COVID Hotline Expands Staff, Hours to Help Residents Seeking Vaccination Appointments

Article San Bernardio County

The San Bernardino County Joint Information Center (JIC), which operates a hotline for callers seeking information on the COVID-19 pandemic, has increased staff and extended hours to assist County residents. The JIC has added 10 new call center agents (plus one supervisor) to its existing staff, and is now open from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m., Monday through Friday.

Residents seeking information or requiring assistance can call the JIC at (909) 387-3911.

“We have seen a tremendous increase in call volume, especially since opening vaccination appointments to residents age 65 and older,” said Board of Supervisors Chairman Curt Hagman. “In addition to providing general information on the disease, testing opportunities and the status of business closures, we are now helping people to schedule appointments online.”

Hagman noted that many eligible residents are either relatively unfamiliar with computer technology or simply lack access to a computer or the internet.

“We are here to help all residents, but right now our primary focus is on assisting those having trouble scheduling a vaccination appointment,” he said.

The County is continuing to encourage eligible residents to schedule vaccination appointments through its COVID-19 website, which has a section devoted to vaccinations. Officials also suggest that family, friends and caretakers who are more conversant with computers, or who have online access, to assist those requiring help.

Currently, demand for appointments is high while vaccine doses remain in short supply. “Although residents should continue checking our website to see when appointments are available, they also are welcome to call the hotline if they need help. They also can investigate other options, such as contacting their local pharmacy or primary care provider to see if they have doses available,” Hagman said.