Snow disrupts some COVID vaccine, testing operations in Philly region

Snow falls in Old City in Philadelphia during a snow storm

Snow falls in Old City in Philadelphia during a snow storm on Dec. 16, 2020. (Kimberly Paynter/WHYY)

Updated: 11:15 a.m. Monday

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The snowflakes already covering the Philadelphia region Sunday could accumulate up to 16 inches in some areas Monday, bringing strong winds and creating poor driving conditions over the next two days.

In some areas, the inclement weather is already disrupting some COVID-19 testing sites and vaccination appointments set to take place Monday and Tuesday.

Here’s what we know so far.

Philadelphia

City-run testing sites will be closed Monday. In a news release, the city said the Health Department is working to reschedule appointments.

The city recommends those with appointments at non-city run sites call those facilities ahead of time to confirm.

The Health Department’s vaccine clinic will remain open Monday. People who want to reschedule can do so by contacting the clinic.

The Black Doctors’ COVID-19 Consortium is postponing plans to perform coronavirus testing in West Philadelphia Monday, as well as plans to vaccinate clergy members. No decision to reschedule Tuesday vaccinations has been made yet. Dr. Ala Stanford, founder of the group, said a decision will be made based on weather reports later in the day.

More than 1,000 vaccinations are planned for Tuesday, said Stanford. If Tuesday’s weather is rainy, Stanford said vaccinations will likely go forward as planned as residents can wait in cars and shelter will be set up for those traveling by foot. A media advisory will go out should anything change.

Montgomery County

The vaccination clinic at the Montgomery County Community College will be closed Monday.

Anyone with an appointment Monday should have received an email informing them of the closure and of their rescheduled appointments, which will now take place at Norristown High School on Friday.

Should the weather look like it’s going to disrupt Tuesday’s vaccination operations, a Montco spokesperson said an email will be sent out on Monday with the necessary information.

The county’s website and social media pages will also offer updates.

The weather also means all of the county’s coronavirus testing sites will be closed Monday. The plan is to reopen Tuesday if weather permits.

Chester County

All vaccination appointments scheduled through the county’s Health Department at the Government Services Center and Kennett Square Red Clay Room on Monday, have been canceled. The county is notifying those with appointments of their new dates and times.

All testing appointments scheduled through the county have also been canceled for Monday. Officials recommend visiting their COVID-19 website to reschedule.

New Jersey

All six of the Garden State’s vaccination mega-sites will be closed Monday.

The Burlington, Gloucester, and Bergen County mega-sites were already set to be closed.

Health providers have begun calling those with Monday appointments at the mega-sites in Atlantic, Middlesex, and Morris counties to reschedule vaccinations within the week.

Health care workers station te Essex County Vaccination Site
The Essex County Vaccination Site on Jan. 8, 2020 (Edwin J. Torres/ N.J. Governor’s Office).

Appointments at the Atlantic and Middlesex County facilities will be rescheduled for Thursday. Morris County appointments will be moved to Wednesday.

Should residents have additional questions, they can call the state’s Vaccination Call Center which will remain serviced during the storm at 855-568-0545.

Camden County

Camden County College’s vaccine operation will be closed on Monday and Tuesday. Anyone who had appointments for these days should have received an email with their rescheduled appointment information for Wednesday.

Delaware

Delaware’s Curative COVID testing sites were canceled on Monday. Residents who made appointments for Monday will receive an email to reschedule.

The state’s Division of Public Health and Department of Emergency Management Agency, through its vaccination partner Vault, had plans to hold a vaccination event on Tuesday. However, appointments for Tuesday were not made after Vault requested to cancel the event due to weather-related concerns.

Delaware typically receives vaccine shipments between Monday and Wednesday, but a spokesperson for the Division of Public Health said it is not aware of any delays receiving this week’s scheduled vaccine shipments.

The University of Delaware’s COVID-19 testing scheduled for Monday at the Harker ISE Lab and Clayton Hall also is canceled.


WHYY’s Zoë Read contributed reporting.

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