NORRISTOWN, PA – During their virtual COVID-19 briefing today, the Montgomery County Commissioners
reiterated that COVID-19 vaccines are in extremely limited quantity and residents are urged to have patience as the vaccine rollout continues.
“Pennsylvania Department of Health changes to the vaccine eligibility announced last week dramatically expanded the eligible group of recipients. However, there has been no comparable increase in the amount of vaccine we are receiving. In fact, the Montgomery County Office of Public Health received 500 fewer doses this week than last week,” said Dr. Valerie A. Arkoosh, Chair of the Montgomery County Board of Commissioners. “With these expanded definitions for the 1A group, we estimate approximately 230-250,000 additional people qualify for vaccination in Montgomery County as part of Phase 1A. We continue to implore the Commonwealth and the Federal government to consider allocating vaccine according to population demographics so we can meet the demand here in Montgomery County. We have the infrastructure in place, we just need more vaccine.”
During the briefing, Dr. Arkoosh also confirmed the first B.1.1.7 (UK variant) case in a Montgomery County resident. The individual tested positive for coronavirus on January 15, and the variant was confirmed by the PA Department of Health on January 24.
The County also shared an update on the 2021 Montco Strong Restaurant Grant Program
. Through the program, the Montgomery County Board of Commissioners made available up to $6 million in county economic development funds to support restaurants and other food service businesses negatively impacted by COVID-19. To date, 194 grants have been approved for $1.94 million dollars in funding. Additional grants are being reviewed and approved, the Redevelopment Authority of Montgomery County will continue to email grant awardees this week. A list of recipients is posted on the Commerce website.
“We know that our restaurants and other food businesses are working hard to stay open right now with limited, and sometimes without, in-person dining,” said Kenneth E. Lawrence, Jr. Vice Chair of the Montgomery County Board of Commissioners. “Montco’s restaurant industry is a cornerstone of our economic and workforce development, as well as central to the growth of entrepreneurship, job opportunities, and our communities.”
COVID-19 Vaccine Updates:
The Montgomery County Office of Public Health is vaccinating qualifying individuals who live or work in Montgomery County at a public vaccination clinic hosted by Montgomery County Community College. Due to the limited supply of vaccine at this time, only people who qualify for Phase 1A will be given appointments. Appointment slots are limited and are available by reservation only. Walk-up registration is not accepted. To learn more about the 1A criteria or request an appointment, visit www.montcopa.org/covid-19vaccine
COVID-19 Testing Sites Schedule:
Montgomery County COVID-19 testing sites
are open weekdays 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 weekdays starting at 7 a.m. online
or starting at 8:30 a.m. by calling (610) 970-2937.
This Saturday, January 30, the Ardmore testing site will be open from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. For Saturday testing, appointments can be reserved online only starting at 7 p.m. on Friday, January 29.
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 cases and mitigation efforts will be held Wednesday, February 3, 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