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2021 Press Releases

Posted on: March 24, 2021

Montgomery County Asks Residents to Self-Identify When They Receive Vaccine

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NORRISTOWN, PA – During their virtual COVID-19 briefing today, the Montgomery County Commissioners provided an update on COVID-19 vaccine operations.

Montgomery County's three existing mass vaccination clinics remain on track with first and second dose clinics. The Montgomery County Office of Public Health (OPH) received all necessary second doses for this week, and its first dose clinics continue to administer the Pfizer vaccine. The County's weekly first dose vaccine supply remains level at 5,850 doses.

To accurately capture race and ethnicity data, the Commissioners encouraged residents to fully fill out their vaccination record and self-identify when it is their time to get the vaccine. 

"As I have mentioned in previous briefings, the accurate collection of racial and ethnic data to inform our equitable vaccine distribution strategies is extremely important," said Dr. Valerie A. Arkoosh, Chair of the Montgomery County Board of Commissioners. "I continue to ask our community to join us in this effort to make sure that as vaccine efforts continue, we are reaching all members of our population." 

Countywide vaccination data compiled by the Pennsylvania Department of Health currently shows an incomplete picture of who has been vaccinated in the southeast section of Pennsylvania and Montgomery County. This is due to missing data and data that is not broken down by the provider.

The Commissioners also reminded residents that the COVID-19 Montgomery County Rent and Utility Relief Program is now accepting applications.

"We know that many people across Montgomery County are still facing job loss and economic impacts due to the coronavirus pandemic. This has put great strain on renters as they try to remain in their homes and landlords as they try to manage their expenses," said Kenneth E. Lawrence, Jr., Vice Chair of the Montgomery County Board of Commissioners. "Compounding this, the CDC’s eviction moratorium is set to expire on March 31 and Pennsylvania’s Public Utility Commission’s utility shutoff moratorium ends on April 1."

The COVID-19 Rent and Utility Relief Program, administered by Your Way Home, allows eligible households to receive up to 12 months of assistance for rent and utility bills dating back to March 13, 2020. Assistance can be for past due rent and/or utility payments or future rent payments. Funding for security deposits, first and/or last month of rent is also eligible as part of the program. There is no financial limit on the amount of assistance a household can receive.

MontcoStrong 2021 Hospitality Industry Recovery Program: The Commissioners reminded hospitality industry businesses negatively impacted by COVID-19 that they can apply for up to $50,000 in grant funding through the MontcoStrong 2021 Hospitality Industry Recovery Program. 267 applications have been received to date.

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. Applicants are encouraged to watch this video on the application process.

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 89,000 people remaining on the Phase 1A pre-registration list. 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 31, 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 Mass 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. No walk-up registration is accepted. Currently, Montgomery County has three vaccination clinics:

  • Montgomery County Community College – Blue Bell, PA
  • Norristown Area High School – Norristown, PA
  • Parkside Shopping Center (Former Petco), 2522 West Moreland Road, Willow Grove, PA 19090

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 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 31, 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.

Media Contact: Kelly Cofrancisco, kcofrancisco@montcopa.org

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