CLARION - Clarion Hospital announced last week its COVID-19 testing site has moved to 24 Doctors Lane, Suite 100 in Clarion.

Its hours of operation will remain 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. For more information, visit www.butlerhealthsystem.org.

The Pennsylvania Department of Health has enacted a special initiative to open the COVID-19 vaccine to front line workers and first responders as well as any person eligible in the 1A grouping who reside in any county.

New eligibility rules

Those populations eligible under this special initiative include the following:

- Law enforcement defined as police, sheriffs and deputies, constables, corrections officers and staff, as well as probation and parole staff

- Firefighters defined as both career and volunteer firefighters

- Grocery Store workers defined as all workers in supermarkets and grocery stores. This does not include workers from super centers, convenience stores, general retail with some smaller footprint for food sales, beverage stores, and farmer's markets.

- Food and Agriculture workers defined as all food processing company employees, including meat, poultry, and dairy processing, fresh fruit and vegetable packing operations, food manufacturing and also includes all farmworkers, farm operators, and farm managers, including at urban agriculture operations

Those eligible under 1A grouping are age 65 or older or age 16 to 64 with a qualifying medical condition. The listing of qualifying conditions includes:

Blood disorders

Cancer

COPD/emphysema

Down Syndrome

Heart problems

Kidney problems

Obesity - If your BMI is 30.0 or higher, it falls within the obesity range. To calculate your BMI go to www.cdc.gov/healthyweight.

Pregnancy

Smoking

Type 2 diabetes

Weakened immune system

Verification of employment or medical condition is not required when presenting for your vaccine appointment.

Persons age 65 and older must provide proof of age such as a driver's license or other proof of eligibility.

Unemancipated minors who are 16 or 17 years old may only receive the COVID-19 vaccine with the consent of a parent or guardian. However, parental consent may be waived if the minor can provide proof of high school graduation, or of a prior or current marriage, or that the minor has been or is pregnant.

In Clarion and Forest Counties, individuals who are without access to a computer and need assistance to schedule a vaccine, Clarion Hospital is collaborating with Clarion County government officials. For further instructions, call (814) 297-7820.

Individuals, who have tested positive for COVID-19, should defer vaccination until as close to 30 days as possible.

Scheduling

Do not call Butler Health System hospitals, pharmacies, or the BHS Care Center to schedule an appointment.

Please be prepared with your insurance card information when signing up.

Please note you can only schedule one person at a time. If you click to schedule an appointment and no available time slots appear, the facility is currently out of the vaccine. You should try back at a later time.

You will choose an appointment date for dose one. Dose two will be scheduled at your initial vaccination appointment. Please do not go online to schedule dose two using this system. There is no need to do so.

To schedule an appointment to receive a COVID-19 vaccine, visit Butler Health System's website at www.butlerhealthsystem.org.