Members of the Maine Air National Guard, Maine Army National Guard and employees of MaineGeneral assist people in receiving a COVID-19 vaccine Feb. 24 at the Augusta Civic Center. The clinic will close March 10-11 to allow for the Legislature’s use of the facility. Vaccinations clinics instead will be offered March 9, 12 and 13 and should still be able to distribute more than 2,70o shots as planned, officials say.  Andy Molloy/Kennebec Journal Buy this Photo

AUGUSTA — The COVID-19 vaccination clinic at the Augusta Civic Center will close briefly next week as the state Legislature is scheduled to occupy the building.

The clinic will be closed on Wednesday, March 10, and Thursday, March 11, Kennebec County Emergency Management Agency Director Sean Goodwin said during Tuesday’s meeting of the Kennebec County Commissioners. The clinic will reopen Friday, March 12.

MaineGeneral Health spokesperson Joy McKenna confirmed the closure, adding that it “will not affect the clinic’s ability to push out vaccinations next week.”

“We have added to our schedule next Tuesday, Friday and Saturday, vaccinating 2,720 people as planned,” she said. “This does not impact the vaccine supply.”

In February, Augusta City Manager William Bridgeo told the Kennebec Journal that the Civic Center can simultaneously host both the Legislature and a vaccination clinic.

When asked about Bridgeo’s comment and why the clinic was closing due to the Legislature occupying the space, McKenna said, by expanding hours on other days, clinic officials could “allow for more social distancing between the groups of people using the space.”

As of Wednesday, March 3, Mainers aged 60 or older are eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine as part of a new age-based system adopted by the state.

Last week, the Kennebec Journal reported that the clinic doled out more than 1,300 doses in its opening week. McKenna said at the time that the clinic could give 1,000 shots a day if the vaccine supply allowed it.

On Monday, the Portland Press Herald reported that two new mass vaccination sites would be opened in southern Maine as vaccine supply increased to 55,000 this week. On Tuesday, the Press Herald also reported that Hannaford Supermarkets would join Walmart, Sam’s Club and Walgreens pharmacies as the state’s retail partners in a federal program offering COVID-19 vaccines in pharmacies.

According to a tracker based on U.S. Census and state Center for Disease Control data, 124,457 Mainers, or 9.26% of the state’s population, have been fully vaccinated. State health officials  reported 182 new cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday, with no additional deaths.

Kennebec Journal staff writer Jessica Lowell also contributed to this report.

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