Note from Commissioners about Vaccine Appointments

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues its grip on the United States and our community, it is vitally important that everyone protect themselves by getting vaccinated.  

Patience is a big part of the process.  Scheduling only one appointment at one location is also tantamount for medical professionals to vaccinate as many individuals as possible in a timely fashion.  

The Lackawanna County Commissioners, their Human Services Department and their Area Agency on Aging caution all residents from signing-up on multiple lists at multiple locations.  This is compounding the problem for vaccine providers as they move through their waiting lists, trying to serve as many people as possible.  Multiple sign-ups take away spots from other consumers.  

To that end, if you did sign-up at multiple locations, and got the vaccine, please make sure that you cancel the other appointments to free-up the time slots so more can be served.  

The best avenue for one to take is that if you are a patient or customer of any medical group, doctor, or pharmacy, add yourself to one of their lists.   

Streamlining the process to quickly serve a large number of people and help keep everyone healthy is the goal of the vaccination program.  Inundating the system does not allow the process to move forward.     

Housing Needs Survey Released Amid Pandemic

Housing Coalition LogoThe Lackawanna County Housing Coalition has released a housing needs survey to collect critical, up-to-date information about the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the residents of Lackawanna County. The survey is intended for tenants, landlords, homeowners, and community organization staff and is available online in both English and Spanish: 

  • Survey in English: bit.ly/lackawannahousing 
  • Survey in Spanish: bit.ly/lackawannahousingspanish 

Those who cannot complete the survey online may pick up a paper survey at United Neighborhood Centers Community Services, 410 Olive St., Scranton, Monday-Friday, 9am-5pm. 

The information collected through this survey will be used by local housing and social service providers to assist residents who have been impacted by the pandemic, particularly those who may face eviction or foreclosure when state-wide moratoriums expire at the end of August. 

About the Housing Coalition: The Lackawanna County Housing Coalition is a catalyst for decent, safe, affordable housing. The Coalition’s members—which include nonprofit, public, and private affordable housing providers—seek to provide housing opportunities and empowerment towards self-sufficiency for all persons in Lackawanna County. For more information, visit http://www.lchousingcoalition.org. 

Diocese of Scranton Announces Gradual Reopening of Parishes Amid Crisis

web1_TheDioceseofScranton-logo-1-In a video message to parishioners, Bishop Joseph C. Bambera announced details regarding the gradual reopening of additional parishes in the Diocese of Scranton.

Starting on Monday, June 1,  parishes in Luzerne, Monroe, Pike, Susquehanna, Wayne and Wyoming counties resumed in-person Masses.

On Monday, June 8, parishes in Lackawanna County will also be able to resume in-person Masses. The exact timetable for an individual parish to reopen will be the decision of its pastor with regard to preparedness, especially in regards to maintaining proper social distancing and sanitizing.

Mass attendance at all parishes will be limited to no more than 25-percent of a church’s seating capacity. Parishioners will be required to wear face masks and remain a proper social distance of at least six feet away from other individuals/families.

“For the last 10 weeks, I know many of our faithful parishioners have been longing to return to church, participate in Mass and receive the Holy Eucharist,” Bishop Bambera said. “The Diocese has been working hard to resume in-person worship in a safe, comfortable and reverent manner.”

Masses in four counties, Bradford, Lycoming, Sullivan and Tioga counties, resumed on Monday, May 18. While initially limited to a capacity of 25 people, parishes in those four counties can now also increase their Mass capacity to no more than 25-percent of total church occupancy. 

Additional guidance for all parishes includes:

  • Those who feel vulnerable because of their age or underlying medical conditions will be encouraged to stay home. •People who are feeling ill will be directed not to attend public Masses.
  • The Sunday Mass obligation remains suspended at this time.
  • Parishes are encouraged to continue live streaming Masses and a daily Mass will continue to be broadcast on CTV: Catholic Television of the Diocese of Scranton.
  • Pews will be marked off or designated in order to maintain proper social distancing guidelines.
  • Holy Communion will be distributed at the end of Mass. Parishioners are strongly advised to receive the Body of Christ in the hand. Distribution of the Precious Blood remains suspended at this time.

“As the doors of our parishes reopen, everyone has an important role to play. The safety of our faithful people, our clergy and our community is the most important factor guiding any decisions that are made,” Bishop Bambera added. 

Bishop Bambera encourages the faithful to visit the Diocese of Scranton’s website for the latest news and information regarding the ongoing response to the COVID-19 pandemic.