ESPN opened its North Campus doors Friday afternoon for a Covid-19 vaccination center, with more than 500 local teachers and childcare workers at the front of the line.
The clinic, being run by the Bristol-Burlington Health District (BBHD) under the guidelines established by Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont, will continue to operate in the coming weeks to inoculate age-eligible ESPN employees and fellow state residents.
Marco Palmeri, Director of Health for the BBHD, said: “The nation and much of the world is in the midst of the greatest vaccination effort of our lifetime. Thousands of lives will be saved, and thousands more will be spared the burdens of this terrible disease. From the start, Local Public Health Agencies, like the Bristol-Burlington Health District, are charged with the responsibility to reduce morbidity and mortality in our communities. This massive undertaking is not possible without our community partners, such as ESPN.
“BBHD has been planning mass vaccination efforts and conducting exercises with ESPN for decades. As a result, we’ve established a plan and partnership that strengthens and improves our ability to assure all residents, especially our most vulnerable, have access to this vaccine.
“This week alone, hundreds of teachers, school staff, and childcare providers will have the opportunity to receive their first vaccine at the ESPN campus, which will continue to be the main vaccination clinic for the local region. Now, many more residents will have the opportunity to receive the vaccine sooner and more efficiently. Never underestimate the power of a strong community partner.”
ESPN’s Vice President of Global Security and Facility Operations, Mike Heimbach, added: “We are very proud to partner with BBHD to provide a safe place where we can facilitate the vaccinations of thousands of our citizens. Gerry Arrotti [Senior Director, Health, Safety and Systems] had the vision and led all of our preparedness planning with BBHD and is responsible for this project coming to fruition.”
ESPN’s 400,000 square-foot North Campus is home to the network’s massive video tape library and several departments, including ESPN Stats & Analysis, remote operations and platform distribution. Vaccines are being distributed in ESPN’s “Season’s Café,” which has been closed in the interim.