Nash County has opened a new COVID-19 Call Center to help residents learn more about vaccines, testing and other information related to COVID services offered by the county.

The call center, which has been in development for several weeks, opened to the public on Monday with live operators on call. By late afternoon of opening day, the center had received over 170 calls, mostly from people 65 years and older wanting to join the vaccination waiting list.

The hotline began as an automated message, but now trained operators man the lines from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Mondays through Fridays unless county offices are closed. Residents can call the new center using the county’s COVID-19 hotline at 252-462-2079.

Assistant County Manager Stacie Shatzer has been working to bring this information source to residents, according to a press release from the county.

“The COVID call center was a vision of Zee Lamb, county manager, and weeks of work have made it a reality for our citizens,” Shatzer said. “We are so glad to offer this service to residents who just want to speak to someone, a human being, and get their questions addressed or the assistance they need to get ready to be vaccinated.”

Shatzer also credited the many people behind the scenes responsible for ensuring the call center’s success.

“Our talented team with diverse backgrounds from Information Technology, the Health Department, Human Resources, Senior Services and Parks and Recreation are making this happen,” she said.

The COVID-19 Call Center is based in the Claude Mayo Jr. Administration Building in Nashville. The center isn’t just for vaccine information, the statement said. Operators can also help eligible residents register for the vaccine and place them on the county’s vaccination waiting list to be notified of an appointment when the Nash County Health Department has vaccine available for them.

Eligible residents also can visit to register themselves with the state vaccination registry, the statement said.

Another 87 Nash County residents tested positive for COVID-19 over the weekend and early Monday, Nash County Health Director Bill Hill said Monday at a meeting of the COVID-19 Emergency Response Team. That brings the cumulative number of COVID positives in Nash County to 9,109.

On a positive note, the COVID death toll in Nash County remains at 166 and just 15 people are hospitalized at Nash UNC Health Care for COVID-19.

In Edgecombe County, 38 more cases were reported on the state Department of Health and Human Services website over what was reported Friday on the Edgecombe County Facebook page. So far, the state is reporting a cumulative total of 4,558 cases of COVID that have been reported among Edgecombe County residents.

That county last reported on Friday a total of 104 COVID-related deaths.