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    MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Next week, CVS Health plans to begin giving Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine to 63,000 residents and workers in Minnesota nursing homes and assisted living facilities. In a statement Monday, the Rhode Island-based company said that beginning on Dec. 28, its workers will head out to nearly 600 nursing homes and assisted living centers in Minnesota that chose CVS as their vaccination partner. Starting this week, the company plans to have teams vaccinating people and workers in long-term care facilities in 12 states. Vaccinations will begin in 36 other states, including Minnesota, next week. The company says it expects to vaccinate up to four million residents and staff at 40,000 long-term care facilities throughout the country. Those living in long-term care facilities have been disproportionately affected by the virus. In Minnesota, people in such facilities have accounted for about 65% of the state’s 4,872 COVID-19 deaths. CVS says that COVID-19 vaccines will eventually be available at all its pharmacy locations on an appointment-only basis. The company expects to eventually administer 20 to 25 million...
    By: KDKA-TV News Staff PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — The administration of COVID-19 vaccines at long-term care facilities in Pennsylvania is set to begin next week. CVS Health has launched its vaccination program for long-term care facilities, with facilities in twelve states set to begin receiving the Pfizer vaccine beginning this week. “Today’s rollout is the culmination of months of internal planning and demonstrates how the private sector can use its expertise to help solve some of our most critical challenges,” said Larry J. Merlo, President and Chief Executive Officer, CVS Health in a press release. “I’m grateful for the herculean efforts of everyone involved, including our health care professionals who will be deployed throughout the country to bring peace of mind to long-term care facility residents, staff, and their loved ones.” Pharmacy teams from CVS will make visits to facilities to provide initial shots as well as the follow-up booster shot. CVS says that the majority of residents and staff at facilities will be fully vaccinated three to four weeks after the first visit. This will depend on which vaccine they...
    WOONSOCKET, R.I., (CBSDFW.COM) — CVS Health has launched its COVID-19 vaccination program for long-term care facilities, whose residents were disproportionality impacted by the pandemic. CVS Pharmacy teams will administer the first dose of the Pfizer vaccine in facilities across 12 states this week, and the company expects to vaccinate up to four million residents and staff at over 40,000 long-term care facilities through the program. “Today’s rollout is the culmination of months of internal planning and demonstrates how the private sector can use its expertise to help solve some of our most critical challenges,” said Larry J. Merlo, President and Chief Executive Officer, CVS Health. “I’m grateful for the herculean efforts of everyone involved, including our health care professionals who will be deployed throughout the country to bring peace of mind to long-term care facility residents, staff, and their loved ones.” This isn’t the first time the retail corporation has taken steps to help those impacted by the coronavirus. In October CVS opened 21 testing sites at stores in Texas. CVS Pharmacy teams will make three visits to each long-term care facility...
    A healthcare worker at the Portland Veterans Affairs Medical Center receives COVID-19 a vaccination on December 16, 2020 in Portland, Oregon. The first rounds of Pfizer's vaccine were administered in Oregon on Wednesday.Nathan Howard | Getty Images For nursing homes across the country, the coronavirus pandemic has been especially marked by isolation, illness and loss. On Friday, CVS Health and Walgreens will begin Covid-19 vaccinations for residents and staff at those long-term care facilities, making them among the first Americans to receive the shots. Walgreens said its pharmacists will administer the shots at nursing homes and assisted living facilities in Ohio, Connecticut and Florida. CVS said it will provide them at facilities in Ohio and Connecticut. Both companies will expand to facilities in other states next week. The vaccine rollout at long-term care facilities is one of the early steps of a national effort aimed at reaching the most at-risk Americans and then the general public. It's a speedier start for the companies, which expected to begin vaccinations next week. Health-care workers, including those who work in emergency rooms and...
    Thursday, during an event at Grady Memorial Hospital, Governor Brian Kemp announced the State of Georgia will continue staff augmentation funding to support hospitals and nursing homes across Georgia through early March 2021. “Our frontline healthcare workers have been invaluable heroes in our fight with COVID-19,” said Governor Kemp. “In recent months, they have gone above and beyond, working long hours away from their families, as we face a once-in-a-century public health crisis. Hospital and long-term care facility leaders have been our eyes and ears on the front lines, making us aware of any issues so the state can respond quickly to help them keep Georgians healthy. Due to the realities of a worldwide pandemic and increased demand on healthcare professionals, staffing has remained a key challenge for every facility. “To date, the state has done everything in its power to support our healthcare facilities with plans to spend approximately $250 million on additional staff by the end of 2020. As we look ahead, it is critical that we continue our...
    TALLAHASSEE (CBSMiami/NSF) — Florida Governor Ron DeSantis announced that the state is preparing to receive 367,000 doses of the yet-to-be approved Moderna vaccine next week. The doses will be distributed to 173 counties in 43 counties, the announcement said. The federal government is expected to give emergency use authorization to the Moderna vaccine on Friday. Trump administration officials said this week that the logistics for the Moderna vaccine are the same as the Pfizer vaccine and that states should expect shipments to arrive as early as Monday. Meanwhile, long-term care residents and staff members at facilities in Broward and Pinellas counties began receiving COVID-19 vaccinations Wednesday after Gov. Ron DeSantis directed “strike” teams to use the state’s supply of a coveted Pfizer vaccine at the facilities. “Our residents of long-term care facilities are more susceptible to negative outcomes than people who are very young, and we also knew that protecting them was important. It’s been a big mission for my administration since day one,” DeSantis said. DeSantis made the remarks at a news conference at John Knox Village of Pompano...
    SAN JOSE, Calif. (KGO) -- With the arrival of the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine, work is underway across the country to deliver it to the populations who need it most. In Santa Clara County, the public health department says that staff members in long-term care facilities will get first priority."The thing that has been the most stressful and the most distressing to me as a daughter has been the isolation of my elderly father," said San Jose resident Kelly Snider, whose father lives in a senior care home and interacts with staff on a daily basis. "I think that the workers in these facilities are heroes."RELATED: Can you buy a COVID-19 vaccine? Stanford expert weighs in as 1st batch of doses heads to CaliforniaThere are 6,000 people who work in long-term care facilities in Santa Clara County.The county will begin inoculating those frontline workers who opt-in, ahead of hospitals that are expected to receive their vaccine allocation directly from Pfizer at the end of the week. Residents in these facilities will be offered the vaccine later in the month through a...
    By SUSAN HAIGH, Associated Press HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — Up to five nursing homes could begin vaccinating staff and residents sooner than the state's planned Dec. 21 rollout for long-term care facilities, under a joint state-federal initiative involving Connecticut and three other states. Connecticut officials are currently in the process of working with long-term care facilities across the state, trying to identify which ones can be ready for vaccinations as soon as Friday, Gov. Ned Lamont's communications director confirmed to The Associated Press on Wednesday. “From our standpoint, it’s an opportunity for us to get the vaccine in arms as quickly as possible to try to help our long-term care facilities, especially as the surge continues,” Max Reiss said. The names of the particular nursing homes have not yet been released. A spokeswoman for The Reservoir in West Hartford, which is owned by Genesis Heath Care, confirmed to the Hartford Courant that the facility will get vaccinations on Friday. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has said vaccine clinics at select long-term care facilities in Connecticut, Florida, Ohio...
    MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Soon, the COVID-19 vaccine will also be available at long-term care facilities where residents are most at risk. Long-term care workers and residents in Minnesota could start getting the vaccine as soon as Monday. It was Christmas party day at EagleCrest in Roseville, a socially distanced affair; distance is unfortunately what residents like Bill Gamble are used to. “I guess it just sort of makes you feel like you are left behind,” he said. That’s a first for the life-embracing 100-year-old. The doctor of agriculture and his beloved wife started a loving and social family, a family he’d like to see again soon. He has a plan. “I definitely want the vaccine. I’ve already put in my order,” he said. EagleCrest is part of Presbyterian Homes — 40 sites and 8,000 Minnesota residents. They are preparing to get the vaccine as soon as next week. “People are excited. There’s some apprehension too just because it’s so new but I think overall it’s an air of excitement,” campus administrator Danielle Salisbury said. “It’s just one of those protections...
    Photo via NSFLong-term care residents and staff members at facilities in Broward and Pinellas counties began receiving COVID-19 vaccinations Wednesday after Gov. Ron DeSantis directed “strike” teams to use the state’s supply of a coveted Pfizer vaccine at the facilities. “Our residents of long-term care facilities are more susceptible to negative outcomes than people who are very young, and we also knew that protecting them was important. It’s been a big mission for my administration since day one,” DeSantis said. DeSantis made the remarks at a news conference at John Knox Village of Pompano Beach in Broward County. Vera Leip, an 88-year-old retired teacher, was the first resident of the facility to roll up her sleeve and get vaccinated against the virus that causes COVID-19. Florida received 179,400 doses of the Pfizer vaccine this week. About 100,000 were sent to five Florida hospitals, and tens of thousands of doses went to CVS and Walgreens, which signed agreements with the federal government to vaccinate residents and staff members at long-term care facilities. DeSantis also directed 21,450 doses be sent to the...
              A total of 5,850 doses of vaccines arrived in Georgia Monday, as part of a “two-dose series.” According to the Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH), “initial COVID-19 vaccine supply is limited, DPH is following the recommendations of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) and prioritizing healthcare personnel and residents of long-term care facilities for vaccination. Vaccine will be given through closed points of dispensing or PODs. These sites include public health clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, pharmacies, etc., and are only accessible to individuals in defined priority groups.” Shipments of the vaccine arrived in Coastal Georgia at two public health locations with ultra cold freezers required for storage and temperature control of the vaccine, according to a release from the Department of Public Health. There will be additional shipments of vaccine expected later this week at facilities in other parts of the state, including metro Atlanta. Vaccines are prioritized for healthcare personnel, as well as residents of long-term care facilities. In Savannah, health care workers...
    PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – Back in July, we saw an average of 40 residents in nursing homes and long-term care facilities testing positive each week across the state. That number gave hope to family members, considering case numbers peaked in the mid-500s back in May. Now we’re looking at the highest case numbers we’ve ever seen. KDKA’s Meghan Schiller interviewed one family back in July almost in celebration. Cases kept dropping in senior living facilities and the family hoped to be able to hug their loved one by the end of the summer. Now it’s the week before Christmas, cases are higher than ever before and their loved one just tested positive. It’s hard enough to move a loved one into a new senior living facility, let alone 9 months deep into a pandemic. “We found a place 2 miles up the road in Cranberry called Paramount and they’ve been wonderful,” said Gary Williams. We first met Williams in early July when his dad Jay celebrated his 85th birthday. The family celebrated with cake and talked to him through the window....
    DENVER (CBS4) – Residents and staff at long-term care facilities are among the first to get the initial round of coronavirus vaccines in Colorado. However, they likely won’t be administered for another week or more. As part of a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention program, facilities are partnered with a participating pharmacy, largely CVS and Walgreens, to oversee the distribution and patient delivery from start to finish while following strict guidelines, including consent several days ahead of any clinic. (credit: CBS) For the staff at Holly Heights Care Center in Denver, it has already been a long 10 months – working everyday trying to protect their residents and themselves against the virus. “It was really tough when COVID first started. Emotionally traumatic, physically traumatic, we didn’t have PPE. We couldn’t get testing, and the testing, when we did get it, would take 10 days,” Executive Director Janet Snipes said. On Monday, she says they have more equipment, more guidance and new hope on their side. “The vaccination will truly be a game changer,” Snipes said. Logistically however, administering the...
    Amid mass deliveries of the first wave of Pfizer’s coronavirus vaccines, Gen. Gustave Perna, Operation Warp Speed chief operating officer, said 55 of the 145 initial distribution sites received shipments by around noon on Monday. “Deliveries have begun today as we speak," Perna told reporters during a Monday call. "Of the 145 shipments the Secretary [Alex Azar] referenced, we know that 55 have been received and we will track the remaining [shipments] as we go through the day... We know the shipments for tomorrow’s deliveries have been packed and checked, we’ll be managing each of those.” The first shipments were said to arrive in 145 distribution centers Monday across 50 states, with an additional 425 sites getting shipments Tuesday and the remaining 66 on Wednesday. While Monday marked the initial push, the coming days will serve as a “drumbeat of continuous execution” of Pfizer’s vaccine, Perna said. Boxes containing the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine are prepared to be shipped at the Pfizer Global Supply Kalamazoo manufacturing plant in Portage, Mich., Sunday, Dec. 13, 2020. (AP Photo/Morry Gash, Pool) Officials also anticipate emergency authorization of Moderna’s vaccine...
    By BLAKE ALSUP, The Daily Journal PONTOTOC, Miss. (AP) — Residents of nursing homes and assisted living facilities in the 41 counties will have the opportunity to visit with their families virtually this holiday season thanks to a $100,000 grant from the Mississippi Department of Human Services. Over the next few days, MDHS Area on Aging Agencies will distribute 400 Chromebooks to 167 locations across the northern half of the state. Bill Renick, Three Rivers Planning & Development District’s WIOA Division Director, announced the program during a press conference at the Three Rivers office in Pontotoc on Wednesday. Representatives from multiple planning and development districts will distribute the laptops to nursing home and assisted living facilities in their coverage areas. The plan is to use the laptops to facilitate virtual visits between assisted living and nursing home residents and their families during the holidays. With the elderly population among the most vulnerable to the effects of COVID-19, such facilities have shut their doors to in-person visits during the pandemic. “This is going to be like a real ‘Miracle on 34th...
    As the network of federal and state officials, pharmacies and health care facilities prepare for the complex distribution of the first COVID-19 vaccines, plans for giving the life-saving doses to nursing home residents are taking shape, but patient advocates still have concerns about the difficult question of consent and what to do if there is not enough to go around. Under California’s guidelines, staff and the residents of long-term care facilities are among the first groups to get the vaccines, along with workers at hospitals and health care facilities who are most at risk of exposure to the coronavirus. While it’s unclear how many doses will be initially available for the state’s care facilities, the state’s directive spells out a hierarchy of prioritization based on types and locations of facilities, and then individuals’ attributes, including age and underlying medical conditions. At long-term care facilities, which have had more than 7,000 COVID-19 deaths among patients and staff since the beginning of the pandemic, the vaccines will be given through a federal partnership with CVS and Walgreens, who also have contracts with...
    A pharmacist helps a customer at a Walgreens pharmacy in Wheeling, Illinois.Getty Images Walgreens said it expects to get its first doses of the Covid-19 vaccine on Dec. 21 and start giving shots to nursing home residents and staff members in the days leading up to Christmas. The national drugstore chain will play an instrumental role in the early rollout of the much-anticipated vaccination. Walgreens and CVS Health struck deals with the federal government to vaccinate staff and residents at long-term care facilities, which most states have put at the top of the priority list along with health-care workers for receiving Pfizer and Moderna's much-awaited Covid-19 vaccines. Pfizer's vaccine is expected to win emergency clearance from the Food and Drug Administration imminently while Moderna's approval is expected to soon follow. The start of vaccinations at nursing homes will represent a significant milestone in the coronavirus pandemic because long-term care facilities have been particularly hard hit with Covid-19 outbreaks and deaths. They are typically home to older Americans who have underlying health conditions, making them more vulnerable to develop severe cases of the...
    Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) on Thursday detailed the Sunshine State’s plan to distribute the first doses of the Pfizer vaccine, which it will soon receive from the federal government, explaining that they will be reserved for residents of long-term care facilities and healthcare workers in high risk and high contact environments. The federal government, DeSantis said, has allocated Florida 179,400 doses of the Pfizer vaccine for the first shipment, and the governor expects the state to receive it within the week: Florida will receive 179,400 doses of the Pfizer vaccine & we are prioritizing our most vulnerable residents & high-exposure health care personnel to receive the vaccine first. We are also mobilizing strike teams to supplement vaccination of long-term care residents. pic.twitter.com/wmBcE4pGD1 — Ron DeSantis (@GovRonDeSantis) December 10, 2020 “We are working to get as much vaccine for our citizens as possible, but Florida will not, nor will any state, have enough to vaccinate everyone right off the bat. So we set priorities,” DeSantis said, identifying those in long-term care facilities as a top priority. They are at the...
    AUSTIN (CBSDFW.COM) – Governor Greg Abbott today announced that the State of Texas will participate in the Pharmacy Partnership for Long-Term Care Program, a federal program to vaccinate residents and staff of long-term care facilities against COVID-19. “The Pharmacy Partnership for Long-Term Care Program will help the State of Texas facilitate safe vaccinations among some of our most vulnerable populations, and it will help us protect residents and staff of long-term care facilities from COVID-19,” said Governor Abbott. “I thank the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for offering this program free of charge to these facilities and for working alongside us to keep our communities safe.” The program is free of charge to facilities and sends staff and Pfizer vaccines from partnering Walgreens and CVS locations to vaccinate residents and staff who volunteer to participate. More than 1,200 skilled nursing facilities and over 2,000 other long-term care facilities have signed up for the program — totaling more than 225,000 certified beds. The first vaccines included in this program will be provided to pharmacies the week of December 21, 2020,...
    BENNINGTON, Vt. (AP) — Nursing homes and other long-term care facilities across Vermont are preparing for the arrival of the COVID-19 vaccines to protect residents from the disease. State officials have said that pending federal approval, the first doses of the vaccine could begin arriving in the state as early as next week. The head of the Vermont Veterans’ Home in Bennington says they are tentatively scheduling two clinics at the home on Jan. 2 and Jan. 23. CEO Melissa Jackson says both vaccines being considered for distribution require two doses three weeks apart. “We have a lot of general information, not as much specific yet,” said Jackson. Dane Rank, administrator at Thompson House in Brattleboro, said the pharmacy services company contracted to administer the vaccine, will be hosting clinics on Dec. 28, Jan. 18 and Feb. 8. Rank said staff and residents will be receiving two injections of the vaccine 21 days apart. Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Tags: Associated Press, infectious diseases, Vermont, business, health, public...
    FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — Employees of the Legislative Research Commission have launched a campaign to send hand-written holiday cards to every long-term care facility around the state. The goal was to send at least one card to each facility, but some have asked for cards for each resident. There are around 250 facilities in the state. “If your family is anything like mine, curtailing holiday traditions because of social distancing has been hard on the soul,” Commission Director Jay Hartz said. “My hope is this card-writing initiative fosters some of that human connection lost with the restrictions.” More than 50 employees have volunteered to write messages on the cards with some getting other family members involved, said Legislative Services Training and Education Coordinator Lisa Thomas. The goal is to have at least 350 cards written and ready to be mailed by Dec. 11. Employees say they are excited to spread some joy during the holiday season. Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Tags: Kentucky, Associated PressRelated ArticlesBest StatesThe States...
    By RANDALL CHASE, Associated Press DOVER, Del. (AP) — A state advisory panel is recommending that Delaware officials follow federal suggestions for prioritizing distribution of COVID-19 vaccines with an initial focus on health care industry workers and long-term care facilities. The Delaware Public Health and Medical Ethics Advisory Group voted Tuesday to accept the recommendation of the federal Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices to target health care workers and residents and staff of long-term care facilities in the first phase of vaccine distribution. In doing so, the state panel agreed to accept the CDC’s definition of health care personnel, which includes not just direct-care providers such as doctors and nurses, but virtually anyone working in a health care setting. That also would include maintenance, laundry and administrative personnel who potentially could be exposed to infectious agents. The panel also signaled its intent to include personal attendants and direct care providers working with people with disabilities in community or home settings in the high-priority “1A” group. Disabled people themselves currently remain in the second priority “1B”group for vaccine distribution. That group...
    A Washington state wedding last month that hosted more than 300 people may now be linked to deadly coronavirus outbreaks at two long-term care facilities, officials said Friday.  The Nov. 7 wedding at a private location near Ritzville, Wash., first gained attention when nearly 40 attendees from the neighboring Grant County had tested positive for COVID-19 within 10 days of the event.  Washington state health guidelines at the time limited wedding ceremonies to 30 people.  The Grant County Health District is now saying that staff at two long-term care facilities who attended the wedding, which has been labeled by officials as a “super-spreader” event, contracted the virus.  According to ABC News, health officials said that the staff members worked while they were contagious, before they were aware that they were carrying the infection.  It was unclear as of Friday how many cases could be traced back to these employees and the event.  "They care for all residents so it will not be known which cases are tied to the staff," Grant County Health District administrator Theresa Adkinson told ABC in an...
    MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Minnesota health officials say we may be starting to see the impact of COVID-19 exposure from the Thanksgiving holiday. On Friday, they’re reporting 61 more deaths from the virus, and nearly 5,400 new cases of COVID-19 in the state. State leaders warn the community spread is impacting our long-term care facilities, and the ability to care for the people who live there. And they’re asking the community to do its part to slow the transmission of COVID-19. June Englund lives in independent senior living in Minneapolis. The 94-year-old says she’s keeping busy at home and feels safe, and getting tested for COVID weekly. “They come to our door, and they come with masks and they come with gowns and gloves,” Englund said. She worries about others who require more contact with healthcare workers exposed in the community, as they’re the most vulnerable. The state raised concerns too, saying rampant community spread is making its way to long-term care facilities, and impacting the ability to staff them. “The crisis starts to become … when everybody in a care...
    Sign up here to get our daily updates on coronavirus in Minnesota delivered straight to your inbox each afternoon. And go here to see all of MinnPost’s COVID-19 coverage. MinnPost provides updates on coronavirus in Minnesota Sunday through Friday. The information is published following a press phone call with members of the Walz administration or after the release of daily COVID-19 figures by the Minnesota Department of Health. Here are the latest updates from December 4, 2020: 338,973 cases; 3,845 deaths Cases, deaths, rise in long-term care facilities 338,973 cases; 3,845 deaths Sixty-one more Minnesotans have died of COVID-19, the Minnesota Department of Health said Friday, for a total of 3,845. Of the people whose deaths were announced Friday, 16 were in their 90s, 22 were in their 80s, 19 were in their 70s, three were in their 60s and one was in their 40s. Thirty-six of the 61 people whose deaths announced Friday were residents of long-term care facilities. Article continues after advertisement Forty-one of the deaths came in Greater Minnesota while 20 came in the...
    Minnesota Governor Tim Walz and health officials are giving a COVID-19 update Friday. They are expected to highlight the ways the state is working to protect residents in long-term care facilities, a demographic that has been hit hardest by the pandemic. CBS Minnesota reports 2,559 residents in such facilities have died since the outbreak began in March, and about 30% of people in the state who are living in long-term care facilities such has nursing homes have contracted the virus.How to watch Minnesota Governor Tim Walz's COVID-19 update What: Minnesota Governor Tim Walz gives an update on COVID-19, including the state's effort to slow the spread in long-term care facilities   Date: Friday, December 4, 2020 Time: 2 p.m. local time (3 p.m. ET) Online stream: Live on CBSN Minnesota in the player above and on your mobile or streaming device  Minnesota health officials on Friday reported 5,371 new cases of COVID-19 and 61 more deaths. The state's total death toll stands at 3,845.  Get Breaking News Delivered to Your Inbox As of Thursday, 1,679...
    Health officials in New Hampshire announced seven new outbreaks of the novel coronavirus on Thursday, six of which are occurring in a long-term care facility. The seventh involves a cluster of cases at the Department of Corrections Secure Psychiatric Unit, where 10 residents and 14 staff have tested positive for the virus. Dr. Ben Chan, the state’s epidemiologist, also announced seven new deaths on Thursday, the majority of which occurred in residents of long-term care facilities. The total number of fatalities the state has seen related to the outbreak is now 544. “So, I just want to pause and briefly comment that we continue to hear people comparing COVID-19 to influenza,” Chan said, during a press conference. “And while the symptoms of COVID-19 and influenza are very similar, if not the same in most circumstances, the consequences and the impact on our communities from COVID-19 is much more severe. And I think that that’s clearly highlighted in the number of people dying from COVID-19 compared to the number of people that normally die from influenza every year.” CORONAVIRUS SURGE 'LIKELY'...
    SEATTLE (AP) — The Washington state Department of Social and Health Services will send teams of registered nurses and other health care workers to long-term care facilities across the state with staffing shortages caused by the pandemic, officials said. Under the state department plan, six “rapid response” teams will work at assisted-living facilities, nursing homes and other long-term care providers where employees tested positive for the virus or were quarantined, The Seattle Times reported. The teams are comprised of 48 registered nurse, licensed practical nurses and certified nursing assistants that will go to counties with the highest virus rates: King, Pierce, Snohomish, Clark, Yakima and Spokane counties. The state Department of Social and Health Services made the announcement Thursday after a surge of confirmed cases in long-term care facilities. More than half of the residents and most of the staff at McKay Healthcare & Rehab in Grant County tested positive for COVID-19 in late October, leaving just three nurses, including the facility director, to care for the remaining seven residents. “I have a hard time comprehending now that we were...
    PHOTO VIA ADOBE IMAGESFlorida on Thursday ramped up plans to vaccinate seniors for COVID-19 by publishing two emergency rules that require nursing homes and assisted living facilities to allow representatives from the state health department, CVS and Walgreens into the facilities. The emergency rules from Gov. Ron DeSantis’ administration also gave nursing homes and assisted living facilities until the end of Thursday to sign up on state-supported websites to participate in what’s known as the Pharmacy Partnership for Long-term Care  Program. Announced by President Donald Trump’s administration as part of “Operation Warp Speed,” the government signed agreements in the program with CVS and Walgreens to coordinate efforts to bring vaccines to long-term care centers free of charge  The pair of emergency rules will remain in effect for 90 days but can be extended. Facilities that fail to follow the rules can have their licenses suspended, revoked or face administrative fines. While facilities will be required to allow representatives of the health department and the pharmacy companies to enter and provide vaccinations, the rules say receiving the shots will be voluntary...
    (CNN)The vote to recommend long-term care residents be among the first to receive Covid-19 vaccinations was not unanimous.Out of a panel of 14 CDC vaccine advisers, a lone doctor said no."Odd woman out, I guess," Dr. Helen "Keipp" Talbot, of Vanderbilt University, told her colleagues. "I still struggle with this. This was not an easy vote."Talbot was worried about whether the vaccine would even work in such frail, vulnerable patients. Even more, she worried about how it might look if the vaccine failed in that group, or how it would affect public perception if residents died soon after getting the vaccine.On the other hand, these are the people worst hit by the pandemic. They make up 40% of all deaths so far.Health care workers and long-term care facility residents should get Covid-19 vaccine first, CDC vaccine advisers sayRead MoreNursing homes in the Midwest have been particularly hard hit, with a more than 400% increase in weekly cases since mid-September, according to a report published Tuesday by the American Health Care Association and National Center for Assisted Living. During the week...
    TALLAHASSEE (CBSMiami/NSF) — Florida on Thursday ramped up plans to vaccinate seniors for COVID-19 by publishing two emergency rules that require nursing homes and assisted living facilities to allow representatives from the state health department, CVS and Walgreens into the facilities. The emergency rules from Gov. Ron DeSantis’ administration also gave nursing homes and assisted living facilities until the end of Thursday to sign up on state-supported websites to participate in what’s known as the Pharmacy Partnership for Long-term Care Program. Announced by President Donald Trump’s administration as part of “Operation Warp Speed,” the government signed agreements in the program with CVS and Walgreens to coordinate efforts to bring vaccines to long-term care centers free of charge The pair of emergency rules will remain in effect for 90 days but can be extended. Facilities that fail to follow the rules can have their licenses suspended, revoked or face administrative fines. While facilities will be required to allow representatives of the health department and the pharmacy companies to enter and provide vaccinations, the rules say receiving the shots will be...
    By BRENDAN FARRINGTON, Associated Press TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — Residents in nursing homes and assisted-living facilities will be the first to get a coronavirus vaccine when Florida begins receiving it later this month, Gov. Ron DeSantis said. DeSantis' priorities, announced in in a video Wednesday evening, largely reflect the recommendations of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “We want to get as much vaccine for our citizens as possible, but we know we will not, nor will any state, have enough to vaccinate everyone right off the bat,” DeSantis said in the three-minute video. He said long-term care residents are most vulnerable to the virus. “They are at the greatest risk and this vaccine can have a tremendously positive impact on them. No. 2 will be health care workers who are in high-risk and high-contact environments. And No. 3, to the extent we have enough, we want to start getting it out to the broader 65 and over communities as well as those who have significant comorbidities,” DeSantis said. The Florida Health Care Association, which represents nursing homes and...
    Sr. Jeanne Arsenault returns to her room after breakfast at St. Chretienne Retirement Residence, a home for Catholic nuns in Marlborough, MA on August 26, 2020. Arsenault fell ill to COVID-19 during the outbreak.Craig F. Walker | Boston Globe | Getty Images The coronavirus death toll at U.S. nursing homes at the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic was brutal and unrelenting. The Life Care Center nursing home outside Seattle, Washington, made international headlines in March after the coronavirus ripped through its residents and staff, resulting in at least 123 infections and dozens of deaths. In New Jersey, public officials discovered 17 dead bodies piled into a makeshift morgue in a nursing home in April when Covid-19 fatalities overwhelmed the facility. Nursing homes across the U.S., which house the most vulnerable of society, quickly became ground zero for countless coronavirus outbreaks across the U.S. in the early months of the pandemic. While the outbreak subsided somewhat this fall, long-term care facilities are now seeing their most intense surge in Covid-19 cases since at least the summer. As new cases...
              Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine announced a new indoor air quality program on Tuesday designed to curb the spread of the coronavirus in long-term care facilities. The program — funded by the federal CARES act — will target senior living facilities such as nursing homes, assisted living centers and adult day centers. Of the federal funding provided to the state, $28 million will be earmarked for HVAC inspections, portable air filtration systems, new filtration systems, maintenance on current systems, and other interventions in these facilities. Purchases made on or after March 1 and up to December 30 to improve indoor air quality are eligible for funding. Facilities can receive up to $15,000 in funding. The program was approved by Ohio’s Bureau of Workers’ Compensation Board of Directors last Wednesday. “As we move into colder months and spend more time inside, proper ventilation and filtration are even more important to stop the spread of COVID-19,” DeWine said in a statement. Although air filtration alone cannot prevent the spread of the coronavirus, the Environmental Protection Agency...
    SAN ANTONIO – Many people are hopeful after an emergency meeting of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s panel of advisers got together to discuss a distribution plan for the COVID-19 vaccine and determine who would get it first. The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices voted 13-1 to recommend priority be given to health care workers and those living in long-term care facilities in the first days of any coming vaccination program. Individual states will still need to decide what recommendations will follow since supply will be limited once the vaccine is approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Eryn Morris, whose mother is staying in a long-term care facility in Seguin, is hopeful for what’s to come. “Back in March, they shut all of these facilities down,” Morris said. “I haven’t seen my mother since March. I am excited about the news. It is not about my mother. It is about the other residents there. That is why vaccines exist -- to protect the most vulnerable. Not that we don’t need it out here. They need it...
    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention panel responsible for guiding the rollout of COVID-19 vaccines voted Tuesday 13 to 1 to include both healthcare workers and residents of long-term care facilities in the first group that will receive inoculations. “We see that the individuals living in long term care facilities… are at an exceptional risk for mortality morbidity due to this virus and disease,” said Dr. Jose Romero, chairman of the committee. “I believe that my vote reflects maximum benefit, minimum harm.” The body, the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, prioritized healthcare workers because they are essential to the COVID-19 response. Long-term care facility residents were prioritized because they are one of the most vulnerable populations. Residents and staff of skilled nursing facilities and assisted living facilities amount to less than 1% of the U.S. population but account for 6% of infections and 40% of deaths due to the coronavirus. While the committee can make recommendations for allocating the first doses of the vaccine, the decisions for distributing the shots will ultimately fall to state governments....
    CHICAGO (CBS) — The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Tuesday took a vote to recommend that health care workers and residents of long-term care facilities receive the first access to a coronavirus vaccine. The vote by the CDC Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices followed a meeting over Zoom on Tuesday afternoon, in which the advisers discussed procedures to identify and report any possible adverse effects from the vaccine – among other issues. Health care workers and long-term care facility residents would receive the vaccine in Phase 1a once the vaccine is approved by the Food and Drug Administration. A proposal that has not yet been subjected to a vote calls for essential workers to receive the vaccine in Phase 1b, and people over 65 or with medical conditions that place them at high risk in Phase 1c. The vote in favor came despite reservations from some advisers about providing first access to long-term care facility residents, due to a lack of vaccine safety and efficacy data in that group. Earlier Tuesday, Dr. Allison Arwady, head of the Chicago...
    A panel of independent experts advising the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in a public meeting on Tuesday voted that health care workers and residents of long-term care facilities will be the first to receive the long-awaited coronavirus vaccine.  The recommendations now must be approved by CDC Director Dr. Robert Redfield before the vaccine can be distributed to states and ultimately to the groups part of the Phase 1A distribution plans.  The plan to distribute the vaccine to health care workers and long-term care residents is also dependent on authorization from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which still has to approve an application of emergency use from pharmaceutical giant Pfizer, the first to apply, and biotech company Moderna. Both companies have developed coronavirus vaccine candidates that have proven over 90% effective in late-stage clinical trials.  Following FDA approval, the first Americans could receive the jab as early as this month. This is a developing story. Please check back for updates. Madeline Farber is a Reporter for Fox News. You can follow her on Twitter @MaddieFarberUDK.
    This is a horrible way to have to spend the holidays for families with members in long-term care. Here's a simple program that could easily be replicated across the country, one that could make the holidays for long-term care patients living through coronavirus just a little bit better. Throughout the holidays, the Ohio Area Agencies on Aging, Ohio Medicaid program, and the five private Medicaid managed care organizations are teaming up to train volunteers and pair them up with nursing home residents for twice-weekly 30-minute phone calls. The Aging agencies will train volunteers on how to be phone pals for the residents. They will also be trained using the UCLA Loneliness Scale to identify residents who might need more intervention to treat depression and other issues arising from their isolation. Any nursing home that has at least 50 residents receiving Medicaid assistance is eligible to participate. In announcing the program, Ohio Medicaid Director Maureen Corcoran said "Research shows us that the holidays are an emotionally challenging time for those residing in shared living facilities, a reality exacerbated by months of...
              MINNEAPOLIS, Minnesota (AP) — Gov. Tim Walz said Wednesday that a bipartisan pandemic relief package may materialize as soon as next week to provide assistance to businesses hurt by the shutdown meant to slow the spread of the virus Walz said during a tour of a Brooklyn Park warehouse facility where he was helping to package emergency food boxes that he and lawmakers are “pretty close” to an agreement on a relief package, the Star Tribune reported. The Democratic governor and Minnesota House Republicans unveiled separate relief initiatives on Tuesday to provide economic assistance to small businesses, workers and families struggling amid the pandemic. The Minnesota Department of Health on Wednesday reported 6,399 new cases and 72 more deaths, matching the single-day high for deaths since the start of the pandemic and bringing the state’s totals to 289,303 cases and 3,375 deaths. More than 1,800 COVID-19 patients were hospitalized Wednesday in Minnesota, including 387 who were in intensive care. The seven-day rolling average of daily deaths in Minnesota has nearly doubled over the...
    Deaths at long-term care facilities linked to coronavirus surpassed 100,000 in the United States as of Tuesday, according to new data. On Wednesday, non-profit organization Kaiser Family Foundation released the statistics, which show more than 100,033 residents and staff in long-term care facilities throughout the country lost their lives due to COVID-19 since the beginning of the pandemic. “This week marks a bleak milestone in the pandemic’s effect on residents and staff in long-term care facilities across the country. According to our latest analysis of state-reported data, COVID-19 has claimed the lives of more than 100,000 long-term care facility residents and staff as of the last week in November,” the report read. The new data is based on reports from 49 states and Washington, DC and they show an increase of nearly 16,000 deaths for the month. Information from Alaska was not used. Ambulance workers pickup an elderly man from Cobble Hill Health Center, the nursing home that recently registered an alarming amount of covid-19 deaths.Getty Images In October, there were 84,136 deaths linked to coronavirus since the beginning of...
    MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — This Thanksgiving will be yet another tough day for people living in isolation in long-term care facilities. More than half of the group homes in Minnesota currently have COVID-19 outbreaks, affecting residents and staff. Restrictions have tightened again, meaning in most places that residents can’t leave for Thanksgiving or have visitors. Jim and Clara Hansen have a lot to be grateful for. The sweethearts raised their family in Grand Forks, where Jim was a sports writer. “Basically, I was a poor Sid Hartman [laugh]!” Jim Hansen said. At 91, he has seen a lot, but COVID is a first. “Basically our lives have changed,” Hansen said. “They will never be the same.” And Thanksgiving won’t be the same either. For the first time, he won’t be able to eat with the family — or finally meet the newest family member. Instead, they will have a family conference call. “We can visit with the kids and grandkids and it will be fun, it will be different but it will be fun,” he said. “It’s what you...
    Gov. Ron DeSantis on Nov. 25 giving an update on the COVID-19 vaccine distribution.Photo via Ron DeSantis/TwitterGov. Ron DeSantis has announced updated plans on COVID-19 vaccine distribution and new coronavirus treatments ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday. As the vaccine awaits approval from the Food and Drug Administration, the state is already putting in plans on distribution among its most vulnerable populations, including elderly residents and health care workers. DeSantis said the initial doses of the vaccine are estimated to be 40 million by the end of December nationwide. Each vaccine requires two doses, meaning about 20 million Americans will likely be vaccinated initially, forcing the state to prioritize its distribution. The pre-Thanksgiving update follows Gov. DeSantis’ recent conversations with officials from Operation Warp Speed, as well as CVS Senior Vice President of Pharmacy Growth Chris Cox and Walgreens Vice President of Specialty Pharmacy Luke Sauter. Both pharmacy executives assured DeSantis once the vaccine is available for use, it will be deployed to Florida’s more than 4,000 long-term care facilities, and more than 3,000 long-term care facilities have already signed up.  “Our goal will be to provide vaccines to...
    MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — A surge in COVID-19 cases has led to critical staffing shortages at some Minnesota nursing homes and assisted living facilities, forcing the state to send the National Guard to help out and ask all state employees to consider volunteering in facilities. New data from the Minnesota Department of Health shows 90% of the state's nursing homes and 58% of assisted-living facilities have active virus outbreaks. The data includes more than 70 senior care homes that didn’t have any COVID-19 infected residents one month ago, the Star Tribune reported. Minnesota Health Commissioner Jan Malcolm said Tuesday that 47 long-term care facilities are in “a crisis staffing situation” and are receiving active support from the state, including help from federal health nurses. Gov. Tim Walz's administration has taken the unusual step of emailing all state employees and asking them to consider volunteering for two-week stints in long-term care facilities, particularly in greater Minnesota. The email, which was sent to the heads of all state agencies, says no prior experience is required, and the state would cover travel and temporary...
    New Jersey's health commissioner urged families not to take residents out of long-term care facilities for the holidays -- and warned that they might not get right back in if they do – as the number of COVID-19 cases statewide continue to spike. Guidelines issued by Health Commissioner Judith Persichilli include a mandatory 14-day quarantine for any long-term care resident, either in their own room or in an observation room, once they return to the facility after a family visit. For that reason, Persichilli urged the facilities to create a “reservation list,” as well as a waiting list, based on the number of residents who can be quarantined at a time. Administrators were also told to tell families that residents who leave without a reservation or while on a waiting list “may not be guaranteed readmittance to the facility at the end of their visit.” “We remain concerned about the number of outbreaks we are seeing in long-term care,” Persichilli said, “so we need to be especially vigilant to protect this population. “Small family gatherings are a significant driver of...
    PHOTO VIA ADOBE IMAGESThe number of Florida long-term care residents and staff members who have died of COVID-19 since the start of the pandemic topped 7,000 on Sunday, while the state saw an overall jump of more than 10,000 cases of the infectious disease. The 7,002 reported long-term care deaths --- the vast majority involving residents of nursing homes and assisted living facilities --- was a grim reminder of the toll that COVID-19 has taken on seniors and people with underlying health conditions. About 40 percent of the COVID-19 deaths in Florida during the pandemic have been linked to long-term care facilities, according to state data. Florida also reported an overall increase of 10,105 COVID-19 cases Sunday, as it and other states face a wave of infections. During the week-long period that ended Sunday, Florida added 41,304 cases and 397 deaths of residents, bringing the overall death toll of residents to 17,518. The spike in cases also has been reflected in hospitalizations. As of mid-afternoon Sunday, the state reported 3,118 people hospitalized because of “primary” diagnoses of COVID-19. That was...
    DENVER (CBS4)– Updated guidelines require continued COVID-19 testing at skilled nursing facilities, long-term care facilities, assisted living residences, group homes and intermediate care facilities. This includes all of Colorado. (credit: iStock/Getty) All long-term care facilities must implement ongoing surveillance testing, plus outbreak testing as needed. Surveillance testing will be required weekly for staff as well as for any residents who have left the facility. All surveillance and outbreak testing will be conducted using polymerase chain reaction or PCR tests. Any positive test within a facility will initiate outbreak testing of all residents and staff, regardless if they have coronavirus related symptoms.
            by Scott McClallen   Gov. Tim Walz on Wednesday requested staffing support from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) for long-term care facilities and hospitals. “Minnesota’s case counts are on the rise, which means the need for staffing support will continue to increase,” Walz wrote in a letter to FEMA administrator Pete Gaynor. “Securing this additional staffing support, in addition to extending the current staffing support on the ground in Minnesota, would significantly assist our state during this tenuous time.” Walz requested an additional 10 medical professionals to be sent to short-staffed facilities to help the state combat rising cases of COVID-19 and a 30-day extension of existing federal support. For months, the state has attempted to reduce the number of deaths in long-term care facilities across the state – the hardest hit population from COVID-19. For months, the state has attempted to reduce the number of COVID-19 deaths in nursing homes. COVID-19 has killed 2,530 Minnesotans. Long-term care residents accounted for 1,760, or 70%, of the states COVID-19 deaths. The novel coronavirus has disproportionately harmed older people....