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Pima County, City of Tucson leaders meet to discuss COVID-19 plans amid vaccine shortage

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TUCSON (KVOA) – The Pima County Board of Supervisors and Tucson City Council held a joint Zoom meeting on Friday morning to further discuss Tucson’s COVID-19 testing, vaccinations, mandates and county funding amidst the ongoing pandemic. 

“Issue is not the capacity it is really the availability of the vaccine,” said City Manager Michael Oretga.  

County Administrator Chuck Huckleberry brought forth the success of the mobile pod that was set up at St. Johns Church that gave out 511 vaccines.

Huckleberry said the goal is to schedule 2-3 mobile vaccine clinics per week that would probably dispense about 500 vaccines. He says the key to mobile sites are getting in contact with individuals that know those communities well and have them communicate with those individuals to get them vaccinated.  

Mayor Regina Romero suggested moving the Tucson Community College POD to the Pueblo Activity Center for equitable and geographic distribution over the concern to vaccinate communities at a disadvantage.  

Huckleberry was not opposed to consider moving the POD, but further suggested having a mobile destination there since TCC distributes the vaccine at such a high volume.

According to Ortega, the TCC POD has administered nearly 20,000 doses including first and second doses.  

When concern of supply was brought up in the meeting, Dr. Garcia, recommended that “at this time, we ask that people do not purposely refer their second vaccination.”

He explained that there is a six-week window and to make sure to get it before that six-week mark.  

Chuck Huckleberry did receive notice that Pima County will receive 17,000 doses next week.  

As of Feb. 19, the state of Arizona has administered 1,387,118 vaccinations.  

As of six weeks ago, the weekly infection rate was 5,000, the most recent map 1,060. If this trend continues in the right direction, Huckleberry said he feels cautiously optimistic about opening up, initially with parks.

As far as business recovery and current mandates, Gov. Doug Ducey’s executive orders are still in place. Tucson’s cares fund has sued more than $10 million in utilities and rent assistance; the cares fund has also been extended to South Tucson.  

Tucson is having issues with reimbursement but, efforts have been made to the state about the release of COVID funds.  

For more information on Pima County testing and vaccinations, click here

The jointing meeting in its entirety can be viewed below.

Pima County, City of Tucson Joint COVID-19 Meeting

WATCH LIVE: Pima County Board of Supervisors and City of Tucson a hold meeting to address COVID-19 testing. http://bit.ly/3sarzIi

Posted by News 4 Tucson - KVOA on Friday, February 19, 2021

EDITOR'S NOTE: This story was written by News 4 Tucson's Averie Klonowski.

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