$21 million in COVID relief funds coming to SWGA health centers

Updated: Mar. 31, 2021 at 11:18 PM EDT
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ALBANY, Ga. (WALB) - On Wednesday, U.S. Senators Jon Ossoff and Rev. Raphael Warnock announced that $143 million is on the way to Georgia’s critical healthcare centers to help communities out of the COVID-19 pandemic.

On Tuesday, Senator Jon Ossoff made the big announcement while he was at Albany Area Primary Healthcare, which is a mass COVID-19 vaccination site.

On Tuesday Senator Jon Ossoff made the big announcement while he was at Albany Area Primary...
On Tuesday Senator Jon Ossoff made the big announcement while he was at Albany Area Primary Healthcare, which is a mass COVID-19 vaccination site.(source: WALB)

“Community health centers throughout Southwest Georgia will receive $21 million dollars combined through the American Rescue plan. This is on top of $22 million dollars that the City of Albany is gonna receive for basic services and infrastructure and other needs, $17 million dollars that Dougherty County will receive for basic services and other means. We are working to deliver what we promised for the people, which is COVID relief, the direct economic relief that families need, as well as the investment in vaccine supply and distribution and the public health response,” said Ossoff.

So where will that $21 million dollars go? Let’s break it down.

  • Blakely’s Primary Care Of Southwest Georgia is getting almost $3 million.
  • Ocilla’s South Central Primary Care Center is getting $2.5 million.
  • In Cordele, Community Health will get $5.8 million.
  • Albany Area Primary Healthcare will get $8.8 million.

“There are some parameters as to how we can best utilize the money. Some of the earmarks is for vaccines. How do we encourage education and bring out awareness and outreach for the vaccine? Being able to look at ways to expand our services as it relates to taking more access to the communities, in particular, may be areas that they don’t have access and so we’ll be looking at some ideas around how do you best utilize the money to meet the needs of the community,” said Shelley Spires, the CEO of Albany Area Primary Healthcare.

Shelley Spires
Shelley Spires(source: WALB)

So when can we expect all or most of South Georgia to be vaccinated? WALB News 10′s Bobby Poitevint took that question to Senator Ossoff Wednesday.

“The timeframe that I can share with you is that there will be enough vaccine supply for every eligible adult in the United States to have access to this vaccine for free by early to mid-summer,” replied Ossoff.

Ossoff’s stop in Albany was part of an inspection of Georgia vaccination sites, according to his press team.

During his stop in Albany, he said he still wants people to practice social distancing, wear masks and get the COVID-19 shot.

“And this community, in particular, has been hit so hard by this pandemic. There is as Dr. Vance said, ‘light at the end of the tunnel’ represented by these extraordinarily effective and safe vaccines. The message is now is the time to make an appointment to get the COVID-19 vaccine,” said Ossoff.

Senator Ossoff was at the Albany Primary Health Care Center vaccination site to see how it is using the boosted federal supply of vaccines.

This week, Ossoff crisscrossed the Peach State to meet with local officials, outline the American Rescue Plan, inspect how the state is putting funds from the bill to use and brief local leaders on how the bill will impact families, schools, local communities and businesses across the state, according to his office.

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