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Whiteside County looks to get turned around after being added to COVID warning list

The National Guard helped vaccinate hundreds of people during the month of March.

ROCK FALLS, Ill. — The national guard helped vaccinate 600 people Monday at a clinic in Rock Falls, Illinois. It comes as the county was just added to a warning list for the rate of new cases. 

 Cory Law, the county's emergency response coordinator, says that's because of increasing ER visits for COVID symptoms and new cases.

"It's a mix of, maybe there not being quite enough vaccines but also people aren't following those protective measures like masking social distancing," he says.

The National Guard was deployed last month to help ramp up vaccinations. And that's kept infection control nurse Danille Haeffner busy.

"It's just a lot of extra hours and time away from your family," she says.

She says she hopes to soon see the impact of all these vaccines. It'll take about two weeks for people to be fully immunized from the Johnson and Johnson shot Monday. Hundreds of others got the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine. It takes four weeks to get fully immunized from the first dose and requires the second shot.

"They're really excited to kind of get vaccinated and a lot of people are really excited to see their families again," Haeffner says.

While the National Guard vaccination clinics are over, the county health department says vaccines are still being offered at CVS, Walgreens, Walmart and local pharmacies.