Hockey will soon replace health care inside the Cayuga and Delhi arenas as the Haldimand-Norfolk Health Unit prepares to close its biggest mass COVID-19 vaccination clinics next month.
Residents who were scheduled to get their shots in Delhi after Aug. 6 will be moved to a smaller clinic at the Vittoria Community Centre. The Cayuga arena is slated to close later in the month, with ice back in after Labour Day.
The health unit is making this move as 75 per cent of the adult population is at least partially vaccinated and demand for shots — in particular first doses — has slowed, said Norfolk EMS chief Sarah Page, who leads the vaccine rollout.
“We continue to plan different clinic locations and vaccine strategies in order to meet the needs of all our residents,” she said.
To reach the roughly 25 per cent of adults who remain unvaccinated, the health unit will host evening drop-in clinics at rural fire halls in the two counties, send out paramedics to visit homebound residents, and continue offering mobile clinics to workplaces with more than 20 employees, including a recent clinic at the Unilever Good Humor-Breyers ice cream plant in Simcoe.
The vaccine clinic at Norfolk General Hospital remains operational, with walk-ins accepted.
Delhi-area councillor Mike Columbus was glad to hear ice would soon be back at the arena.
“Our hockey teams, skaters and recreational groups, both young and old, are looking forward to being back in the rink,” he said.
“We are very happy that the vaccine rollout has progressed quickly and effectively to keep our community safe, and now allows everyone to get back to their favourite activities too.”
J.P. Antonacci, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Hamilton Spectator