«I am happy to report that our two mass vaccination clinics remain on track and have been fully operational this week with first and second dose clinics,» said Dr. Valerie A. Arkoosh, Chair of the Montgomery County Board of Commissioners. «Montgomery County received all necessary second doses of Moderna for this week. And our first dose clinics are running smoothly with making the switch to administering the Pfizer vaccine this week.»
Montgomery County also announced that in coordination with its Department of Public Safety, it has launched a mobile vaccination program. Through this effort, the County will begin taking vaccine to the County’s most vulnerable elderly residents who would otherwise not be able to come to a mass vaccination site. This program will serve elderly individuals who live in congregate senior housing.
Update on Mass Gatherings Guidance: Montgomery County is following the Governor’s revised capacity limits announced on Monday which states indoor events and gatherings are limited to 15% of maximum occupancy, and outdoor events and gatherings are limited to 20% of maximum occupancy. Any event that qualifies as a mass gathering is required to apply for a permit from the County Office of Public Health (OPH), and submit a COVID-19 Mitigation Plan.
Under the existing Montgomery County OPH mass gathering order, mass gatherings are defined as:
· More than 25 people gathering in an indoor venue, or
· More than 250 people gathering at an outdoor or temporary structure setting
The COVID-19 Mitigation Plan must be submitted to the Office of Public Health at least 15 days before an event is advertised, and at least 45 days before the event itself is scheduled to take place. Information on these requirements and the form to submit can be found at www.montcopa.org/COVID-19Guidance.
MontcoStrong 2021 Hospitality Industry Recovery Program: The Montgomery County Board of Commissioners announced that hospitality industry businesses negatively impacted by COVID-19 can now apply for up to $50,000 in grant funding through the MontcoStrong 2021 Hospitality Industry Recovery Program.
Montgomery County has received approximately $9.4 million in state funding to provide grants to eligible businesses. The eligibility, application requirements, and program design were all developed from Senate Bill 109 known as Act 1 of 2021. Grant awards will be in increments from $5,000 to $50,000. Applicants will be required to submit documentation of expenses incurred and paid during the eligible expense period. The application window will open at noon on Friday, March 12.
COVID-19 Vaccine Updates: Due to the limited supply of vaccine at this time, only people who qualify for Phase 1A will be given appointments. This includes people ages 65 and older and people ages 16-64 with specific underlying medical conditions known to be associated with severe cases of COVID-19. Appointment slots are limited and are available by reservation only. Walk-up registration is not accepted. To learn more about the 1A criteria or to pre-register for an appointment, visit www.montcopa.org/covid-19vaccine.
To date, there are over 185,000 people pre-registered to receive vaccine through the Montgomery County OPH. At this time and depending on when you registered, it may take up to 12 weeks before registrants hear back from the County about scheduling an appointment as the County is booking appointments to match its supply of the vaccine.
Residents can check their status at the County’s vaccine status page. This page lists the number of requests by date of registration. Montgomery County is currently booking appointments for those who pre-registered on or before January 13, 2021.
Residents are encouraged to check the County’s Frequently Asked Questions webpage on the COVID-19 vaccine, which is updated weekly.
Montgomery County COVID-19 Hotline: A COVID-19 hotline is available for general COVID-19 questions and pre-registration for the COVID-19 vaccine. The number to call is (833) 875-3967. The Montgomery County COVID-19 hotline is operational six days a week, Monday through Saturday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., with live operators. Phone pre-registration for vaccine appointments is available Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. In addition, the hotline has language line support for over 100+ different languages.
County-run Vaccination Clinics: County vaccine clinics run Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 3:45 p.m. Appointments are required to receive the vaccine. Registrants will be assigned a location. There is no option to choose where you receive the vaccine. No walk-up registration is accepted. Currently, Montgomery County has two vaccination clinics:
· Montgomery County Community College – Blue Bell, PA
· Norristown Area High School – Norristown, PA
As more vaccine doses become available, more appointment slots and vaccination clinics will be opened. The public should not call these sites directly, they are hosting the clinics and have no information on vaccine distribution.
Vaccine Pre-registration with Other Providers: There are a number of pharmacies and other providers in the County and region that are receiving the vaccine. Residents can look these up on the PA Department of Health (DOH) vaccine provider map as they change weekly. Each site has its own registration process that is separate from the County. The Montgomery County Office of Public Health does not distribute vaccines to these locations and does not have any control over how the vaccine is distributed. The PA DOH distributes the vaccine directly to them. Wherever a resident goes to receive their first dose of vaccine is where they need to go to get their second dose.
COVID-19 Testing Sites Schedule: Montgomery County COVID-19 testing sites are open various hours each weekday at six locations across the County weather permitting. Testing is available to anyone who lives, works or goes to school in Montgomery County. Appointments can be made on weekdays starting at 7 a.m. online or starting at 8:30 a.m. by calling (610) 970-2937.
COVID-19 Cases & Data: A full breakdown of all Montgomery County COVID-19 cases can be found on the COVID-19 Data Hub. The Hub hosts the County’s COVID-19 maps, data, and charts that show the number of daily cases and deaths related to COVID-19, including hospitalizations and ventilator use. There is also demographic information on cases by age, gender and race. For all other COVID-19 resources in Montgomery County, please visit https://www.montcopa.org/COVID-19.
COVID-19 Virtual Media Briefings: The next press briefing on COVID-19 mitigation efforts will be held Wednesday, March 10, at 1:30 p.m. A link for media to register will be announced through a media advisory. It will be streamed live to the public on Montgomery County’s Facebook page and a recording will be uploaded on the County’s Public Safety YouTube channel.