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Health Team

COVID-19 outbreaks still impacting care facilities in North Carolina

Posted January 25, 2021 7:45 p.m. EST
Updated January 25, 2021 8:11 p.m. EST

— Despite being at the top of the priority list when it comes to COVID-19 vaccinations, outbreaks are still plaguing many long-term care facilities.

While some residents of care facilities have received their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine in late December, it wasn't enough to protect residents of some facilities.

Families of residents said they're frustrated that North Carolina's most vulnerable aren't protected.

Brad Newman helped move his mother-in-law Peggy to a care facility in Lee County about 15 months ago so she could be closer to her daughters.

Although, coronavirus free, Newman said the pandemic has taken its toll on his mother-in-law.

"According to them (Peggy's daughters), they can start to see the signs of declining mental health," said Newman.

Coronavirus vaccinations in NC

When the vaccine became a reality, the state Department of Health and Human Services named long-term care staff and residents a top vaccine priority.

Newman said he's frustrated his mother-in-law hasn't received the vaccine yet.

"Since she's 80 years old, I expected that the nursing home was going to be a top priority but it's been weeks since that announcement and there's been no place in place," he said.

CVS, Walgreens and public health departments have been put in charge of administering vaccines.

Newman said CVS is in charge of vaccinating Sanford Health.

A CVS spokesperson said the company has vaccinated all 231 skilled nursing homes it partnered with in North Carolina and has administered eight percent of the second doses there.

They've also vaccinated 99 percent of the 668 assisted living facilities and long-term care facilities they had planned too.

A spokesperson said they are scheduled to vaccinate people at Sanford Health on Wednesday.

Newman said it can't come fast enough.

"They haven't been able to spend any time with her, other than meeting her through a piece of plexiglass or through a window," he described.

A spokesperson for Walgreens said it has also completed all of its first round doses in North Carolina for care facilities.

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