AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF) — Augusta National is teaming up with Augusta University to expand COVID-19 vaccinations in the CSRA. It is allowing AU to convert the former Stein Mart clothing store in Washington Square into a vaccination site. AU tells NewsChannel 6 it hopes to vaccinate 300 people an hour if vaccine doses are available.
“The size and location of this facility, particularly the amount of parking, the ease of access, it really is an ideal facility for conducting a vaccination like this,” Dr. Phillip Coule, AU Health’s Chief Medical Officer, explains.
“This can be a more permanent, centrally located site throughout the coming months as vaccine continues to become available,” Katrina Keefer, the CEO of Augusta University Health, adds.
Augusta National and the Community Foundation of the CSRA are donating $1 million each toward AU’s vaccination efforts. This will help fund the Washington Square vaccination site as well as pop-up clinics in underserved communities, including the Harrisburg and Laney Walker neighborhoods.
“COVID-19 does not affect all communities equally,” Coule explains. “Communities of color have been disproportionately affected by this disease. This donation will help us get into those communities most at risk.”
AU acknowledges access to transportation and Internet are hindering some communities’ access to vaccine. It plans to launch its first mobile vaccination unit to vaccinate those living in rural areas.
How to get vaccinated
Anyone who is eligible to be vaccinated can make an appointment on Augusta University’s online portal.
Traffic flows will also be adjusted when the clinic is open. Beginning Feb. 10, vehicles will not be able to exit the Washington Square shopping center at Bertram Road between the hours of 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m.
Drivers are asked to follow directional signs and arrows and use the exit located adjacent to Subway. All vehicles exiting Washington Square shopping center at this location can only turn right.