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Scarborough Downs to be converted into high-volume COVID-19 vaccination clinic

Scarborough Downs File (WMTW)
Scarborough Downs File (WMTW)(WMTW)
Published: Jan. 21, 2021 at 2:17 PM EST
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SCARBOROUGH, Maine (WMTW) - Scarborough Downs will be converted into a high-volume COVID-19 vaccination clinic as part of a deal with its owners and MaineHealth.

MaineHealth announced Thursday that Crossroad Holdings, which owns the former harness racing track, has donated the use of the facility’s grandstand for the vaccination clinic.

Crossroad Holdings, which is redeveloping the 500-plus acre site, has directed construction crews to retrofit the grandstand within two weeks.

The vaccination clinic will be staffed with more than 100 MaineHealth employees and volunteers. The 30,000-square-foot clinic is expected to have the capacity to vaccinate at least 1,000 people per day, officials said.

“Finding a space that is centrally located and able to accommodate all the needs of a high-volume clinic is vital to our efforts to get as many people vaccinated as quickly as possible,” said Bill Caron, CEO of MaineHealth. “This generous donation from Crossroad Holdings is big step forward in getting this pandemic under control and saving lives here in Maine.”

The construction teams will build clinical workspaces, improve access to high-speed broadband and build out refrigeration rooms needed to house the vaccines. The State of Maine will assist with on-site security.

The vaccine clinic is expected to operate for at least six months, officials said.

Maine this week started the rollout of Phase 1b of the state’s vaccination plan, which includes vaccinating Mainers 70 and older.

Vaccine supply limits are hindering a faster rollout of vaccinations in the state and across the country.

“With Maine’s limited and inconsistent supply of vaccine, we are distributing what we have to protect the largest number of people as soon as we can, starting with those who are 70 and older because they are most at risk of suffering or dying if they contract COVID-19,” Gov. Janet Mills said. “Sites like Scarborough Downs, where a large number of people can safely and efficiently be vaccinated, will be critical to saving the lives of Maine people, keeping them healthy, putting an end to this pandemic and getting back to normal. We will continue to examine and plan for additional sites across the state.”

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