NORRISTOWN — 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 five-day-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.
“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.