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Alexandria Restaurants Provide Space For Vaccination Sites

More than 1,000 restaurant and small business employees have filed through the doors of the old Fireflies restaurant over the past few weeks with the same purpose: receiving COVID-19 vaccinations. The location’s current vacancy made this the perfect site to administer such a large number of shots, Bill Blackburn, restaurateur and co-owner of Homegrown Restaurant Group, said.

Bagel Uprising employees Julio Molina, Orly Amaya, Tori Murray and Nakia Carter pose in front of the vaccination site

According to alextimes.com, “Blackburn joined forces with community organizer Charlotte Hall and Scott Shaw of Alexandria Restaurant Partners – who donated the space – to orchestrate the Alexandria Restaurant Drive whereby restaurant workers could receive vaccinations in a streamlined way. HRG and ARP pooled resources from both companies, reaching out to colleagues, managers, and restaurant owners in Alexandria to spread the word, Blackburn said. Hall shook the bushes in Old Town while Blackburn took charge of Del Ray, with the two convenings every so often to assess numbers and compare spreadsheets.”

As per alextimes.com, “Restaurant groups would sign up for a time block, bring their employees to receive the vaccine during that designated slot, and get back out the door in no more than 30 minutes. “We had a game plan; we knew how many we thought we could do per hour. There were some restaurants that brought one or two more, there were some restaurants that brought one or two less, so it all kind of evened out at the end,” Blackburn said. The organizers worked closely with the Alexandria Health Department in signing up employees to receive one-dose Johnson & Johnson shots so they wouldn’t have to return for another one a month later.”

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