News

UWEC’s Zorn Arena Will Become COVID-19 Mass Vaccination Site

up to 7,000 first doses will be given per week, starting April 8

V1 Staff |

Senior nursing students Briunna Wells (left) and Amanda Koenig worked as a team on March 3 in the prepping, administering and proper documenting of the Moderna vaccine for COVID-19.
UW-Eau Claire nursing students worked at a March 3 vaccine clinic at Zorn Arena. (UWEC photo)

Zorn Arena, the site of countless Blugold victories over the decades, will be the scene of a big step in the ongoing effort to beat the COVID-19 pandemic: Starting Thursday, April 8, the UW-Eau Claire arena will be transformed into a mass vaccination site, Gov. Tony Evers announced Thursday.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) will run the site in coordination with local and state partners, and the state of Wisconsin “has committed to providing at least 3,500 weekly vaccine doses from the state’s allocation for the site, and up to 7,000 first doses weekly based on supply,” Evers’ office said in a media release. The site will have the capability of vaccinating 1,200 people per day.

“As Wisconsin continues to be a regional and national leader in using vaccine available, we’re grateful for FEMA’s support to help build our vaccination efforts on a larger scale to get more shots in arms quickly as we have vaccine available,” Evers said. “I appreciate the hard work of all of our partners coming together to get this second, high volume vaccination site up and running.”

The first mass vaccination site opened at UW-La Crosse earlier this month.

Further details about the Eau Claire mass vaccination site – such as hours of operation and how to make appointments – were no immediately available.

Here’s the rest of the official announcement from the state:

Zorn Arena has been providing weekly antigen testing and vaccination clinics, and will transition vaccination operations to the federal government. “FEMA and our federal partners are committed to expanding vaccine access to communities across the state of Wisconsin,” said Kevin M. Sligh, acting regional administrator, FEMA Region 5. “This new site in Eau Claire will provide safe and effective vaccines to northwest Wisconsin and be a critical resource in the fight to end this pandemic.”

UW-Eau Claire’s College of Nursing and Health Sciences faculty, staff, and students provided support for the weekly clinics and will continue to support the Eau Claire City-County Health Department with the mass vaccination clinic. “We are proud to be able to help the community in the ongoing fight against COVID-19, and thanks to our partners at the local, state and federal level, this vaccination site will help western Wisconsin move forward,” said UW-Eau Claire Chancellor James Schmidt.

The Eau Claire City-County Health Department has worked closely with UW-Eau Claire to coordinate community testing and mass vaccination efforts. “Getting a vaccine is a critical step toward ending the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Lieske Giese, Health Department Director. “As vaccine supply continues to increase, we hope people will make an appointment and get vaccinated as soon as they are eligible.”

Zorn Arena offers easy access for residents in the city and for visitors to Eau Claire via U.S. Highways 12 and 53, and Interstate 94. Parking will be available on campus.

The mass vaccination clinic is a joint effort between the Eau Claire City-County Health Department, UW-Eau Claire, Wisconsin Department of Health Services, the State of Wisconsin, and FEMA Region 5.

For up-to-date information about Wisconsin’s COVID-19 response, visit the DHS COVID-19 webpage.