Let me start by saying this week's Hometown Hero nomination letter has me a little perturbed.

It's not because the letter was about someone who didn't deserve this week's Hometown Hero honor.

It's not because it was another letter about the COVID-19 pandemic.

It was because the group of people the nomination letter was about had gone unnoticed, and by the sounds of it, underappreciated, for far too long. That ends today.

Please meet the amazing staff of UW Health Swedish American's COVID Care Center at Villagreen View in Rockford...

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These six extraordinary ladies put their health on the line every single day on the job while caring for COVID-positive patients in our community. Does that alone not make them deserving of the Hometown Hero honor? Wait there's more, according to Ashley Dray who sent us this message about the COVID Care Center staff;

I know what you are thinking, a clinic really? But we are small, 6 employees. Everyday these ladies deal with the stubborn, the sweet, the small and the elderly patients. Every day they come to work knowing the risk of getting sick, or COVID. They are exposed daily but still love what they do. We are busier than ever right now still there don't complain. Our clinic is the back burner clinic, they don't get the recognition they deserve. Please just consider us. Thank you .

Well, Ashley, you have been considered and unanimously approved. I don't know the names of these six brave, hardworking women, but I do hope they will put the $100 Amazon Gift Card we are giving the clinic thanks to Gustafson's Furniture & Mattress to good use buying something that makes each of them smile. Thank you for reminding us there are so many extraordinary health care workers out there that may be going unnoticed. We are extremely thankful for each and every one of them.

If you know a person, or a group of people, who work tirelessly to make this community a better place to live, please nominate them as a Hometown Hero, here.

Past Hometown Hero Award Winners

Answers to 25 common COVID-19 vaccine questions

Vaccinations for COVID-19 began being administered in the U.S. on Dec. 14, 2020. The quick rollout came a little more than a year after the virus was first identified in November 2019. The impressive speed with which vaccines were developed has also left a lot of people with a lot of questions. The questions range from the practical—how will I get vaccinated?—to the scientific—how do these vaccines even work?

Keep reading to discover answers to 25 common COVID-19 vaccine questions.