WRH returns SportsPlex to St. Clair College

St. Clair College SportsPlex, Windsor. Blackburn News file photo.

Windsor Regional Hospital has completed its use of one of the region’s COVID-19 vaccination sites.

The hospital formally turned the SportsPlex back over to St. Clair College on Wednesday morning, 15 months after the building was named as a COVID-19 field hospital. It was also later used as a mass vaccination clinic and a drive-through COVID-19 testing location.

“We simply could not have accomplished what we need to, through the course of this COVID-19 pandemic, without the generous donation of adequate space from our friends at St. Clair College,” said WRH President and CEO David Musyj. “Dozens of long-term care residents received vital health support there that gave many a chance to recover without infecting other residents and LTC staff. Later, thousands of individuals were tested for the virus and most recently, tens of thousands of Windsor-Essex residents became inoculated against this virus.”

The SportsPlex is being returned to the college in plenty of time to prepare it for the fall semester.

“It was both the college’s duty and honour to provide all of the facilities at our disposal in response to this crisis in our community,” said St. Clair College President Patti France. “As an institution, as local citizens ourselves, St. Clair’s staff and students felt obligated to extend any help we could to care for our neighbours and relieve the burden on our health-care heroes during the pandemic. And that is an instilled philosophy and an ongoing commitment. When the community needs us, we will be there for it.”

The building had been set up as a field hospital in April 2020, with a 100-bed capacity. A total of 53 long-term care patients were treated there over two months.

Over 7,500 people received swabbing in August, September, and October 2020 after the SportsPlex was utilized as a COVID-19 testing centre. When it was pressed into service as a vaccination clinic, over 112,000 doses were given there.

Vaccinations will be gradually consolidated at the former Sears store at Devonshire Mall, once the WFCU Centre is returned to the city as a hockey venue later this summer.