California Turns Stadiums Into COVID-19 Vaccination Centers

Sacramento, Calif. (AP) -
A member of the California National Guard stands next to refrigerated trailers as a funeral hearse driver exits the department of the Los Angeles County Coroner in Los Angeles, Monday. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)

California is transforming baseball stadiums, fairgrounds and even a Disneyland Resort parking lot into mass vaccination sites as the coronavirus surge overwhelms hospitals and sets a deadly new record in the state.

California’s COVID-19 death toll reached 30,000 on Monday, according to data collected by Johns Hopkins University.

Public health officials have estimated about 12% of those who catch the virus will require hospital care, usually several weeks after infection as they get sicker.

Orange County, south of L.A. County, announced Monday that its first mass vaccination site will be at a Disneyland Resort parking lot in Anaheim. It’s one of five sites to be set up to vaccinate thousands of people daily.

The sites are “absolutely critical in stopping this deadly virus,” county Supervisor Dough Chaffee said in a statement.

The state will vastly expand its effort with new mass vaccination sites at parking lots for LA’s Dodger Stadium, Petco Park in San Diego and the CalExpo fairgrounds in Sacramento.

“It’s kind of like a Disneyland ride” with cars moving through, said Heather Buschman, spokeswoman for UC San Diego Health, whose medical staff was administering the shots. She said people seemed eager to be vaccinated, with more than 12,500 health-care workers in San Diego County initially scheduling an appointment.

By week’s end, the city of Los Angeles planned to convert its huge COVID-19 testing site at Dodger Stadium into a vaccination center that can handle 12,000 inoculations daily.