PASO ROBLES, Calif. -- San Luis Obispo County is now receiving a boost in its COVID-19 vaccination efforts from a group of out-of-state nurses.
Starting this week, about 50 nurses from around the country began working at each of the county's three vaccination clinics.
"We are thrilled," said Wade Horton, San Luis Obispo County Administrative Officer and Emergency Services Director. "We are appreciative to have their expertise to help us protect our community."
The nurses are being funded fully by the State of California, and are being contracted from SnapNurse, an on-demand nursing agency that provides staffing to healthcare facilities.
"I am extremely excited to take part in history," said Kiera Torbert, a nurse from Detroit. "I'm extremely excited to give my services to the community. I am happy that they are comfortable in putting their trust in me, and it's been a beautiful experience. Everyone has been very pleasant to me, very open and very loving."
The nurses are serving in both clinical and non-clinical services.
They are set work in the county for a 90-day deployment.
"I've never been this far away from my family," said Torbert. " I've never been this far away from home. I'm going to be here for a duration of 90 days. I was nervous at first, but here in Paso Robles, they have accepted us with open arms and I really do appreciate that."
San Luis Obispo County is vaccinating about 500 people each day at its three sites in San Luis Obispo, Paso Robles and Arroyo Grande.
"I think in total the County has done about 16,000 up until this point," said Paso Robles clinic public information officer Charles Brown.
Brown said the location at the Paso Robles Event Center has administered 6,500 doses since it opened on Jan. 18.
Next week, the Paso Robles site, as well as the one at Arroyo Grande High School, will temporarily close due to a lower than expected allotment of doses.
"We are going to focus just on second doses and a few first doses at the Cuesta site, which is equipped for both the Pfizer and Moderna doses," said Brown. "We're anticipating once the allocation improves, and the county gets more doses, at that point, we're going to reopen the Paso Robles and Arroyo Grande point of distribution sites."
Brown also emphasized the county has several safeguards in place to make sure those who are receiving vaccine doses are following the rules.
"We have multiple stations where people are checking for appointments to make sure that people have an appointment," said Brown. "We're also making sure that paperwork is filled our correctly, that the paperwork is getting back scanned into the system to make sure that everybody is meeting the criteria to get the vaccine. We have multiple steps to do that. We're not seeing what a lot of people are calling 'vaccine tourism,' going from one county to another. If we were to see that, we're not stopping that because mostly, we have limited doses, and those doses, we're trying to make sure that the people here in our county are taken care of first."
For more information about San Luis Obispo County vaccination efforts, visit RecoverSLO.org.