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Roy Wilkins Auditorium to become permanent COVID vaccine site

The St. Paul auditorium was previously a pop-up site, but it now becomes the fifth permanent community vaccine site in the state.

ST PAUL, Minn — Roy Wilkins Auditorium in St. Paul will become a permanent COVID-19 vaccine site this week.

Gov. Tim Walz announced on Friday that the auditorium will join sites in Minneapolis, Duluth, Rochester and Bloomington as the fifth large-scale, permanent community vaccination site in the state.

During the first week the auditorium is expected to give the Pfizer vaccine to approximately 5,850 people. It will serve adults 65 and older, pre-K through 12th grade educators, school staff and child care workers.

The auditorium was already being utilized by the state as a pop-up location between Jan. 21 and March 1. Almost 30,000 doses were administered there, according to Walz.

RELATED: In a sign of the times, Roy Wilkins Auditorium converts into pop-up mass vaccination site

The state government has been encouraging Minnesotans to sign up for a vaccine through the Vaccine Connector, or by calling 833-431-2053 during the hours of 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., Monday through Friday. People who have signed up will be contacted directly if they are selected to get vaccinated at the St. Paul site or any other community location.

In addition to the Vaccine Connector, people can find local providers that are offering vaccines on this online vaccine finder map.

"As the federal government ramps up vaccine supply, each new permanent site helps make sure we continue to be a nation leader in getting vaccine into arms," Walz said in a Friday news release. "As the state’s Vaccine Connector helps Minnesotans find out when, where, and how to get their COVID-19 shot, the site at Roy Wilkins Auditorium expands access and convenience so more Minnesotans can get this safe, effective vaccine."

Free community testing will continue to be offered at Roy Wilkins Auditorium as well. Appointments can be scheduled on the Vault Health website.