Mass COVID-19 vaccination site at State Farm Stadium to move to Gila River Arena

Arizona's largest vaccination site at State Farm Stadium in Glendale is moving indoors to Gila River Arena on April 23, officials said on April 2.

The announcement comes as temperatures continue to rise in the state. Operating hours at the Cardinals stadium had been adjusted to nighttime hours since April 5 to avoid the heat during the day.

"The new site will keep up the momentum as COVID-19 vaccine appointments move from the outdoor, drive-thru site at State Farm Stadium to a new, air-conditioned venue just down the street at Gila River Arena," officials said in a statement.

Gila River Arena will operate from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily and will be able to administer 1,000 vaccines an hour, according to a statement.

"President Biden and others have cited the State Farm Stadium operation as a model for mass-vaccination," said Dr. Cara Christ, director of the Arizona Department of Health Services in the announcement. "This site will continue to be a national model for mass vaccination as we shift outdoor operations to indoor locations."

This announcement comes after the state announced that vaccine distributions held at Chandler-Gilbert Community College in the East Valley would move to an indoor facility in east Mesa, which will offer 3,000 to 4,000 appointments per day.

Officials say those registered for a vaccine at Gila River Arena will enter through the venue's main entrance at Gate 4, and parking will be free.

More than 4.6 million vaccine doses have been adminstered in Arizona.

Ducey eased restrictions on elective surgeries and long-term care facilities in early April. Those restrictions were put into place to free up hospital capacity for treatment of COVID-19 patients and halt the spread of the coronavirus among residents and workers at care facilities.

For weeks, Ducey has been withdrawing the restrictions he imposed to contain the spread of the virus. He drew scorn from local officials and hospital executives for his decision last week to end capacity limits at restaurants, open bars and nightclubs without restrictions and prohibit local governments from requiring people to wear masks.

In another development, Pima County announced that it would expand COVID-19 vaccine eligibility to anybody 16 and older. The change from 55 or older matches age-based eligibility at the county’s sites to that of state-run sites, including one on the University of Arizona campus in Tucson.

Read the full announcement: https://azgovernor.gov/governor/news/2021/04/nationally-recognized-glendale-vaccination-site-state-farm-stadium-moving-gila

Register for a vaccine at a state-run site: http://podvaccine.azdhs.gov/ or call 844-542-8201 between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m.

Find vaccination sites across Arizona: http://azhealth.gov/findvaccine

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

In order to protect yourself from a possible infection, the CDC recommends: 

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a cloth face cover when around others
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
  • Monitor your health daily

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Arizona's pandemic totals increased to 842,192 cases and 16,977 deaths, according to the state’s coronavirus dashboard.

Symptoms for coronavirus COVID-19 include fever, coughing, and shortness of breath. These, of course, are similar to the common cold and flu. 

Expect a common cold to start out with a sore or scratchy throat, cough, runny and/or stuffy nose. Flu symptoms are more intense and usually come on suddenly, and can include a high fever. 

Symptoms of COVID-19 may appear more slowly. They usually include fever, a dry cough and noticeable shortness of breath, according to the World Health Organization. A minority of cases develop pneumonia, and the disease is especially worrisome for the elderly and those with other medical problems such as high blood pressure, obesity, diabetes or heart conditions.

RELATED: Is it the flu, a cold or COVID-19? Different viruses present similar symptoms

To protect yourself, wash your hands well and often, keep them away from your face, and avoid crowds and standing close to people.

And if you do find yourself showing any of these flu or coronavirus symptoms - don't go straight to your doctor's office. That just risks making more people sick, officials urge. Call ahead, and ask if you need to be seen and where.

Continuing Coverage

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You can also get the latest coronavirus news from around the country at coronavirusnow.com.