Officials working to add COVID-19 vaccines to Legion Field testing site

Published: Jan. 3, 2021 at 10:13 PM CST
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - Hundreds of facilities across the state are signing up to become COVID-19 vaccine distribution sites.

“The number of patients that we are seeing on a daily basis has at least tripled since September of 2020,” Medical partner at Legion Field testing site Dr. Celeste Reese-Willis said. “We are now seeing upwards from 110 to 130 and even some days it’s 150 patients a day.”

Dr. Reese-Willis oversees the free COVID-19 testing at Legion Field in partnership with the city of Birmingham, Jefferson County Department of Health, and Clergy Concern for the Community.

She said they’ve doubled the number of staff to keep up with the increase in patients and made changes to accommodate anyone who needs a test.

“We have appointment lanes, non- appointment lanes,” she said. “We have a separate walk-up area and certain procedures that we do, trying to make the experience has best as possible.”

Dr. Reese-Willis said even though the site is busy with testing, she hopes to expand.

“We are in conversation with the Jefferson County Department of Health on trying to come up with a way that we can provide the vaccine at the legion field site,” she said. “We absolutely want to see the COVID-19 vaccine at the Legion Field site. All the partners are in agreement about that.”

She said they have to give information to the state on how they will administer the vaccine and how they will store it before they are given any doses.

“We are at a stadium and there is a lot of room so us being able to administer the vaccine I think will be a wonderful thing,” Reese-Willis said.

Reese-Willis said she doesn’t know if Legion Field will turn into a vaccine distribution center, but it will not impact testing.

“If we are able to get the vaccine, because of the space that you have at Legion Field, we are able to re-route so that the testing will be able to flow the way that it flows, but the vaccine patients will be re-routed a different way.”

Dr. Reese-Willis said decisions we make now will set the tone for the year

“Where we will be in six months will depend on our behaviors now,” she said.

Dr. Reese-Willis said if you gathered over the Christmas holiday, you should be tested as soon as possible, regardless of symptoms. She said if you gathered over New Years, you should be tested by the middle of the week.

Click here to sign up for a COVID-19 test.

No appointment is necessary, but Dr. Reese-Willis said there is less wait time if you have an appointment.

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