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County scraps plans for mass vaccine clinic

Emergency Services Dir: ‘Vaccine shortage’ to blame

MIFFLINTOWN–While giving an update on the state of COVID-19 vaccination availability in Juniata County, emergency services director Allen Weaver announced the county no longer has plans to conduct any mass clinics. According to Weaver, due to the shortage of vaccines the Department of Health and Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) decided to streamline the vaccine distribution through healthcare providers at strategically located large vaccination sites rather than county clinics. “I know there has been a lot of conversation about county clinics and a lot expectation. We had expected it as well, but it doesn’t look like that’s going to happen.”

Weaver went on to give an update on the state’s vaccine schedule, noting that, as of Monday, April 5th those in the Phase1B group are now eligible to receive the vaccine. Included in Phase 1B are law enforcement, fire/rescue personnel, PA National Guard, food and agricultural workers, veterinarians, U.S. Postal Service workers, manufacturing workers, grocery store workers, education workers, clergy and other essential support houses of worship, public transit workers and Early Childhood Program workers. Eligibility for Phase 1C to begin April 12th and every Pennsylvanian will be eligible starting April 19th. According to Weaver some local providers including Family Practice Center, CVS (Lewistown) and Weis Markets had openings available to schedule a vaccine.

Commissioner Alice Gray commented that as the county was organizing and preparing it’s mass vaccination clinic it had some “extraordinary” volunteers that came forward to help execute the clinic plan when it was time. Gray said they wanted to especially thank Cedar Grove Brethren in Christ Church for offering their facility free of charge as well as the Ladies Auxiliary of the Friendship Fire Company in Port Royal who were going to provide lunch for clinic volunteers at no cost. The commissioners also expressed their gratitude to healthcare facility for providing medical backup and Pat Brown for offering to handle volunteer coordination. “It would have been interesting and I think very rewarding for our county for volunteers to be able to help out with this.” Gray said.

Also during the meeting commissioners received information on the COVID-19 Hospitality Industry Recovery Program grant from Mike Fisher, assistant executive director of SEDA-COG. According to Fisher Juniata County has been allocated funds through the grant for eligible for-profit hospitality industry businesses. Fisher said SEDA-COG is still accepting applications for the relief grant and urges businesses to apply as soon as possible for the funds are distributed on a first come, first serve basis.

For-profit hospitality businesses can apply at the Community Giving Foundation’s website at https://csgiving.org/chirp/ until the funds are exhausted or the June 15th deadline.

The commissioners also took the following actions Tuesday:

¯ Ratified the agreement with MCM Consulting Group, Inc. to maintain the 2020 Hazard Mitigation Plan for Juniata County according to the cost schedule: Year 1 – 2021: $5,135.75, year 2 – 2022: $5,290.00, year 3 – 2023: $5,448.75, and year 4 – 2024: $5,612.25.

¯ Ratified CDBG-IDIS checks as submitted by the Juniata County Planning and Community Development Department: #1263 – $88.05 – cb3 Solutions, LLC. for project costs, #1264 – $4,980.00 – Seda-Cogfor project costs, #1265 – $4,000.00 – Seda-Cogfor project costs.

¯ Approved Kierstin Klingler as unpaid intern in the Juniata County Probation and Parole Department as requested by Michelle A. Beaver, Chief Probation Officer. If approved, Ms. Klingler would begin here internship during May of 2021 and finish in August 2021.

¯ Provided a verbal notice of award to MCM Consulting Group, Inc. for professional services related to the Juniata County Pandemic Plan and Infectious Disease Training as requested by Heather Kelly-Weisen, SEDA-COG Program Coordinator.

¯Approved the appointment of Janice Manbeck of 6073 Route 333, Mifflintown to the Juniata Valley Behavioral & Developmental Services Citizens Advisory Board. This appointment is through December 31, 2022.

¯Approved payment of checks #60887 – #60943 in the amount of $136,472.52.

¯Reviewed the following March 2021 departmental reports: “Assessment Reports” as submitted by the Juniata County Assessment Office, “Treasurer’s Report” as submitted by the Treasurer’s Office.

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