Kenosha County Public Health’s COVID-19 vaccine clinics are moving from the Job Center to a larger venue beginning next week.
Starting Wednesday, March 10, clinics will be held in the former Shopko building at 5300 52nd St. in Kenosha.
The new facility will be able to accommodate vaccinations of up to 2,700 people per day, pending available supply of the vaccine, said Kenosha County Health Officer Dr. Jen Freiheit. The former clinic site at the Job Center could safely host about 1,000 vaccinations daily, Freiheit said.
County Executive Jim Kreuser said Kenosha County is pleased to offer this increased capacity to the community — particularly as the State of Wisconsin expanded its COVID-19 vaccine eligibility guidelines on March 1 to include many more individuals, including education and child care workers, grocery store employees and non-frontline essential health care personnel.
“Kenosha County has already been a leader in Wisconsin in delivering the COVID-19 vaccine to residents efficiently and expediently, and this new clinic operation will allow us to take this vital service to the next level,” Kreuser said. “I look forward to continuing to work with our state and federal partners to bring as many doses as possible into our community and into our residents’ arms as quickly as possible.”
Freiheit said Kenosha County Public Health remains committed to working directly and engaging with other providers to bring Kenosha County to its herd immunity goal of 75 percent of residents — 127,500 people — vaccinated against COVID-19. As of Tuesday, March 2, 15.3 percent of the population (26,120 residents) had received at least one of the two vaccine doses and 8.5 percent (14,398 residents) were fully vaccinated.
“The new, larger-scale clinic capacity will be a key to meeting this important benchmark in the coming months,” Freiheit said. “And the size of the facility will allow us to move these many thousands of people through with appropriate social distancing and privacy measures in place.”
While the Job Center clinic location could safely accommodate 11 vaccination stations, the former Shopko site will have the capacity to run up to 25 stations at a time, Freiheit said. Visitors to the clinic will progress through an orderly system, similar to that at the Job Center but more spread out to allow for improved distancing.
Appointments will continue to be required, with the clinic available to those in the eligible groups as determined by the State of Wisconsin who live, work or study in Kenosha County. Those who have received their first dose at the Job Center and are awaiting their second dose will go to the Shopko site for their second shot beginning next week. Appointments for the remainder of this week will remain at the Job Center.
Links to Kenosha County’s online appointment system as well as those of other local vaccine providers are available on the Kenosha County COVID-19 Response Hub website at http://bit.ly/KCCOVIDHub, or by clicking the flashing red button at the top of the homepage at https://www.kenoshacounty.org/. For those who do not have internet access, a vaccination call center is available from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday-Friday at 262-605-6799.
Along with the new groups that became eligible to receive the vaccine beginning March 1, the existing eligible populations — Tier 1a health care workers, law enforcement and firefighters, and those 65 and older —also remain able to access it.
“I encourage those who are 65 or above, in particular, to seek out an appointment and receive the vaccine, if they haven’t already done so,” Kreuser said. “We would still like to get that population, most vulnerable to the dangers of COVID-19, vaccinated as soon as possible.”