CLEVELAND, Ohio (WJW) — “It feels very different, I would’ve never expected it to be at Fahrenheit.” Malcolm Howard, a head cook in the Cleveland area, sat down at Tremont restaurant Fahrenheit on Monday not for a meal, but for a COVID shot.
“The process was fast, easy and painless so I’m glad I came.”
“We’ve all heard that the mass vaccination numbers have slipped down and we know that there are folks out there that are ready and willing to be vaccinated but may not be able to access vaccines through traditional routes,” said Dr. Brooke Watts, Chief Medical Officer for Community and Public Health. “Today is a test run, we’re really looking to learn from the process and try new models.”
Fahrenheit owner Rocco Whalen says volunteering his space is just another way of being involved in the community. “Just open our restaurants up to do it for the day, it’s the right thing to do.”
MetroHealth hopes efforts like these will help people in the hospitality industry feel more comfortable coming to work.
“It’s time to take that fear, that sting of fear, out and this is a great time for us to be inside the restaurants,” said Deserie Miller, Referral Office Liason at MetroHealth’s Brooklyn Heights location.
Howard hopes his vaccination will help limit the spread at work. “Where I work at, I deal with servers so they’re more face to face but they have a lot of contact with us because they’re always asking for something and we’re always touching what they’re touching.”
We asked Whalen if he thinks these clinics could help with the staffing shortage the industry is seeing.
“I mean I hope so. I think you’re getting a customer count that’s going up aggregately each weekend and you have to be able to staff and not just staff, infuse great service,” he replied.
Miller says they look forward to doing more of these community-based clinics. “It’s just been really rewarding and we put a lot of effort into it and it’s pleasing effort and we love to see the outcome when people come and get their second dose.”
Next Monday, the Flying Fig in Ohio City will open their doors and do the same from 12 pm – 4 pm. There will be 100 slots open there as well and they will be serving people on a walk-up basis.
“There are opportunities all around the city now and if you do wanna get vaccinated and you believe in the process, by all means, let’s fire it up,” said Whalen.