BRADENTON, Fla. — Manatee County officials are urging their employees and the public to get a COVID-19 vaccine following a recent outbreak of cases and, among those, two deaths.
A drive-through vaccination event is scheduled to take place from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Friday, June 25, in the alleyway behind the county administration building, officials said in a news release.
The vaccine available will be the one-and-done Johnson & Johnson shot.
County Administrator Dr. Scott Hopes recently announced a sixth employee has tested positive for COVID-19. However, contract tracing suggests it's an outlier case not connected to the outbreak of five cases announced last week. The original cases involved those between the age of 30-50 years old who worked in the county's IT department.
All of them were not vaccinated against the virus.
"Patient zero was one of the original group of six, five of whom had contact, and all became infected with exception of one young man who was vaccinated," Hopes said in a statement. "Individuals who had contact with the vaccinated individual have tested negative. Of these five infected cases, the majority were severely ill to the point of hospitalization or death."
Hopes said he is worried about a more potent variant of COVID-19 circulating in the community. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention director Rochelle Walensky recently said she expects the delta variant will become the dominant coronavirus strain in the United States.
"The clinical presentation gives me concern that we're dealing with a very infectious variant that is quite deadly," Hopes said.
County administration employees who have not yet been fully vaccinated are asked to consider vaccination or work from home until there are no more signs the virus is spreading, officials said.
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