Closure of Dunkin’ Donuts Center vaccination site ‘imminent,’ McKee says; 483 new COVID-19 cases, 7 deaths


PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — The Dunkin’ Donuts Center in Providence will stop being used as a mass vaccination site at some point in the near future, Rhode Island Gov. Dan McKee said Monday.

The arena hasn’t been used as intended for more than a year, having been utilized as a field hospital, a rapid testing site, and finally a vaccine clinic.

McKee said as the state shifts its focus to a more community-based vaccination approach, plans are being made to shut down the operation at the Dunk, though a specific date for that has not yet been set.

“The Dunk will be dismantled as a vaccination site at some point in time, which is something that will be announced,” McKee said. “I think shortly we will have a time frame on that, but that’s imminent.”

Currently, the state also has mass vaccination sites in Cranston, Middletown, South Kingstown and Woonsocket.

Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker announced similar plans on Monday, saying four of the state’s mass vaccination sites, including the one at Gillette Stadium, will be closed by the end of June.

Nearly 400,000 people in Rhode Island are fully vaccinated against COVID-19, according to new data released Monday by the R.I. Department of Health.

The data shows 553,000 first doses have been administered in the state so far and more than 395,000 people have gotten either both shots of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine, or the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

Another seven Rhode Islanders have died after contracting COVID-19, health officials reported, along with another 483 new positive cases since data was last released on Friday.

The number of patients hospitalized with COVID-19 fell to 124, with 22 in the intensive care unit and 19 on ventilators.

McKee and Lt. Gov. Sabina Matos plan to hold a briefing on issues not related to the pandemic at 2 p.m. Tuesday, followed by their weekly COVID-19 briefing at 1 p.m. Thursday.

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