Beginning Wednesday, the Augusta Civic Center will be used as a mass COVID-19 vaccination site. Organizers say it could accommodate 750 to 1,000 people a day, if vaccine supply allows. Joe Phelan/Kennebec Journal Buy this Photo

AUGUSTA — A larger COVID-19 vaccination clinic is planned Wednesday at the Augusta Civic Center.

Sean Goodwin, director of the Kennebec County Emergency Management Agency, said Tuesday that he could “guarantee” the vaccination clinic would be opening Wednesday.

“We’ve got people already signed up,” he said. “We’ve got people to do the shots.”

Goodwin said officials were doing a dry run at the clinic on Tuesday and set it up Friday. He said officials hope the site could vaccinate 750 to 1,000 people a day, but that was contingent on how many vaccines they can secure.

Mainers age 70 and older are the only people currently eligible under Phase 1B of the state’s vaccination plan. Eligibility is expected to open up for people ages 65-69 after that phase, and to certain front-line workers.

A sign at the civic center says the vaccinations will be by appointment only and asks people to wait in their vehicle until 10 minutes before their appointment time.

After declining to comment earlier in the day, Joy McKenna, spokesperson for MaineGeneral Health, issued a press release Tuesday afternoon stating that community vaccination clinics would open on Wednesday.

At 9:30 a.m. Wednesday, there will be a media event at the Civic Center featuring Earl Kingsbury, director of the Augusta Civic Center, and Chuck Hays, president and chief executive officer of MaineGeneral Health.

Maine Department of Health and Human Services spokesperson Jackie Farwell was not immediately available for comment Tuesday.

Tuesday afternoon, Kingsbury said the vaccination clinic will be initially located in the North Wing of the Civic Center, but could move into the large auditorium if more space is necessary. Kingsbury declined further comment until tomorrow’s media event.

On Feb. 5, the Kennebec Journal reported that the Augusta Civic Center could be used as a clinic. Augusta City Manager William Bridgeo said the city was ready to have part of the facility turned into a vaccination site at any time.

On Feb. 3, a mass vaccination clinic opened at Scarborough Downs, which officials said could handle 2,000 vaccinations a day at full output.

On Tuesday, the state reported 91 new cases of COVID-19 and two deaths from the virus.

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