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Health department hosts drive-through flu clinic

It is that time of year again when cases of the flu are beginning to pop up, so the Franklin County Health Department hosted a flu clinic Oct. 30 – in true 2020 fashion.

The flu clinic was a drive-through format, with four stations set up to facilitate the process – one for patients to receive paperwork, one to fill out paperwork, one to receive their flu shot and one to pay – making everything run smoothly, all from the comfort of their vehicles.

“It’s just a service that we really wanted to provide to the community,” said clinical nurse supervisor Kim Wooten. “Getting a flu shot is so important, so we hoped this would encourage people to come get one.”

Approximately 20 workers managed the stations. Patients were able to get a flu shot by presenting their insurance card or paying $5 without insurance.

Wooten said from 9 a.m. to noon the drive-through clinic saw approximately 45 patients. By the end of the day, that number had increased to 91.

“When we first opened, we actually had people waiting in line,” Wooten said. “I would say throughout the day we pretty much consistently always had somebody here.”

Wooten said every year Franklin County and surrounding counties host a flu clinic in the health department, but this year it seemed more appropriate to have it in the drive-through format because of COVID-19.

“I think several other counties had done drive-through clinics, so our main office decided that would be good for everyone in the northern district to do,” Wooten said. “We thought having this be a drive-through would make it easier on people. We also hoped it would encourage people to come out since they didn’t have to go inside some place and were able to socially distance easier.”

Wooten said she felt like seeing the devastation of COVID-19 encouraged people to do what they could to prevent illness by also getting their flu shot. She said several people even brought their entire families to take advantage of the opportunity.

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