COVID-19 and Nursing Homes

While Nursing Homes Will Receive Vaccine Soon, In-Person Visitations Likely To Remain On Hold

Realistically, experts say the general population must be vaccinated before they expect visitations to return.

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It is just one of the heart wrenching byproducts of the pandemic. The inability to visit loved ones in nursing homes and assisted living facilities. With the Covid-19 vaccine only weeks away though, there is hope. Among the first people scheduled to get the Covid-19 vaccine are nursing home residents and staff members.

December 12th to December 28th is the window in which nursing homes are expecting to receive the Covid-19 vaccine. It’s the first step, some say, towards a sense of normalcy.

“Visitation to loved ones that are looking to see their mom or their dad or their grandmother, we’re getting closer to being able to do that,” said Masonicare President and CEO, JP Venoit.

Visitations though will not be instantaneous. Venoit explains those guidelines will be determined by the state. Realistically, he doesn’t expect visitations to return until the general population in vaccinated.

“Once we do get the vaccination out to the masses that will allow the ability to have a more normal visitation for every body,” said Venoit.

Health leaders agree. Despite health care workers and nursing home receiving the vaccine, doctors say current protective measures should remain in place.

“If the vaccine comes out next week, that doesn’t mean we need to do away with all the public health guidance in the measures we are all well aware of by now,” said Dr. Syed Hussain, Chief Clinical Officer, Trinity Health of New England.

Hussain says it will take 60 to 80 percent of the country to be vaccinated before achieving herd immunity.

“It’ll take several months. We’re going to be well into spring and summer before we get a realistic picture of vaccinating a large chunk of this country,” added Hussain.

Because of that, seeing relatives in nursing homes will have to wait a little longer. During the pandemic, Venoit says Masonicare has done over a 1000 video conferences, per week to help residents connect with family. He agrees though, that is no replacement fort the real thing.

“We want the visitations to happen. We want that connection,” said Venoit. “As much as the family misses it, so do we.”

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