopman told the group that an option for the homebound might be to register for a vaccination through “Tidal Basin,” preparedness and disaster recovery team. (For information, call Tidal Basin at 888-440-2564.)

“When Tidal Basin calls with appointment times, those who are homebound can tell them they need the shots in their homes,” said Koopman.

Fellow Task Force member Mary Lewis Sheehan asked the group to examine where the focus of priorities should be, suggesting communication with those lacking information, such as the homeless population, as the most important.

McCrea volunteered to include a flier in food bags distributed by his church with information regarding signing up for COVID-19 vaccinations if you are homebound.

“Everyone should reach out to their neighbors,” said Sheehan. “If you have a neighbor who isn’t in church or doesn’t read, maybe we can cover the whole island that way.”

Task Force member Jim McLaughlin agreed to post valuable information on his Facebook page, also encouraging people to share with a neighbor who may be homebound, or not have access to a computer.

The Task Force’s Ellen Ballard suggested putting up notices at the island post offices.

Beacon Director Nancy Buthman told the group the number of volunteers able to take people to get a vaccination was very limited at this time as there is a vetting process required for all drivers volunteering for the organization.

Board member Martha Huard suggested contacting the local police to hand out fliers to the homeless population.