Gilroy High School will become South County’s first mass Covid-19 vaccination site.

The Gilroy Unified School District Board of Education unanimously approved an agreement Feb. 11 that allows Santa Clara County Public Health to operate a portion of the campus through July 31.

According to the agreement, the county will use the main and auxiliary gyms for the vaccination clinic, with parking available in the student lot on Princevalle Street. 

The agreement requires the county to fund the site, while the school district waives rental fees.

It also states that all GUSD employees will be allowed to be vaccinated at the site once they are eligible.

The site, which would have the capacity to serve up to 1,000 people a day, is expected to be operational by early March, and run through July 31.

GUSD Superintendent Deborah Flores said she and district staff have been working with the county over the past few weeks on finding a site.

“We know we need it, and we also believe if we open this vaccination center and start vaccinating as many people as possible, particularly our staff, that’s going to support our efforts to reopen our schools,” she said.

According to county data, Gilroy reported 187 new Covid-19 cases between Feb. 4-11, and has the highest case rate per 100,000 residents in the county at 12,594.

Valley Health Center Gilroy has been vaccinating up to 500 residents daily, according to the county, but it is too small of a location, said Brian Darrow, liaison officer for the county’s Emergency Operations Center.

“We really need to be able to return that to its primary care services,” he said. “Gilroy High offers a chance to ramp up to much more vaccines than what we are doing. The supply is the biggest challenge, but we’re hoping in the coming weeks and months there will be substantially more vaccines.”

According to county data, as of Feb. 11, 233,031 first doses and 65,280 second doses of the vaccine have been administered in the county.

Santa Clara County residents aged 65 and up as well as health care workers who live or work in the county are eligible to receive the vaccinations. 

A mobile vaccination clinic will run Wednesdays at the Gilroy Senior Center, 7371 Hanna St. Onsite registration begins at 8am, and reservations are made on a first-come, first-served basis.

Trustee Enrique Diaz said the Gilroy High site will address a “great need in South County.”

“There’s few issues that come up that are no-brainers, and this is one of them,” he said.

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Erik Chalhoub joined Weeklys as an editor in 2019. Prior to his current position, Chalhoub worked at The Pajaronian in Watsonville for seven years, serving as managing editor from 2014-2019.


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