Old Sears store in Mason City to be used for COVID-19 vaccinations

Brett Bachtle
Created: January 08, 2021 09:16 PM

(ABC 6 News) - CG Public Health has secured a site for future COVID-19 vaccine clinics.

The health department is transforming the former Sears store along South Federal Avenue in Mason City into a space suitable for mass vaccination of the public.

“It will allow us to basically stage, get set up, and then handle a rather robust number of people who are seeking vaccines,” said Director of CG Public Health Brian Hanft.

“As a nation, we had so much more retail than we knew what to do with even before COVID. As a lot of these businesses have gone dark we have all this extra retail space,” said Managing Broker at Schoneman Realtors Brett Schoneman.

Hanft wanted a drive thru clinic, but it didn’t work out logistically. He says other public health agencies will have to find creative solutions when the time comes.

“All of my colleagues who are in public health around the state of Iowa are all struggling with or trying to figure out how they’re going to do this,” Hanft said.

“Scrambling to find space for an immunization clinic is not in anybody’s job description,” said Schoneman.

Schoneman helped facilitate the agreements between public health and the property owners, who are allowing CG Public Health to use the space at no cost. He says the owners of the building didn’t want to make any money off the pandemic.

“It’s really, really encouraging to see them step forward and donate the building like that,” Schoneman said.

Hanft says he’s extremely thankful for the building owners as well as the local cleaning company that volunteered their services to prepare the space.

Hanft expects the site to be set up next week.

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