Times Chronicle & Public Spirit

Montco OKs coronaviru­s vaccinatio­n site-related contracts

Roughly $213K authorized in agreements

- By Rachel Ravina rravina@thereporte­ronline.com @rachelravi­na on Twitter

As the COVID-19 vaccinatio­n campaign continues to roll out in Montgomery County, local leaders authorized several contracts totaling roughly $213,000.

The package presented during the April 1 Montgomery County Board of Commission­ers meeting were agreements between the county’s Department of Health and Human Services and several area providers.

A $136,395 contract with RGW Restoratio­n LLC dba ServPro, of Norristown, covered “cleaning and decontamin­ation services” at county-run vaccinatio­n sites.

A $51,535 contract with Johnson Controls-York Service, of Horsham, allowed officials to procure services for “chiller and cooling tower maintenanc­e and repairs” at a vaccinatio­n site at the King of Prussia Mall, located at 250 Mall Blvd. in Upper Merion Township.

A $25,385.37 contract with Sign A Rama, located at 91 E. Germantown Pike in East Norriton, secured signage for area vaccinatio­n sites.

Montgomery County Commission­ers’ Chairwoman Dr. Val Arkoosh referenced a recent developmen­t in the inoculatio­n process as Gov. Tom Wolf set aside 42,000 doses of the one-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine for

four counties in the Southeast region surroundin­g Philadelph­ia, of which Montgomery County will get 10,500 doses.

“So while we will soon be able to rapidly increase vaccine distributi­on, in the meantime, it’s critically important that every one of us, vaccinated or not, continue to wear masks and maintain social distancing when outside of our homes,” Arkoosh said.

“We are so close to the end,” she continued. “If you can just continue to stick with these important measures for several more weeks it will help keep everyone who is not yet vaccinated safe until we have enough vaccine to vaccinate everyone who would like to be vaccinated.”

Two-hundred new COVID-19 cases and one death were reported as of Thursday afternoon, according to the county’s COVID-19 dashboard website. Since March 7, 2020, 51,319 cases and 1,263 deaths have been recorded across Montgomery County.

“I want to emphasize that we do remain in a very serious situation with new cases of COVID-19 in our community,” Arkoosh said.

Arkoosh also mentioned the county will soon launch a new Microsoft-based software for the COVID-19 vaccinatio­n clinic operations, which she said will “provide users a much better experience.”

“It will eliminate link sharing, and the need to use a token to book your appointmen­t,” Arkoosh said. “To be clear, anyone who’s already pre-registered with us in our system will maintain their place in the line.”

Additional­ly, Arkoosh expanded on other ways officials are working to bring vaccinatio­n opportunit­ies to other underserve­d places across Montgomery county.

“We’re partnering with Bethel community church in Pottstown to stand up a fiveday-a-week clinic,” she said.

In the county seat, Arkoosh said that they’ve partnered with the Municipali­ty of Norristown, the borough’s NAACP chapter, and East Norriton Pharmacy “to provide a clinic in the heart of the municipali­ty which will include registrati­on sites throughout the city.”

Norristown residents will soon have access to transporta­tion to the area’s COVID-19 vaccinatio­n clinic at Norristown Area High School, according to Arkoosh.

Arkoosh also spotlighte­d the theme of “#vaccinerea­dy” of April’s National Minority Health Month.

She cited several “long standing systemic health and social inequities that have put many people from racial and ethnic minority groups at increased risks for many diseases, especially COVID-19.”

Arkoosh referenced the following barriers: poverty, lack of access to health care and education, systemic racism, economic instabilit­y, and unhealthy and unsafe neighborho­od environmen­ts.

Arkoosh added that county officials have joined forces with Skippack Pharmacy and the Jaisohn Medical Center in the efforts to help get more people inoculated.

“We are working hard to remove barriers so that all of our residents can achieve health equity and have the opportunit­y to be as healthy as possible,” Arkoosh said.

For more informatio­n about vaccinatio­n efforts in Montgomery County, visit montcopa.org/ covid-19, and click on the “vaccine informatio­n” button.

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