Phase 1B: Baraga Area Schools staff get COVID-19 vaccine

Nearly 80% of staff receiving the first series of the vaccine -- from teachers to bus drivers to the principal.
Nearly 80-percent of district administration and faculty received the first series of the COVID...
Nearly 80-percent of district administration and faculty received the first series of the COVID vaccine from Baraga County Memorial Hospital staff.(Noel Navarro)
Published: Jan. 13, 2021 at 10:05 PM EST
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BARAGA, Mich. (WLUC) - First round injections underway as the State of Michigan moves to Phase 1-B rolling out COVID-19 vaccinations -- for ages 65 and older plus frontline essential workers.

And that includes faculty at Baraga Area Schools.

Baraga County Memorial Hospital (BCMH) came to the school district Wednesday to distribute the first series of doses.

“We came here with supply enough to give to about 40 people. And so if we need more, we can always get more. We’re hesitant to take it too much at one time because it has to be frozen at a certain temperature,” said BCMH Education Coordinator Nathan Lahti.

From teachers to bus drivers to Principal Tim Scott himself -- nearly 80-percent of staff signed up for the first dose as they’re in direct contact with the most important resource of all: the kids.

“It’s a game changer. It’s going to be peace-of-mind for our staff because we’re on the front lines every day. And I know we had a certain number sign up. And then when Mr. Sarau, our superintendent, went around again, that number increased -- because they want to be here safe for the kids and they want to provide a safe environment for the kids to learn in,” said Principal Scott.

“The staff is dedicated to trying to keep these kids face-to-face. We know there’s struggles going on at home, right? Mom and dad might not be able to be there, mom and dad might not know what’s going on online with them,” explained Superintendent Richard Sarau.

Guidance Counselor Amanda Rinkinen echoed staff efforts to continue their learning on a daily basis, with the vaccine being key.

“We’re a big family here. And when one of our family members isn’t doing well or struggling with something, we all feel it. So I really feel like this vaccine is a way for us get back to normal, to support each other and get through it together,” Rinkinen said.

Round two of the vaccine next, towards those steps to normalcy.

*Baraga County Memorial Hospital info: If you are interested in making an appointment to get the vaccine at their facility, they ask that you contact their COVID Vaccine Hotline at 906-524-3471.

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