The last few weeks have certainly had their ups and downs. Civil unrest at our nation’s Capitol, a new administration in the White House, our county currently sits just under 500 active cases and was over 800 cases of the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) just a few days ago, vaccine administration is underway in the general population though hard to find due to a shortage, and much more. The New Year has been bumpy but we’re continuing forward. We have had some bright spots internally we’re happy to report.
We held our second of three vaccination clinics at the Lutheran Home and Rehabilitation Center as well as our first clinic in the Hultquist Place Assisted Living Program on Monday, January 18. In summary:
- Residents and staff of the Lutheran Home and Rehabilitation Center who elected to receive the first Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine on December 28 received their second (final) dose on this day. Another 40 of our nursing home staff and 15 of our nursing home residents received their first dose this day as well and will get their second dose on February 8. No adverse reactions or symptoms were reported from anyone receiving their first doses but mild symptoms popped up for a handful of individuals receiving their second dose, which was expected. Combining both nursing home clinics, 113 staff and 98 residents have been vaccinated.
- Residents and staff of the Hultquist Place Assisted Living Program received their first dose on this day. 27 of our assisted living staff and 51 of our assisted living residents opted in. Their second and final clinic is also scheduled for February 8. A third clinic date is scheduled for March 1.
- Residents of the Edgewood Communities are considered part of the general population since they live on their own without the need for hands-on care or services. These residents are now able to schedule vaccine appointments anywhere in the community.
Leading up to our second clinics, we had a couple calls from resident family members asking our clinicians for information about the vaccines. There are two recurring misconceptions that require some explanation. First, some people think that the COVID-19 vaccine contains a live strain of the virus like vaccines of the past – it does NOT. In fact, the COVID-19 vaccines do not contain any form of the virus itself. Instead they use Messenger RNA (mRNA) advancements to take advantage of how the cells in our body create the proteins needed to trigger an immune response and build immunity. mRNA does not alter your DNA; it merely encourages the body’s immune system to “turn on.”
The second misconception is that taking a vaccine means everything we do can go back to “normal” or how it was pre-COVID. When a person is fully vaccinated (by receiving both doses of their vaccine) their body is more likely to ward off the COVID-19 infection. However, you can still transmit the virus to others. This means that while a vaccinated person may have a personal sense of relief, it is still important to remember the COVID-19 basics to prevent others from contracting the virus you may be carrying but not sick with. Hand washing, sanitizing, mask wearing, and social distancing still have a place in this battle!
As our staff, residents, and community continue to get their vaccines, we remain closed to public visitation for the time being. In the meantime, remember that we continue to offer heated outdoor window visits, video calls, phone calls remain available to all of our residents and their family and friends. To schedule these with your loved ones, please use the following:
LHRC Units: (A1) 716-665-8164, (B1) 716-665-8115, (A2) 716-665-8165, and (B2) 716-665-8118
HP Front Desk: 716-720-9610
If you’re looking for another unique way to bring a smile to your loved one’s face, our on-campus Music Therapist, Elizabeth Dooher-Abplanalp, MM, MT-BC, has created a singing telegram program for Valentine’s Day. You can select a song from a pre-determined list (available on the Lutheran Jamestown Facebook page) to be performed live for the resident(s) of your choosing.
Last but certainly not least, I want to acknowledge and ask you to consider a moment of silence in memory of those who have lost their lives at the hands of COVID-19. On January 20, 2020, the United States had its first confirmed case. Since then, we’ve lost more than 400,000 Americans (50 from our own county) and the number will continue to climb for the foreseeable future. Over 16.5 million vaccines have been administered across the country to date, but the tipping point has not yet been reached. If you’re willing and able, please schedule an appointment to receive yours soon.
I’ve included a basic fact sheet on COVID-19 vaccines that may help explain it better than I possibly can, and by all means please visit the CDC.gov website to learn more if you have an interest. Don’t forget to wash your hands, sanitize, wear a mask, and socially distance when you can. Thank you for looking out for yourself and one another.
Symptomatic LHRC Residents Tested for COVID-19 – 60
LHRC Residents Tested for COVID-19 – ALL*
LHRC Residents Currently Testing Positive for COVID-19 – 1
Former COVID-19 Positive LHRC Residents Recovered – 7
Symptomatic HP Residents Tested for COVID-19 – 43
HP Residents Tested for COVID-19 – ALL*
HP Residents Currently Testing Positive for COVID-19 – 7
Former COVID-19 Positive HP Residents Recovered – 6
Employees Tested Weekly for COVID-19 (State Mandated) – ALL
LHRC Employees Currently Testing Positive for COVID-19 – 1
Former COVID-19 Positive LHRC Employees Recovered – 25
HP Employees Currently Testing Positive for COVID-19 – 0
Former COVID-19 Positive HP Employees Recovered – 12
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