Arizona-run COVID-19 vaccination sites move indoors in April

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Arizona-run COVID-19 vaccination sites move indoors in April


State Farm Stadium will only begin providing COVID-19 vaccines overnight from April 4 as part of the state’s transition to indoor vaccine locations due to rising temperatures. The state’s four mass vaccination sites – three in the Phoenix area and one in Tucson – have plans to ease the heat and some are moving indoors.
State Farm Stadium will become overnight only and the state plans to open an indoor location to replace its capacity; the Phoenix Municipal Stadium site near Tempe will move indoors in April; the Chandler-Gilbert Community College site in the Southeast Valley will move to a warehouse in Mesa in April; the University of Arizona at Tucson site will remain outside but move inside if necessary.

And a new state-backed site opens at a covered site in Yuma at the end of March.

Objective of the vaccine: All people 16 years of age and over eligible for a vaccine by May 1 in Arizona

“One of the things we all know in Arizona is that our time here is going to start to evolve to be where the weather is less pleasant outside,” said Dr. Cara Christ, director of the Arizona Department of Health Services, at a press briefing Friday. . “We are working with our partners on finalizing plans for the transition from our national sites to inland sites and we plan to continue to increase immunization capacity. ” April and May will be too hot for volunteers and patients to be safe outside, Christ said, especially patients who don’t have air conditioning in their cars. IPads used for recording and recordings also won’t perform as well in the heat, which will increase the need to move around indoors.

State Farm Stadium will run from 5:00 p.m. to 9:00 a.m. before moving indoors

State Farm Stadium in Glendale, the first state venue to open in January, operates in a large parking lot that will get very hot.
“One of the concerns is that our technology, as it gets past 90 and 100 degrees, won’t work as well, if at all. And we want to make sure we keep our patients, volunteers and staff safe, ”Christ said.

The site will only start operating overnight – instead of its current 24/7 schedule – to accommodate rising temperatures. State Farm Stadium will suspend vaccinations at midnight on April 3 and resume at 5 p.m. on April 4. After that, he will provide injections every night only from 5 p.m. to 9 a.m.

The site will operate near its current capacity adding more appointments every hour, Christ said. The site is expected to be able to deliver about 8,000 to 10,000 doses in the 5 to 9 a.m. range, compared to the 9,000 to 11,000 it reaches 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, Christ said.

The state plans to open a covered site in April to replace State Farm Stadium, so there’s only a short period of time it only works overnight. Christ said there are a few options being evaluated that would have significant capacity. She did not list any possible locations.

The Arizona Department of Health wants to hit 1 million Cardinals stadium vaccines before shutting down, Christ said. “This will obviously depend on the weather conditions and how long our technology can remain operational and keep our patients safe,” she said. “But we would really like to hit that million goals at State Farm. ”

State Farm Stadium crossed the 500,000-dose mark on Monday.

Other sites offer a mix of plans

The state’s other vaccination sites have a range of plans.

Phoenix Municipal Stadium: The site will continue to operate from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Christ said there was more breeze at the stadium site and also more covered areas. The state is working with Arizona State University to identify a new indoor location to transition to in April, Christ said. Chandler-Gilbert Community College: The site will stop vaccinations at the end of the day on April 3. Operations will be moved to a new location in Mesa starting April 5. Asked if the location is the Dexcom warehouse, Christ said she believed it was. People who are receiving their first doses now at Chandler-Gilbert Community College have their second dose scheduled for the Mesa site. The indoor facility will be able to deliver up to 10,000 doses per day, Christ said.

University of Arizona: The Tucson POD plans to continue operating as is. Christ said there was more grass, shade, and hanging structures to keep people cooler. The option of completely relocating to a currently operating indoor site remains if needed, she said. Yuma Civic Center: This indoor vaccination site will move to a state-supported site operating from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily starting March 29. About 8,000 appointments per week will be offered initially, but the site has a capacity of 28,000 appointments per week, Christ said.

The state opened its second site at Phoenix Municipal Stadium on February 1 and upgraded a POD at the University of Arizona to a state-run site on February 18. On March 3, the state resumed operations at a vaccination site in Chandler. -Gilbert Community College which was previously run by Dignity Health.

The state may open more state-run sites in the future. Christ said on Friday the state was examining possible sites in Coconino County and other sites in the Phoenix metro area, including the Northeast Valley.

Information on vaccination sites across Arizona is available at azhealth.gov/findvaccine, and registration is open for state sites and many more at podvaccine.azdhs.gov. Those who do not have a computer or those who need additional help registering can call the state help line at 844-542-8201.

Contact the reporter at [email protected] or at 602-444-4282. Follow her on Twitter @alisteinbach.

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