We have been encouraged by all regulating health agencies to get vaccinated as soon as possible.
Many have been the challenges faced to get vaccinated, from overcoming personal doubts or fears, cultural beliefs, availability, among many others.
Since the COVID-19 crisis started in the USA in March of 2020, assisted living communities have been the center of attention given the high percentage of older adults affected by COVID-19. In Florida, 83% of coronavirus deaths are people 65 and older. Given the congregate nature and resident population served (e.g., older adults often with underlying chronic medical conditions), assisted living facilities’ residents are at high risk of being affected by respiratory pathogens like COVID-19.
Therefore, given their vulnerability and the priority given to the population in long-term care facilities, you may think that staff and residents would be willing to get vaccinated. Regretfully, the industry is reporting a 35% vaccination rate, less than we were hoping for.
It is paramount to invest time and resources in educating staff and residents to help them feel comfortable getting vaccinated.
The CDC has updated its guidelines, “Updated Healthcare Infection Prevention and Control Recommendations in Response to COVID-19 Vaccination.” These new guidelines do not represent a significant change from the current order for Safe and Limited Re-opening of Long-Term Care Facilities order (No. 20-52).
It seems advisable to maintain COVID-19 basic precautionary steps until new guidelines for long-term care facilities are issued to protect yourself and others:
- Wear a mask to protect yourself and others and stop the spread of COVID-19.
- Stay at least 6 feet (about two arm lengths) from others who do not live with you.
- Avoid crowds and poorly ventilated spaces. The more people you are in contact with, the more likely you will be exposed to COVID-19.
At Residential Plaza at Blue Lagoon, we have reached a high percentage of residents vaccinated (85%) and 78% of our staff. We work relentlessly to provide our residents a home-like environment that is safe and nurturing to enable them to live a dignified life. For more information on our assisted living services, visit www.residentialplaza.com.