On Tuesday morning, the Wisconsin Center in downtown Milwaukee opened as a COVID-19 vaccination site for some city of Milwaukee firefighters, emergency medical service employees and city health department workers.
These people are in what's known as the phase 1a category of vaccine recipients. City officials emphasize the general public is not yet welcome at the Wisconsin Center site.
The health department's Nick Tomaro is helping run the vaccination effort. He says the center is a controlled environment.
"We don't like to be inside. I mean, obviously it's a little more risk to be inside. So, when you think about testing and think about flu vaccine, we focused on being outside for the safety that offers us. However, when you think about this type of facility, these ballrooms all together are 37,000 square feet, 30-foot ceilings, there's special filtration in this building which is very important and then they did have the ability to do continuous air return," he explains.
Tomaro also says the layout of the Wisconsin Center allows for good movement of people during the presidential vote recount in November.
The city of Milwaukee hopes to vaccinate about 800 of its employees at the site. It's possible the center could eventually be used for immunizing other groups and the general public but not for some time.