Caregivers of residents at long-term care facilities can receive vaccine during visits

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Family members and caregivers of residents and staff members at nursing homes and assisted living facilities can now begin receiving the COVID-19 vaccine at the long-term care facilities.

Gov. Jim Justice announced during his COVID-19 press briefing last week and it’s being applauded by Marty Wright, the CEO of West Virginia Healthcare Association (WVHA).

Wright told MetroNews that the move makes sense as more facilities reopen to the public.

Marty Wright

“Throughout the state, we are seeing loved ones going into the facilities to visit residents. What we thought is with the reopen, tying into the expanded use of maintenance distribution plan to also capture family members when they are here,” he told MetroNews.

Wright said facilities will schedule vaccinations in conjunction with visits by family members and other scheduled vaccine clinics at the facility. He said it’s part of a maintenance plan established in February to get new residents and staff vaccinated. Family members would receive the vaccine at the same time.

Stonerise, West Virginia’s leading provider of clinician-led transitional care, announced recently that COVID-19 vaccine clinics will be offered at all 17 of its care centers beginning this month for family members and close loved ones of patients and team members.

Vaccination clinics will be offered on April 21st & May 5th from 1-3 p.m. Pre-scheduled appointments are necessary, and individuals must be 18 years of age or older.

Interested individuals should call their local center directly to discuss scheduling a vaccine appointment, a release said. All appointments must be made by no later than Friday, April 9th to receive a first dose vaccination on April 21st or by no later than Friday, April 23rd to receive a first dose vaccination on May 5th.

West Virginia was one of the first states to vaccinate complete nursing homes in December. Wright said they completed first doses by the end of December and second doses by the end of January. He said around 85% of residents wanted and have received the vaccine and 70% for staff.

WVHA oversees 18,000 staff members and cares for around 10,000 West Virginians.

Wright said most are open to visitors now with restrictions but said a normal opening could be later this year.

“I think we are getting closer to that. Every day the more people that get vaccinated, the lower numbers we have. There is a desire on everyone’s part to fully reopen all facilities,” Wright said.

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