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READING, Pa. | The Berks County Commissioners on Thursday adopted a resolution for the allocation of close to $1 million from the COVID-19 hospitality industry recovery program (CHIRP) grant.

The Greater Berks Development Fund, which serves as the grant administrator, has approved applications for the second round of funding for hospitality-related businesses in the amount of $981,500.

The list of recipients was not made available at the commissioners meeting.

In April, the commissioners allocated $3.3 million in the first round of funding for CHIRP.

Earlier this year, Gov. Tom Wolf announced that $145 million in funding would be distributed to all 67 counties in the state in an effort to help support hospitality industry businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Each county which applied to the state for the funding received an amount based on population.

In February, the commissioners approved an agreement with the Greater Berks Development Fund –an affiliate of the Greater Reading Chamber Alliance- to administer the program.

The application process for the third round of funding of $450,000 has begun and will close on June 15.

Information on making an application can be found at online.

In other news, the commissioners announced the Berks Cares Vaccine Center in Muhlenberg Township will close on July 31.

As a result, the commissioners approved a resolution to allow $15,000 to be used for a vaccine awareness promotion campaign to encourage county residents to get vaccinated and to make use of the county facility before its phase-out begins.

Brian Gottschall, director of the Berks County department of emergency services, said extended hours at the center will be available during the month of July.

Appointments are encouraged, but walk-ins are welcomed.

Gottschall reported that the county needs 41,000 additional residents over the age of 18 to begin the COVID-19 vaccination process so that the county can meet the desired state goal of having 70% of the population being fully vaccinated.

As of Wednesday, Gottschall said the Centers for Disease Control reported that Berks County has 48.9% of the population fully vaccinated.

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