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Public Health Sudbury: Arenas, community centres to be used for mass vaccination

COVID-19 vaccine clinics for the general public could begin in mid-April
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The Centennial Arena in Hanmer has been identified as one of the locations for mass COVID-19 vaccination clinics. (File)

Public Health Sudbury and Districts (PHSD) has identified 40 possible sites across the local health jurisdiction where local residents can be assigned to receive their COVID-19 vaccines.

The PHSD Vaccine Playbook, released in January, identified several sites that are being considered as venues where citizens can be gathered to receive their shots in mass vaccination events. 

The playbook has outlined that local vaccine implementation committees will be set up in five geographic areas: Sudbury East, Greater Sudbury, Chapleau, Lacloche Foothills, and Manitoulin Island. 

PHSD communications revealed on Wednesday that the following venues were confirmed for Greater Sudbury:

  • The Carmichael Arena, 
  • The Centennial Arena/Community Centre (Hanmer),
  • Dr. Edgar Leclair Arena/Community Centre (Azilda),
  • Gerry McCrory Countryside Sports Complex,

Other venues for Greater Sudbury listed, but not confirmed, in the Vaccine Playbook included:

  • The Cambrian Arena,
  • The Capreol Community Centre and Arena,
  • The Capreol Millennium Resource Centre,
  • The Chelmsford Arena/Community Centre,
  • Club D'Age D'Or (Hanmer),
  • The Dowling Leisure Centre,
  • Falconbridge Wellness Centre,
  • Garson Arena/Community Centre,
  • Howard Armstrong Recreation Centre (Hanmer),
  • I.J. Coady Memorial Arena (Levack),
  • Lionel E. Lalonde Centre (Azilda),
  • McClelland Arena/Community Centre (Copper Cliff),
  • Raymond Plourde Arena (Val Caron),
  • Rayside Balfour Workout Centre (Azilda),
  • The Sudbury Arena,
  • T.M. Davies Arena/Community Centre (Lively),
  • Toe Blake Memorial Arena (Coniston).

Possible venues in Sudbury East include: 

  • The Alban Community Centre in Alban,
  • The Killarney-Shebahonanin community centre in Killarney, 
  • The Markstay Warren Community Centre/Arena (Upstairs) in Warren, 
  • The Noelville Community Centre in Noelville and, 
  • The St-Charles Community Centre in St-Charles.

Possible venues in Chapleau include:

  • The Chapleau Recreation Centre,
  • Sacred Heart Parish church hall,
  • Royal Canadian Legion Harry Searle Branch No.5,
  • Town Hall, township office basement.

Possible venues in Manitoulin district include:

  • The Big Lake Hall (Central Manitoulin),
  • The Gore Bay Memorial Arena,
  • The M'Chigeeng Community Arena,
  • The Mindemoya Community Centre,
  • The Providence Bay Arena,
  • The Sandfield Community Hall,
  • The Spring Bay Community Centre and
  • The Wikwemikong Recreation Centre.

Possible venues in the Lacloche area include:

  • Espanola Recreation Fitness and
  • The Massey District Community Arena.

In the scenario for distributing vaccines, the PHSD playbook outlined a three-phase approach. Phase One priority would include long-term care (LTC) residents, LTC staff, essential caregivers and other employees, retirement home (RH) residents, RH staff, essential caregivers and other employees, health-care workers, adult First Nations, Métis and Inuit residents (on-reserve Indigenous), adult First Nations, Métis and Inuit residents (urban Indigenous) and adult chronic home care residents. This should be completed by the week of April 12.

In Phase Two (beginning April 19) the Vaccine Playbook then listed in priority Essential Workers, adults aged 75 and over, adults 60 to 74 years, at-risk populations, other residents and staff in congregate settings, adults 16 to 59 years. This should be completed by Sept. 27, said the playbook.

Phase Three was the priority for all other members of the adult population, age 16 and older, who wish to be vaccinated. 

The playbook was released in early January before the federal and provincial governments revealed there were difficulties in obtaining Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines from their sources. It is not yet known how the delivery issues will affect the timelines projected by the playbook. 

The PHSD estimates the vaccine uptake to be highest (95 per cent) among LTC and RH residents. The estimated uptake among LTC and RH staff and caregivers was the next highest estimate at 80 per cent.

The 80 per cent estimate was also applied to health-care workers in general and essential workers. The estimated vaccine uptake for all the other population categories was 75 per cent, according to the PHSD playbook.

The playbook outlined procedures for events such as clinics.

"Public Health Sudbury & Districts is responsible for scheduling appointments. At the time of booking, clients will be asked to provide their name, date of birth, gender, Ontario Health Card number, identification type, phone number, mailing address, and email address. The email address will be used to send appointment details, educational materials, and consent forms for review prior to attending scheduled appointments," said the playbook. 

Health equity considerations will be planned for clients without telephone access, a health card, identification, address, or internet access. Cancellation instructions will also be given at the time of booking, said the playbook.

For community mass vaccination clinics, the scenario said clinics would be open from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Vaccines are to be preloaded. Consent forms are to be completed prior to arriving at the vaccination station. 

The PHSD plan is to have clinics that provide from 100 to 120 vaccinations per day over a 10-hour day. Some of the scenarios would allow for up to 1,000 vaccinations over 10 days. 

Pandemic precautions will be in place through the vaccine events. This will include:

  • Clinics by appointment only just-in-time appointments, early arrivals will be requested to wait outside of the clinic site.  
  • Client attendance only at appointment, unless extenuating circumstances exist.
  • Provision of electronic fact sheets and consent form.
  • Option for clients to print consent form and bring signed hard-copy to appointment.
  • COVID-19 screening immediately prior to entering the clinic.
  • Mandatory masking, unless exempt. 

About the Author: Len Gillis, local journalism initiative reporter

Len Gillis is a Local Journalism Initiative reporter at Sudbury.com covering health care in northeastern Ontario and the COVID-19 pandemic.
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