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Less than 50% of nursing home workers vaccinated, according to state Majority of nursing home reside

Posted January 27, 2021 in Articles

Author: Tracy Carloss

CLEVELAND — Across the state, less than 50% of workers in Ohio’s 953 nursing homes have received the COVID-19 vaccine.

“So, we’re going to continue to work to get those numbers up,” said Ohio Governor Mike DeWine on Tuesday.

When the state rolled out its COVID-19 vaccine distribution plan, nursing homes were at the front of the line. DeWine said he made it a priority because 54% of Ohio’s COVID-19 deaths are linked to nursing homes.

Pete Van Runkle, Executive Director of Ohio Health Care Association, said the numbers have improved slightly since the first round of vaccines were distributed.

“Those folks have now become convinced something horrible isn’t going to happen to them because they saw their coworkers were just fine after having the shot.”

Georgia Wedderburn works at the Menorah Park Senior Living Community and got vaccinated.

“I want to be safe. I want to keep my family safe, my co-workers, my friends, and the elderly in the nursing home,” said Wedderburn.

Menorah Park said it focused on residents first.

“We did start about two weeks ago getting the staff vaccinated for many of the buildings on the campus,” said Richard Schwalberg, Menorah Park CEO.

At St Mary of the Woods in Avon, nearly all of the residents have been vaccinated and the number of workers vaccinated is higher than the state average, but still, safety protocols will be in place for the foreseeable future.

“We are continuing to mandate personal protective equipment, even myself, I’ve gotten both vaccines and I continue to wear an N-95 mask everywhere I go on this property, said Ben Massaro, administrator of St Mary of the Woods.

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