coronavirus in connecticut

Nursing Homes Expected to Receive 22,000 Vaccines in Initial Phase

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Every week at Wadsworth Glen nursing home in Middletown, administrator Joseph Bray anxiously awaits for his residents’ COVID-19 point prevalence test results.

“Sometimes it’s a little bit scary because if you don’t know what to expect,” Bray said.

While his home has not seen a significant number of cases or deaths, he still recalls the tough news he’s had to bring to families since March.

“It’s heartbreaking just to make a phone call to a loved one just to let them know that their family member has tested positive,” Bray said.

Bray is hopeful those phone calls could soon come to an end.

“We really just can’t wait to just have it here,” Bray said.

Athena Health Care Systems, which owns Wadsworth Glen nursing home, says its now anticipating the COVID-19 vaccine could come to its residents and staff as early as December 14 and likely by December 30.

They expect the vaccine to be administered through a partnership between the state of Connecticut, CVS Health and Walgreens.

“I am extremely encouraged I feel like we’re finally able to take a little bit of a breath,” Mairead Painter the state long-term care ombudsman said.

Painter said while the details of vaccine administration at nursing homes and assisted living facilities are still fluid, families should start to make sure their loved ones can confidently give consent for the vaccine.

“There’s a lot of different theories out there but we want to make sure it’s fact-based and give people that opportunity to speak with their physician if they have questions or concerns,” Painter said.

For administrators like Bray it’s a countdown to the days away now to the return of life at his nursing home before the pandemic.

“Smiling and being happy and being able to get the hugs,” Bray said.

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