Eads: Vaccinations are Denton County’s priority

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Denton County Judge and Flower Mound resident Andy Eads. (Photo by Helen’s Photography)

With the success of our vaccination clinics in Denton County, we began to consider additional measures to ensure everyone on our list of more than 200,000 registrants for the COVID-19 vaccine has adequate transportation.

We picked up the phone to chat with our friends at Denton County Transportation Authority (DCTA) and Span, Inc., who immediately came to the table with ideas on how we could reach people who were finding it difficult to get to Texas Motor Speedway.

A couple of discussions later, we had a plan in place and rolled it out. On Feb. 26, the first busloads of individuals arrived in the mass transit lane to receive their vaccinations at their appointed dates. The smaller cutaway buses, which seat from six to nine people following CDC guidelines during a pandemic, come through shortly after 8 a.m., 10 a.m., noon and 2 p.m. from two separate locations. The Downtown Denton Transit Station at 604 E. Hickory St. serves our northern sector and the Hebron Station at 952 Lakeside Circle in Lewisville is near our southern boundary.

The buses, free of charge, operate on our clinic dates. Those who need transportation can call the DCTA Customer Service No. at 940-243-0077. All that is required is a phone call so that DCTA can plan to have enough buses available and a copy of your appointment email from Denton County Public Health or the QR code sent by text. If you need transportation to the bus stop at both locations or have special needs, call the 940-243-0077 number and DCTA will work with Span Inc. to provide your transportation.

The bottom line is to make sure you can receive your vaccinations at the appointments you receive after registering on the Vaccine Interest Portal.

We are making this information available in English and Spanish so that our residents know this transportation service is available.

I would like to publicly thank both DCTA and Span, Inc. for collaborating with us on this project. We are honored to have both organizations in Denton County.

Partners are a critical component whether we are dealing with vaccination clinics and the 400 volunteers from across the county needed daily to vaccinate 9,000 people at Texas Motor Speedway. TMS officials have willingly allowed us to use their facilities in February and now, again, in March. Yet another partner, CoServ, is feeding the 600 staff and volunteers at each of our clinics.

Recently, during the winter storm of 2021, partnership was key to dealing with a wide range of issues from power outages to water availability to road conditions and more. Each of our state legislators in Denton County as well as officials from all of our cities joined us in daily calls to discuss problems and find solutions.

Those calls helped us communicate the latest information to all Denton County residents. We worked together to procure generators, find fuel for first responders, distribute sand to keep roads passable and talk with utility providers to understand what was going on and when the situation would be resolved.

These partnerships are what makes Denton County the best place to live, in my humble opinion. We take care of each other and come together in times of trouble. It should be heartening to know that your community, county and state leaders are passionate about making sure you have what you need to keep your families safe.

During our daily discussions in the third week of February, we learned some lessons in how we could be better prepared in the future. In the final meeting, I asked each one to create a list of lessons learned and possible solutions so that we can come together later this month.

My goal, as your county judge, is to help lead everyone to create a more extensive plan so that, next time, all of us are better prepared to handle whatever emergencies may come.

That is my commitment to each of you.

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If you have any questions or comments, please let me hear from you. My email is [email protected], and my office number is 940-349-2820. For more information, register for my newsletter at www.Dentoncounty.gov/countyjudgenewslettersignup

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