SEATTLE — Gov. Jay Inslee and Seattle-area leaders on Wednesday touted the opening of a new mass COVID-19 vaccination site at an event center between the city’s two sports stadiums — a site authorities hope can soon be vaccinating more than 20,000 people a day, seven days a week.
The site at the Lumen Field Event Center — a partnership between the city, Swedish Health Services and the company that operates the facility, First & Goal Inc. — is open to all eligible people in the state.
It will open Saturday and initially be operational two to three days a week, distributing about 5,000 doses a week.
Inslee said the site is designed to help eligible people throughout the state who have had trouble getting vaccinated, for whatever reason, get their shots.
For now, vaccination eligibility is limited to people older than 65, teachers and licensed child care providers.
To sign up for vaccinations, eligible people can go to seattle.gov/vaccine, The Seattle Times said.
There, they can get on a list to receive notifications when appointments become available and then register for an appointment.
As more vaccine doses become available, officials say the Lumen site will be able to operate seven days a week and inoculate 22,000 people each day.
Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan said when it is operating at full capacity, the operation will be the largest civilian-run vaccination site in the country.
“With Lumen Field, we are taking an enormous step forward,” she said at a news conference.
Calvin Goings, director of the city’s finance and administrative services department, which led the development of the Lumen Field site, told The Seattle Times the site has a $25 million budget, which the city expects will be largely reimbursed from federal aid, and will likely be open for six months.
In January 2020, Snohomish County saw the first confirmed COVID-19 case in the United States.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, more than 5,000 people have died from COVID-19 in Washington state, and there have been more than 345,000 confirmed cases.
The state Department of Health says so far more than 750,000 people in Washington have been fully vaccinated against the coronavirus.
To check eligibility and sites, go to FindYour PhaseWA.org.
You can also get help over the phone from the Washington State COVID-19 Assistance Hotline. Dial 1-800-525-0127, then press #.
The hotline is available from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Friday, and from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.
Phone interpretation is available.