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Recreational ice out, floor in for COVID vaccine clinic in Piscataquis County

The wind storm two days ago caused a power surge that ruined some ice equipment, so crews began removing the ice earlier this week.

DOVER-FOXCROFT, Maine — Mother nature has pushed up the schedule for the first large COVID-19 vaccination clinic in Piscataquis county.

The Libra Foundation and Foxcroft Academy have offered the Piscataquis County Ice Arena to Northern Light Health to be its newest mass vaccination site.

Foxcroft Academy officials say the original plan was to take the ice out of the arena on Sunday but the wind storm on Tuesday caused a power surge that ruined some of the ice equipment, so crews began the removal earlier this week.

Tim Smith, assistant head of schools for Foxcroft academy says Northern Light Mayo Hospital was looking for a place to do larger-scale vaccines. He says the ice Arena is one of the largest buildings in the area and believes it’s a perfect fit for the new clinic.

“The Parking that’s available, the flow, the multiple exit entrances and exits in the building so that people don’t have to cross paths, they can go in one way out the other”, Smith said. “Also, the locker room spaces, the conference spaces so that the workers for the vaccination clinic will have places to eat, places to rest, places to change, storage for their stuff. It’s just this is ideal for that.”

At Northern Light Health's weekly briefing, Dr. James Jarvis said, ”Plans are underway. Right now we are working on the logistics for how we can convert that particular space so that we can further serve that particular community.”

Smith said they were told the target date for the opening is March 19th but will be Norther Light officials call.

Northern Light officials say they are still working on the logistics of the setup but are hoping to vaccinate approximately 1500 people a week in the arena.

Credit: NCM
The Libra foundation owns the building but Foxcroft academy runs the facility. Smith says The ice Arena is one of the largest buildings in the area and believes it’s perfect for the large-scale clinic.

The Libra foundation owns the building but Foxcroft academy runs the facility.