When: School board meeting, May 18.
What happened: Reamstown Elementary could serve as the site of a drive-thru vaccination clinic if and when a vaccine receives federal approval. Rob Pena, public affairs and volunteer coordinator for the Lancaster Emergency Management Authority, or LEMA, outlined potential plans for countywide vaccination distribution during the board’s virtual board meeting. The board did not vote on the proposal.
Background: LEMA is asking county school districts to offer buildings as potential sites because they could accommodate set-up, parking for volunteers and traffic flow.
How it would work: Pena described a theoretical scenario in which volunteers, recruited by each district, would screen vaccination recipients, have them complete required forms and help distribute whatever kind of preventative is eventually approved. Pena said liquid or pill formulations could be distributed by volunteers, but he said LEMA is looking to recruit health care workers if the vaccine is given as an inoculation.
Anti-vaccine sentiment: “Our community, there’s several people who do not partake in vaccinations,” board member Desiree Wagner told Pena during the meeting. Wagner balked at the idea of using a school for distribution at a previous meeting on May 4. She said then she had been “researching” the vaccine — which does not yet exist — and would not receive one when it first becomes available.
Superintendent’s response: Cocalico Superintendent Ella Musser said she would support the use of Cocalico facilities, though details would need to be worked out once a vaccine is closer to being ready. “I think all of us want schools to open as quickly as possible,” she said May 4. “I personally would be the first to sign up.”