My Bethlehem app lets residents get updates on COVID-19 vaccine program, emergencies

Written by on January 25, 2021

My Bethlehem app lets residents get updates on COVID-19 vaccine program, emergencies

By Chloe Nouvelle

January 25, 2021

Photo by Adrianna Calvo from Pexels

The City of Bethlehem is spending up to $7,000 a year to give people access to vital information on their smartphones. 

Listen to the story.

The app is called My Bethlehem PA and users can use it to get updates on the city’s COVID-19 vaccine program, pay parking tickets, or find a clear route in a snowstorm.

Sherri Penchishen from the Bethlehem Health Bureau helped create the platform. She says it was designed to help the city deal with emergencies.

“I have the ability to send out push notifications through the notices function of the app. So if there’s a snow emergency route, or any disaster that’s occurring in the city, we have the ability to send out notices to all the app users,” Penchishen says, “If you’re having a power outage due to snow, or spring/ summer due to thunderstorms you can access the PPL Power Outage link in which you can report a power outage,”

The mobile platform can also be used to report any issues to city staffers.

“So if there’s a pothole or a broken overhead light, or there’s just debris in the roadway, you can go on the app and you can report a problem,” she says. 

The platform provides real-time information about the coronavirus pandemic, as well, and will notify users when the vaccine becomes available to the general public.

Penchishen says the platform even helps people find real-time information about bike trails, bus routes, and leaf collection. 

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