The Perryville Board of Aldermen reviewed the vaccine distribution which took place Jan. 29 at the Perry Park Center. The second round of vaccinations is scheduled for Friday, Feb. 19. Appointments for those who got a shot in late January were setup from between 7 a.m. and 5 p.m.
“I think once everything got going, we got 1,000 shots in arms in six hours,” said Perryville Parks Director Jim Cadwell at the Feb. 2 Board of Aldermen meeting. “We were doing about 200 shots an hour, which is pretty good.”
Cadwell said a meeting with health department and other officials was planned for early February.
“We think we’ve got some ideas to go a little bit smoother next time out,” Cadwell said.
Alderman Prince Hudson sought answers about the event’s organization.”Did the health department put that all together? Were we involved at all, or were they just borrowing our facility?”
“I respectively made a few suggestions to the young lady at the door (of the health department),” alderman Larry Riney said. “It was probably a day late and a dollar short for them to change what they were going to do. Originally, the health department had asked the Park Center not to let anyone in building who was wanting a shot until 6:30. Mr. Cadwell basically said, ‘I don’t think that’s going to be acceptable with the temperatures being what they’re being.’ The health department relinquished that idea.
“Jim moved some bleachers out to accommodate as many people as what you may consider reasonable in that area. As it turns out, you had people showing up at 5 in the morning for a shot that didn’t happen until 7 (a.m.). With that...we had people everywhere inside the building, not to mention outside the building, which I did drive through the park and witness.
“I don’t think we’re gonna have that again,” Riney said.
Hudson thought a better plan could be implemented.
“It’d be pretty simple, (to) say if you’re name begins with A, B, C, whatever, show up at this time...to have all those people lined up out in the cold, most of them my age or older, it didn’t look very good on any of us,” Hudson said. “I think it’s a great idea to use that building down there to give the shots, but you can’t have all these older people standing out there in this colder weather. That just shouldn’t happen...I just don’t understand it.”
Hudson said he received a shot the previous Friday (Jan. 22) at the health department and an appointments was required.
Cadwell thinks the second round of vaccinations, scheduled for Friday, Feb. 19, should go better.
“It was a learning experience for everybody,” Cadwell said of the Jan. 29 event. “I think it we have another one (vaccination event) it’ll go better. We have to face reality. If we have 1,000 people that all show up at 5 o’clock, there’s going to be a line. There is no way around that. I think there are a few things we can tweak. We can get them through faster.
On Feb. 2 a plan was developed, a plan to get people moving quicker, more efficiently, Cadwell said.
“We shouldn’t let ‘em use the building if they’re not going to get the people out of the cold,” Hudson said. “I’m sorry, but that was ridiculous.”
Scott Sattler, executive director of the Perry County Economic Development Authority updated the Board on the latest with the 13th community college initiative at the Feb. 2 meeting.
“We’re in the needs assessment phase,” Sattler said. “Over the next couple of months they’ll actually evaluate the three school districts and what our needs are for that. We should have that in April.”
In addition, Sattler notified the aldermen of the creation of a PropCOPS committee.
“We have formed a political action committee, called Prop COPS, we’re kind of in the fundraising phase of that right now. You’ll hear more about that. That’s to help promote a ‘yes’ vote on the justice center.”
Sattler said the county’s Economic Development Authority is working at improving areas in the city where there is a need, according to the recent survey results.
“Based on the great survey that the city just had, we talked to my (Economic Development Authority) board about adjusting our program to work to focus on some of those issues,” Sattler said. “We’re working not only on business retention and expansion but also possibly retail restaurant and entrepreneurship. The EDA board is working on doing that.”