By Kollin Kosmicki
San Benito County experienced two significant milestones this past week with regard to Covid-19.
For one, we moved from the most restrictive “Purple” tier to the less restrictive “Red” tier for state guidance. This allows us to permit such activities as dining, fitness centers and the movie theater for indoors and then such venues as wineries, breweries and distilleries for outdoors.
For the vaccine distribution and communication, though, the county’s move toward using the MyTurn.CA.gov app to schedule vaccination appointments is monumental to say the least. The state system is more user-friendly and interactive than the county’s online portal, which has been turned off.
Now, residents who were registered on the county portal who have not received a vaccine appointment are strongly encouraged to sign up on MyTurn.CA.gov, which takes just a couple minutes. It’s especially important because there is no mechanism to migrate residents’ information from the portal to My Turn, which includes inputting data on underlying conditions and other important factors that were excluded from the county portal. The county also had barriers toward eliminating a large number of names from the portal of residents who may have received vaccinations outside the county.
My Turn is a particular improvement with regard to its simplicity, but also its interactivity. For instance, residents can schedule a vaccine appointment on the app if they are within eligible tiers. If they are not eligible yet, residents can provide information to receive an automatic notification when their turn is up.
This should help to alleviate much of the justifiable frustration from our residents to this point when it comes to getting an appointment and lacking notifications from the county, which has very limited resources to handle the constant flood of calls and emails that have been received on the subject.
Generally, the My Turn app is considerably better from a technological standpoint and residents will find it easy to use.
Kollin Kosmicki is District 2 San Benito County Supervisor.