Savannah Civic Center to begin holding walk-up COVID-19 vaccine clinics

COVID-19 testing in the Savannah Civic Center.
COVID-19 testing in the Savannah Civic Center.(WTOC)
Updated: Mar. 29, 2021 at 6:08 PM EDT
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SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - Changes are headed to the Savannah Civic Center that will help in the fight against COVID-19.

The space which has already been used for testing will now offer vaccinations too.

Hospice Savannah has been vaccinating people in our community for months now. So far they have given more than 7,000 shots and are expanding their efforts even further into Downtown Savannah.

“Now it was time to answer the need of the indigent, those who are without transportation in general, SCAD students, you name it we wanted to be centrally located for them,” said Dr. Kathleen Benton, President and CEO of Hospice Savannah.

The Civic Center, which is currently full with COVID testing, will have a dual purpose in the fight against coronavirus starting this Wednesday. The facility will be split in half so public health can continue testing while Hospice Savannah will have a walk-in vaccine clinic. This will create some logistical changes to what we’ve known.

“Testing hours haven’t changed and the availability hasn’t changed so if you need a COVID test at the Savannah Civic Center you’ll be able to get one so the only thing that’s really changing is how you’ll approach the site and on Wednesdays and Thursdays you’ll be approaching the site on foot rather than driving,” said Ginger Heidel, Risk Communicator with the Coastal Health District.

Officials with the Coastal Health District say they have seen a decrease in the demand for testing, but didn’t want to eliminate the option knowing it’s still important as the virus remains in the community. They will have drive-thru testing Monday, Tuesday, Friday and the first and third Saturday, but switching to walk-up testing two days a week provides access and room for vaccinations.

“We’re continuing to evolve with how we’re offering COVID testing and so as we see needs changing in our community we’re going to change to go along with it and make sure we’re offering people what they need, in the manner that they need it,” said Heidel.

Hospice Savannah says they will have a mini clinic this Wednesday for 500 people but should be able to serve 1,200 a day once fully operational. They are also working with the homeless population to offer Johnson and Johnson’s one dose shot at the site through a bus service. Leaders say they are taking appointments for the Civic Center site and encourage you to sign up now.

“I would encourage people to come now because you know we will not be open forever. This is not our business, our business is Hospice and we have a lot of patients to serve, thus we are going to watch the demand and if the demand is there then we will be there,” said Dr. Benton.

To schedule your COVID-19 vaccination, administered by Hospice Savannah at the Savannah Civic Center, click here.

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