PNC Arena to host Wake County mass vaccination site
Posted February 5, 2021 5:11 p.m. EST
Updated February 10, 2021 5:10 a.m. EST
The parking lot at PNC Arena will be packed Thursday – but not for a game or a concert!
The venue will host the county's first drive-thru appointment-only vaccination clinic for adults 65 and older.
Carolina Hurricanes General Manager Don Waddell said after seeing Charlotte host a mass vaccination site at Bank of America Stadium, PNC wanted to get involved.
Wake County Public Health is collaborating with hospital partners to launch the site at PNC Arena starting Thursday, Feb. 11, followed by another round of appointments on Saturday, Feb. 13.
The site will continue operating in future weeks as vaccine allocations and partnerships allow.
PNC Arena, the home of the Carolina Hurricanes and NC State University Men’s Basketball, agreed to turn its 8,000-space parking lot into an appointment-only, drive-thru vaccine clinic.
“As owners of PNC Arena, we are happy to work with our partners, Carolina Hurricanes and NC State University, to support the needs of our community when called upon,” Centennial Authority Chairman Thomas McCormick said.
McCormick called PNC Arena a community asset.
“We are proud to be a part of this community and recognize the heartbreaking impact this pandemic has had for so many of its citizens,” said Don Waddell, president of the Carolina Hurricanes and PNC Arena.
“PNC Arena has ample space to serve as a mass-vaccination venue, and we want to do everything we can to help Wake County in its fight against COVID-19,” Waddell said.
The site will begin with two days of vaccinations next week, with the goal of inviting more than 2,100 health care workers and those 65 and older from the county’s growing COVID-19 vaccine waitlist.
That list has received more than 94,000 requests since the middle of January. In coming weeks, as state vaccine allotments increase, the 80-acre site has the capacity to scale up quickly to allow multiple lanes of vaccination.
“The state delivered some encouraging news to us last night—that Wake County Public Health was going to receive nearly 3,000 more doses than we originally expected and we couldn’t be more thankful,” said Wake County Board of Commissioners Chair Matt Calabria.
“Thanks in part to the incredible coordination that is already underway among our community partners, we stand ready to take on these additional doses and deliver them safely and efficiently. This means more vaccinations and more lives saved,” Calabria said.
Those who need assistance with registration or scheduling after they are notified of eligibility for an appointment, can call the Wake County Public Health Vaccine Hotline 919-250-1515. It is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Wake County Public Health says it expects to send out invitations for waitlist members to sign up for appointment slots as early as Friday night.
Wake County leaders want to reiterate appointments are required to receive a vaccination and vaccinations will not be available without confirmation of a spot. They say this process is deliberately aimed at vaccinating those at highest risk of hospitalization and death from COVID-19.
Health care workers and those 65 and older (Group 1 and Group 2) will be notified by email, text and phone calls Friday. If they receive a notification by email or text, it will include two links:
The first link is to sign up for the State of North Carolina’s COVID Vaccine Management System or CVMS. Filling out this form completely will let them move into the fast lane at the vaccine site.
The second link you'll receive is to make an appointment to receive the vaccine. Printing out appointment information or taking a screenshot on a smartphone will speed up the check-in process at the site.
Wake County Public Health says those receiving their initial dose of vaccine at PNC Arena should be able to schedule their second dose appointment while on site.
Public transportation will be available via GoRaleigh.
You may take Edwards Mill Bus 26 to the stop at Edwards Mill Road at Trinity Road Northbound; or take Blue Ridge Bus 27 to the stop at Blue Ridge Road at Westchase Boulevard Southbound.
The county will run a shuttle from that stop to the vaccination site and return people to the bus stop following vaccination and observation. These shuttles will run continuously.