Sparkling SoFi Stadium as vaccine site


SoFi Stadium as vaccination center Image: HKS

The Los Angeles Unified School District recently announced collaboration with the National Football League (NFL) team Los Angeles Rams, Hollywood Park and the City of Inglewood to operate a large-scale vaccination site on the grounds of SoFi Stadium (US) which could serve any of the public and private school teachers, administrators and staff in Los Angeles County from schools that wish to participate.

A statement on the SoFi Stadium website stated that Los Angeles Unified School District plans to work closely with the Los Angeles County on the vaccination program. On February 15th, 2021, Los Angeles Unified School District and its partners, including Anthem Blue Cross and Cedars-Sinai, sent a letter to the County Department of Public Health Director Dr. Barbara Ferrer and Los Angeles County Office of Education Superintendent Dr. Debra Duardo seeking authorization to operate the site and help the more than 1 million students and tens of thousands of teachers and staff in Los Angeles County return to school safely.

The Los Angeles Unified School District is a public school district in Los Angeles, California, United States. It is the largest public school system in California and the second largest public school district in the United States. Only the New York City Department of Education has a larger student population.

Cedars-Sinai is a nonprofit academic healthcare organization serving the diverse Los Angeles community and beyond.

The Los Angeles Rams are a professional American football team based in the Los Angeles metropolitan area. The Rams compete in the National Football League (NFL) as a member of the National Football Conference West division.

The 70,000-capacity spectacular SoFi Stadium is a stadium and entertainment complex in Inglewood, California, United States. During the 2028 Summer Olympics, the stadium will host the opening and closing ceremonies, soccer and archery. The capacity of the stadium is expandable up to 100,240 for Super Bowl, WrestleMania, FIFA World Cup™, Summer Olympics, and other major events.

“Returning students, teachers and staff to campus in the safest way possible is essential to the well-being of our entire community,” remarked Los Angeles Unified School District Superintendent Austin Beutner.

Added Beutner, “A bus driver takes students to school, a principal unlocks the front door, a teacher leads in the classroom, a cafeteria worker prepares lunch and a custodian keeps the school clean – they’re all connected at school. A dedicated vaccination site and comprehensive effort for the education community would allow schools to reopen sooner and in a more coordinated manner.”

Said Los Angeles Rams Chief Operating Officer (COO) Kevin Demoff, “In speaking with Superintendent Beutner and Inglewood Mayor James Butts about how we can best support our community during this time, it became clear that assisting schools to reopen safely would have wide-ranging impacts for all Angelenos.”

Added Demoff, “We are grateful to all our partners who have come together to develop a gameplan that would allow us to operate this vaccination site at Hollywood Park safely and efficiently and serve educators all across the county.”

Explained Jason Gannon, Managing Director, SoFi Stadium and Hollywood Park, “We have seen a need within our community, and we are working alongside Los Angeles Unified and its partners to provide a solution. We are proud to offer the space and infrastructure needed for a mass vaccination site for school staff. This is another critical step to keep Angelenos safe and healthy in our fight against COVID-19.”

The SoFi Stadium website mentioned that Inglewood Mayor James T. Butts has committed to seek the support of the County Board of Supervisors for this effort to protect school staff and bring the children of Inglewood and Los Angeles County back to the classroom.

As per the scheme of things, 600 Los Angeles Unified School District nurses and other licensed healthcare professionals would administer the vaccine and assist those who may have an adverse reaction. In addition, Anthem Blue Cross would provide volunteer clinical personnel to supplement the Los Angeles Unified staff and Cedars-Sinai is already providing training to support this vaccination effort. The Hollywood Park site, when fully operational, would be able to vaccinate more than 10,000 people a day.

The operation would use a technology and data system that can register individuals, schedule vaccination appointments and share the data with appropriate authorities.

Maintained Beth Andersen, President, Anthem Blue Cross, “Anthem Blue Cross is proud to support Los Angeles Unified’s COVID-19 vaccination efforts and help ensure those who want to receive the vaccine can get it.”

Observed Arthur J. Ochoa, JD, Chief Advancement Officer for Cedars-Sinai, “Safely reopening schools is a key step in improving our community’s physical, mental and economic health. Cedars-Sinai has a long history of supporting Los Angeles Unified in its work to serve the children and families of Los Angeles and we are ready to support Los Angeles Unified in its effort to create a Super Point of Distribution so they can vaccinate school educators and staff.”

Stated Max Arias, SEIU Local 99 Executive Director, “The fact is that schools never closed for thousands of frontline education workers who have been sanitizing schools, preparing meals and running COVID-19 testing centers. Many of these essential school workers are people of color who have been hardest hit by the pandemic. The opening of this vaccination site would mark a major step forward to protect our most vulnerable communities and begin the process for an eventual safe return to in-person classes.”

The Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 99 is working with employers, schools, and the State of California to review and provide input on preparedness plans, safety measures, distance learning, essential work, childcare, the eventual safe return to in-person classes and other issues related to work and the pandemic which has totally throttled the United States.

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