Released: March 26, 2021
Delaware County Council joined Congresswoman Mary Gay Scanlon, Senator John Kane, Chester City Council members and representatives from Keystone First during a ribbon cutting for the Keystone First Wellness Center in Chester on March 26.
Since its opening on February 25, the site has served as a vaccination site for Chester residents and the surrounding community. To date, over 1,000 residents have been vaccinated at the center.
Adequate COVID-19 testing, timely test results, and vaccinations are the most urgent public health need. There is no greater public health need right now and public health services need to be equitable and be accessible to ALL residents.
Council and local legislators have voiced many times that the Southeastern section of the state has not received as many vaccines as areas in other parts of the state and there has not been a centralized system to find appointments. As a result, many residents have spent hours online searching for an appointment and driving several hours to rural Pennsylvania or even other states to receive a vaccine. This is not practical and more importantly, it’s not equitable. Many in our community don’t have internet access to search for appointments and they don’t have the time needed to hunt for vaccines online. They also don’t have their own transportation to drive several hours, and some have health conditions that don’t allow them to travel long distances.
Through a partnership with Keystone First, the County has been able to target an underserved community and some of our most vulnerable residents. Keystone First has been a resource for Chester residents to receive the COVID-19 vaccine in their community and they offer transportation to residents if needed. Keystone First will soon be offering resources for improving overall health and well-being for members of the community at this center in the future.
Council is grateful for this partnership and Keystone First’s commitment to the Chester community. Council also extends its thanks to Chester City’s elected officials and their staff, including Chester City Councilman William Jacobs, Chester City Director of Public Health Services Livia Smith, Chester City Director of Community Health Education Rosetta Carter, the Delaware County Foundation, ChesPenn, and the Chester Housing Authority.