Anime Event Takes Over California COVID-19 Vaccination Site for Two Days

A coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccination center located in Roseville, California will be closed for two days at the beginning of April while the venue is used to host an anime event.

The event, hosted at The Grounds, is a swap meet arranged by anime convention organizer SacAnime, according to The Sacramento Bee. California's COVID-19 restrictions dictate that convention centers, including SacAnime's usual home Sacramento Convention Center, are to remain closed. However, swap meets may be held at up to 50% capacity in counties designated as red-tier counties due to COVID-19 activity, such as The Grounds' Placer County. Mask requirements and social distancing protocols will be enforced for SacAnime's event, according to the venue's website.

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The Grounds' two-day closure came quickly following news from California State Governor Gavin Newsom that all adults aged 50 to 64 would be eligible to receive their COVID-19 vaccine starting Apr. 1. The swap meet hosted by SacAnime is scheduled to take place Apr. 1-2 and the vaccination is typically unavailable on weekends, meaning that eligible adults will have to wait until Apr. 5 to receive a vaccine at The Grounds. However, Placer County spokesperson Katie Combs-Prichard shared that the clinic had extended its hours in the three days leading up to SacAnime's event in order to compensate for the lost time.

SacAnime received criticism for hosting the event in lieu of the venue administering more COVID-19 vaccines. One Facebook user commented, "They are taking away the largest vaccination center in the county for this." On Mar. 30, SacAnime shared a defense of its decision to host the swap meet on Twitter. "We are aware of the concerns regarding the placer county fairgrounds vaccinations clinic closing during our event," the tweet read. "The clinic never had plans to be open during the scheduled time, and declined our offer to restrict our event space so they could remain open."

With California's vaccine supply expected to uptick in the coming month of April, strides are being made to reopen the state's businesses. Recently, it was announced by the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health that movie theaters can now reopen at 25% capacity. Larger theaters, such as AMC and Regal, have begun to reopen their theaters in the county at the limited capacity.

SacAnime’s Spring 2021 Swap Meet will take place Apr. 1-2 at The Grounds. The venue's vaccination clinic will reopen after the weekend on Apr. 5.

Source: The Sacramento Bee

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