As frontline health care workers begin getting the COVID-19 vaccine, long-term care facilities and nursing homes across the state are preparing to give it to their employees and residents.
Both of those groups at care facilities are in Tier 1 of the state's vaccination plan.
The Diakonos Group is one company that will be impacted. The own and operates 22 different facilities across the state. Right now, they all are preparing for a COVID-19 vaccine.
Chief Operating Officer Kimberly Green said they are working with the state health department and partnering with both CVS and Walgreens to administer vaccines to residents and staff at their long-term care facilities, assisted living facilities and group homes.
Green said they will start vaccinations between December 22 and December 27, and the first vaccinations could take up to three days to administer at facilities, based on numbers and need.
Because the state has more than 300 nursing and assisted living facilities, Green is not sure when residents at all their buildings will be vaccinated, but the state has told them, their goal is by the end of the first quarter of 2021.
"We see it as a light at the end of the tunnel,” said Green. “We kept thinking initially this was for a few months and then it kept going and going and now it's blowing up even worse. And of course, the consequences to our residents and patients are significant and serious and without it being under control it makes it worse."
Green said the vaccine is not mandatory, but she said most of their residents are very excited to get it.