CENTRE WELLINGTON – The CW Community Sportsplex in Fergus is gearing up to open as a mass COVID-19 vaccination site for Wellington County residents.
The recreation centre is one of several public health clinics announced this week by WDG Public Health which include U of G and Linamar.
Danny Williamson, WDG Public Health spokesperson, said in a phone call vaccinations will start Friday for prioritized people such as long-term care residents, retirement residents and frontline healthcare workers in those settings.
As the vaccine production and supply ramps-up, sites like the CW Community Sportsplex were chosen because the building has the capacity to expand with the vaccination.
“We’re gonna start with 500 doses a day as the capacity there but it’s got scalability up to 5,000 doses,” Williamson said. “It’s got multiple large indoor spaces, it’s accessible, it’s got great parking and it’s able to be a location in the county.”
He stressed partnerships in vaccination with the Township of Centre Wellington and others helps to make it more robust when the supply becomes more available.
“It is an all hands on deck across the region approach to get people vaccinated as quickly as possible,” Williamson said.
“We know that the vaccine supply is starting to ramp-up...in this kind of situation when we’re in the midst of a global pandemic, you don’t want to get ready, you want to be ready. So this is about being ready.”
Kelly Linton, Centre Wellington mayor, said in a press release the announced clinic represents a “light at the end of this dark tunnel.”
“I am thrilled that our CW Community Sportsplex has become a public health vaccination hub for our community and neighbouring municipalities,” said mayor Kelly Linton, in a press release.
“Our staff have worked around the clock to provide a safe central location for this important initiative. Vaccinations are key to ending this pandemic.”
A release from the township also laid out some changes to recreation services in response to the clinic as well as the red control level reopening.
The aquatic centre at the sportsplex will remain closed due to maintenance until mid-March but will operate at the same time as the vaccine clinic.
Community halls, meeting rooms, the fitness centre and weight room will be closed during vaccine clinic operations.
Recreation programs will move to the Elora Community Centre with fitness classes starting on Feb. 22 and pickleball resuming at a later date.
One ice pad at the sportsplex and the Elora Community Centre will be available for rentals from minor sports groups and regular contract. The second ice pad at the CW Community Sportsplex will be used for the vaccine clinic.
Resumed programs and services will include all COVID health and safety protocols mandated by the province.
Visitors and members must pre-register for all programs and entry will not be permitted otherwise.
Keegan Kozolanka, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, GuelphToday.com