AKRON, Ohio – The Summit County Public Health Department has moved its eight-week mass COVID-19 vaccination site from the Chapel Hill Mall on Akron’s North Side to the Summit County Fairgrounds in Tallmadge.
The Ohio Department of Health recently approved the move to the fairgrounds at 229 East Howe Avenue, about one mile away from the financially struggling mall which recently came under new ownership and is slated for redevelopment.
“There are new owners of the Chapel Hill property who have a lot of plans for infrastructure work to support the redevelopment of that area,” Summit County Public Health spokeswoman Elizabeth Foster said. “We didn’t want our eight-week operation to hinder their progress, thus it was decided to utilize the fairgrounds.”
The Summit County Fairgrounds vaccination site is to open the last week of March, but details have not been released. Foster said the health department has not finalized an opening date since it depends on when vaccines are shipped, and the registration process has not been finalized.
The site is one of 11 in Ohio that will open later this month that are expected to operate similarly to the vaccine clinic at Cleveland State University’s Wolstein Center, which opened Wednesday.
Vaccine eligibility in Ohio expands Friday to include people 40 and older and Ohioans with cancer, chronic kidney disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, heart disease or obesity. Beginning March 29, all residents 16 and older will become eligible.
The Chapel Hill Mall has been sold to Industrial Commercial Properties, a Solon-based developer who is seeking to convert the property into an industrial office park expected to create 400 jobs. The sale was finalized this week and construction is scheduled to begin this spring, according to ICP’s development agreement with the city of Akron.