El Dorado may move to no appointment vaccine clinics with ’massive falloff’ in demand

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. — A new way to receive coronavirus vaccine without an appointment may be put in action by El Dorado County.

With vaccine demand suffering a “massive falloff,” county officials said Tuesday during a Board of Supervisors meeting that there are discussions about offering no appointment, walk-up clinics.

Hundreds of appointments were left unfilled in a recent mass vaccination clinic at Redhawk Casino in Placerville. Officials said the Barton Health mass clinic on Friday, April 30, at Heavenly Mountain Resort’s California Lodge had about 100 appointments that were not filled.

“There’s been a massive falloff in demand,” said Communication Director Carla Hass and added that the county started noticing lesser demand in mid-April where previously clinics would fill up appointments in hours.

As of Tuesday, the county had administered a combined 134,454 doses and about 75% of residents are receiving the vaccine. About 31% of the county has received both doses and are fully vaccinated while another 43% have had their first shots.

Hass also announced that starting next week, public health offices in South Lake Tahoe and Placerville are changing the dates shots will be available. In South Lake Tahoe, the offices located at 1360 Johnson Boulevard, will be open for vaccinations by appointment from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Monday, Thursday and Friday. The Placerville office will be open Monday and Wednesday.

The Placerville office is mainly administering the Pfizer brand while the South Tahoe office is using Moderna.

The county has also integrated fully with MyTurn and recommends all residents use the state’s online resource for scheduling appointments.

During public comment questions were asked if the county was making money from testing and vaccinating people and Chief Administrative Officer Don Ashton confirmed the county is not receiving any revenue and added that vaccines arrive at no cost.

County Health Officer Dr. Nancy Williams responded to a question about the lack of a flu season and said it’s been speculated that mask wearing had a positive impact.

New virus cases have been rising in the county and Williams said variants of the original may be one of the reasons. Over the last two days, Tuesday and Wednesday, there were 33 new cases, including 11 from the Lake Tahoe region, and 34 assumed recoveries.

Three people were hospitalized, including two in intensive care, in a metric that changes throughout each day.

There was an additional death reported on Wednesday, a Placerville area man 65 years of age or older. The county has lost 111 residents to the virus.

The county passed 10,000 total cases earlier this week and now is up to 10,067.

The county remains in the orange tier of the state’s Blueprint for a Safer Economy and it’s unlikely to move to the lesser restrictive yellow tier anytime soon. The county’s adjusted daily case rate (7.4) is well within the more restrictive red tier.

“Leaving the orange tier anytime soon is pretty low,” Williams said. “Some of our neighboring counties are seeing increases in new cases which is a reminder that COVID is still in the community.”

For more information from the county, visit

To schedule a vaccine appointment, visit

Supervisors on Tuesday also passed a proclamation during its regular meeting declaring May through October as the Lake Tahoe Basin Wildfire Awareness Campaign.

Fire agencies around the basin this year are working with communities to stay prepared all season by asking residents and visitors to take responsibility when living and recreating in high fire-hazard areas.

“By taking action now and throughout the season, we can save precious time in the event of an evacuation by preparing a go-bag and family evacuation plan early,” said Steve Leighton, fire chief for North Tahoe and Meeks Bay fire protection districts, in a statement earlier this week. “To help Lake Tahoe survive a wildfire, residents must manage the vegetation around their homes, and practice home maintenance in order for homes to resist ignition.”

The full proclamation is as follows:

WHEREAS, wildfire significantly impacts Lake Tahoe’s environmental, economic and social well-being; and

WHEREAS, visitors and residents of fire-prone communities around Lake Tahoe must take responsibility for living and recreating in high fire-hazard areas; and

WHEREAS, visitors and residents can save precious time in an evacuation by preparing a go-bag and family evacuation plan ahead of time; and

WHEREAS, Residents and property owners around Lake Tahoe must prepare to survive wildfire by ensuring proper management of vegetation surrounding the home and appropriate home construction and maintenance to resist ignition; and

WHEREAS, Residents need to work together to prepare their homes and communities to survive wildfire and commit to become fire adapted.

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT PROCLAIMED, that the El Dorado County Board of Supervisors declare the period of May – October 2021 as the Lake Tahoe Basin Wildfire Awareness Campaign as a means for education and a call for residents of El Dorado County to act now to reduce the wildfire threat, prepare for wildfire and become fire adapted.

PASSED AND ADOPTED by the Board of Supervisors of the County of El Dorado at a regular meeting of said Board, held the 4th day of May, 2021.

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