Lake County vaccine site reaches capacity before it opens

Couple drives around Clermont area to pass time before receiving COVID-19 shot

CLERMONT, Fla. – The vaccination site at the Clermont Arts and Recreation Center reached capacity Thursday morning before it opened.

The site is offering vaccines on a first come, first served basis.

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Dave and Karen Smith, ages 70 and 69, drove from The Villages to get vaccinated in Lake County.

“It’s an impossible situation. I feel great empathy for the public officials who are trying to deal with it because you couldn’t -- no human being or organization is designed to respond to something like this,” Dave Smith said.

Due to heavy traffic on Wednesday, officials did not allow seniors to line up overnight at the site.

The Smiths said they drove around the area until the site opened.

“I feel very blessed. God has been good to us,” Smith said.

Though some people had challenges getting in., a News 6 viewer shared a photo of traffic early Thursday morning on U.S. 27 near the site.

Art Wallman said he and his friend were fortunate to make it inside the site.

“I actually came by last night but they wouldn’t let us line up, so they moved us and they said come back in the morning,” Walman said.

In a news release, the Florida Department of Health in Lake County said, “Cars will not be able to line up prior to 7 a.m. As a reminder, there will be a limited amount of spaces in our lot per day,”

About the Author:

Ezzy Castro is a multimedia journalist on News 6's morning team who has a passion for telling the stories of the people in the Central Florida community. Ezzy worked at WFOR CBS4 in South Florida and KBMT in Beaumont, Texas, where she covered Hurricane Harvey in 2017. Being from Miami, Ezzy loves Cuban coffee and croquetas!