Major tourist attractions in Orange County California such as Disneyland and Dodger Stadium have been converted into vaccination super sites as the state has seen 30000 deaths so far due to rising cases of COVID19. As per the report, newly confirmed cases of COVID19 have been shooting up at a dizzying rate of more than a quarter-million a week in the state. On the weekend, the state has reported around 1163 deaths due to viral infection. Orange County as well has reported a record of 2000 deaths so far. Disneyland has been closed for visitors for months due to the pandemic, but soon it will host thousands of people coming in for the COVID19 shots, as it will act as one of five planned vaccination sites in Orange County. The officials have decided to turn the theme park into a vaccination site to speed up the vaccination program across the county as more than 2200 residents of Orange County have been hospitalized with the viral infection.
The Disneyland Resort, which is a giant employer in the heart of Orange County, has undertaken an epic task in the vaccination rollout program by hosting the county’s first Super Point of Dispensing site (PODs). The acting chairperson of the Board of supervisors has lauded the decision of The Disneyland Resort. Supervisor Doug Chaffee, who is in-charge of Disneyland, has said that his constituents have been majorly hit by the pandemic. He has said that these super PODs are important to contain the spread of the virus.
The officials from the county have not disclosed further details of how or where on the property of Disneyland the vaccination site will be established. However, they have said that super PODs will open this week and it will serve people who live in Orange County and are eligible to get the shots as per the state’s priority list by appointment only. At present, the state has been kept in the high priority phase of the vaccination drive, which includes people who are working in the health care sector, hospitals, labs, and pharmacy staff. The vaccine rollout program in the state targets home-health aides and long-term facility residents and workers as well. The officials have said that the majority of workers who are eligible for vaccine shots will be informed by their employers and will be asked to book an appointment via an app called Othena.
This app has been developed in association with the county. The Chief Medical Officer of Disney Parks, Pamela Hymel has said that they are proud to be a part of the initiative taken by the county to combat the COVID19 pandemic. The County has not disclosed the names of other mass vaccination sites as contracts with these properties are still being finalized. As per the report, the officials might turn the Costa Mesa fairgrounds, The Orange County Great Park in Irvine, Knott’s Berry Farm in Buena Park, and the Soka University campus in Aliso Viejo into super PODs.
The officials who have been involved in the vaccine rollout in the state have said that the large-scale vaccination of thousands of health workers will take place at baseball stadiums in Los Angeles, San Diego, and at fairgrounds in Fresno and Sacramento. These places are among cities across the country, which are converting huge parking lots into super vaccinations sites to ramp up the vaccination program after the initial vaccine rollout has failed to meet the target. Governor Gavin Newsom as well has said that the vaccine rollout program has been quite slow in the initial phase and now he has planned to vaccinate around 1 million people this week. Orange County has been hiring volunteers to help run its super PODs including medical professionals and people to do non-medical tasks.
The officials from the county have said that they are planning to complete all vaccinations by 4 July 2021. California ranks third in the death rate after Texas and New York across the US. New York ranks first with nearly 40000 deaths so far. Health experts have said that California has taken around six months to report its first 10000 deaths but in just a month, the total number of deaths has increased from 20000 to 30000. However, the state has seen a slow down in the rate of hospitalization in the last week. It seems as vaccinations shift into a higher gear, the situation might be under control. New hospital admissions as well have reduced from 3500 each day in the first week of this month to 2500 each day. It means that the holiday surge from Christmas and Hanukkah has not done much harm, said the experts.