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COVID-19 vaccination site to open in Prescott Valley arena

(Facebook photo/Findlay Toyota Center)

PRESCOTT VALLEY, Ariz. (AP) — A multipurpose arena in Prescott Valley will be the latest large venue in Arizona to become a COVID-19 vaccination site.

Cottonwood-based Spectrum Healthcare on Monday will open an appointment-only setup called “Vaccination Station” inside Findlay Toyota Center, a 5,100-seat facility that has hosted events including professional basketball games, rodeos, concerts and ice shows.

Spectrum, in a partnership with Yavapai County and other organizations, plans to administer shots to between 500 and 1,000 people daily, seven days a week, depending on adequate vaccine support and staffing, The Daily Courier reported.

Several venues in Arizona’s two large metro areas, located in desert regions where the winters are milder than in the Prescott area, are either already in use or planned as drive-thru vaccination sites.

The state on Jan. 11 opened a 24/7 vaccination site blanketing a large parking lot next to State Farm Stadium in Glendale and plans to open a second state-run site at Phoenix Municipal Stadium near the Phoenix-Tempe line on Feb. 1. Pima County earlier this month opened a drive-thru vaccination site in Tucson at Kino Sports Complex, a venue that formerly hosted Major League Baseball spring training games among other events and competitions.

Arizona on Saturday reported 7,316 additional confirmed COVID-19 cases and 169 deaths, increasing the state’s pandemic totals to 715,357 cases and 12,170 deaths.

The number of infections is thought to be far higher than reported because many people have not been tested, and studies suggest people can be infected with the virus without feeling sick.

Formerly the Prescott Valley Event Center, the town-owned Findlay Toyota Center has more than 2,000 parking spaces. Until last year, the arena was the home of the Phoenix Suns’ G League team, the Northern Arizona Suns. The parent club sold the G League team last July, saying it no longer fit its player development plan.

The arena’s event organizers had said until recently that they planned to allow open skating in the ice rink into early February but that changed with the need for interior space to administer vaccinations, the Courier reported.

CEO Brad Fain of Fain Signature Group, a Prescott Valley-based development company helping launch the vaccination site at the arena, called it “the perfect location for this momentous effort taking place in the center of Prescott Valley.”

As with other states, Arizona’s vaccination program was slow to get off the ground and the state’s sign-up website for the state-run sites have been criticized as confusing and difficult to navigate. But officials say the State Farm Stadium site has proved to be success, with thousands of doses administered daily.

Like Yavapai County, other counties across the state are also providing vaccinations.

The Kino Sports Complex site in Tucson is a partnership between Pima County and the Banner Health hospital chain. Organizations involved in the State Farm Stadium include Blue Cross Blue Shield and the Arizona Cardinals.

For Arizona vaccine information, visit azdhs.gov/findvaccine.

For all articles, information and updates on the coronavirus from KTAR News, visit ktar.com/coronavirus.

Arizona open and hiring: If you’re looking for job openings, visit ktar.com/arizonahiring.

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