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Schedule online and come on time--Triad health departments’ advice on getting vaccine appointments

Mary Skenes didn't know what to expect when she arrived at the Greensboro Coliseum for her coronavirus vaccine but she said she was amazed at how easy it was.

GREENSBORO, N.C. — Coronavirus vaccine appointments are filling up as counties prepare for another week of vaccinations.

Guilford County will open appointments for the week Tuesday morning. Alamance County will reopen vaccine scheduling Tuesday after taking appointments Monday.

This week's slots in Forsyth and Davidson Counties are full.

Many counties and health systems offer appointment scheduling online and over the phone but some say you may have an easier time getting through online.

"Waiting for returned phone calls or trying to get through on the Guilford County line is torture," Mary Skenes said, "If you don't have the technical skills find a grandchild or a friend who does. The website is much more efficient."

Mary Skenes said she tried to get through on the phone while waiting for her Cone Health appointment to be rescheduled.

The Davidson County Health Department said it recommends its online appointment scheduling system because they see high volumes over the phone too.

Davidson County filled 1,200 slots in about two and a half hours Monday.

"We definitely know there are still people trying to get appointments. Our phone line still doesn't quite have the capacity it needs to handle all the calls so we know that the demand is there," Janna Walker said.

Walker is a Public Health Strategist for the Davidson County Health Department.

Skenes said once her appointment with Cone Health was rescheduled, her biggest concern was moving through the clinic smoothly.

She didn't know what to expect when she arrived at the Greensboro Coliseum Saturday.

"I was hearing horror stories about parking and how far away you had to park, that did not happen," Skenes said, "Of course, it is a walk up the little hill and around the corner and into the special events center and when we got there, there was a line out the door and I thought, ok this is where it starts."

It turned out that line was for patients on the Guilford County side of the clinic. There was no line on the Cone Health side, where she was scheduled.

"From the time that we parked the car to the time that we got back in the car was 30 minutes, start to finish," Skenes said, "They took a traumatic situation and turned it into something that, I was amazed and surprised."

Both Cone Health and Guilford County told WFMY News 2 that 30 minutes is the average wait time for their clinics.

However, Cone Health said appointments can take as long as an hour when people come too early for their appointments because it creates bottlenecking.

Davidson County also said it's important to be on time for your vaccine.

"Try and come about 15 minutes ahead of your appointment time and that will expedite your process," Walker said.

Guilford County will open 4,000 new vaccine slots online and over the phone Tuesday at 8 a.m.

You can find more information here.

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