Gov. Tony Evers announced Thursday a federally supported mass vaccination clinic will open on April 8 at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire’s Zorn Arena for COVID-19 vaccinations. In coordination with state and local partners, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Region 5 will coordinate staff and support services to run the center. 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. This is the second mass vaccination clinic site to open in the state and will have the capacity to vaccinate 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,” said Gov. Evers. “I appreciate the hard work of all of our partners coming together to get this second, high volume vaccination site up and running.”
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.