Arena proposed for flu vaccination clinic

Gregg Chamberlain
EAP
It is flu season again and Clarence-Rockland’s doctors want to use the Jean-Marc Lalonde Arena for their annual flu clinic site this year.

Council reviewed a request for the proposal from the Clarence-Rockland Family Health Team (CRFHT) as part of the agenda package for its October 5 committee of the whole session.

“We are writing to request the use of the JM Lalonde Arena for our flu clinic,” stated Harry Jones, CRFHT executive director. “We visited the building last week and it is ideally suited to this purpose.”

Last year the CRFHT vaccinated 2000 people during its two-week dedicated flu clinic session at the Rockland Medical Clinic. That accounted for almost half of the 5000 flu vaccinations the CRFHT did last year. The rest was done through individual scheduled appointments at the clinic office.

The COVID-19 pandemic prevents the CRFHT from holding its dedicated flu clinic at the medical building because of problems maintaining social distancing. The pandemic has also limited the number of in-person appointments possible at the medical clinic.

The Jean-Marc Lalonde Arena would provide separate entry and exit points for people going in and out of the building during the proposed flu clinic. The large arena rink area would help medical staff maintain social distancing precautions, including a waiting section with chairs spaced apart for people to sit for 15 minutes after receiving their flu injection before leaving.

The CRFHT is waiting for confirmation of its flu vaccine shipment before scheduling the clinic. The plan is to hold a a three- or four-week flu clinic at the arena in November, and reimburse the city for any extra cleaning costs and electricity use.

“We understand this (plan) will deprive people of physical activity (at the arena),” stated Jones, “but we believe it is important to immunize the citizens of Clarence-Rockland against the flu.”

Council’s committee of the whole will forward its recommendation on the request to the next regular council session for review and approval.