Posted: October 11, 2021

Aase Haugen Administrator Orson Bauder

October is here, time for the World Series in baseball. Football is now in full swing. It’s time to get the sweatshirts out and eat caramel apples. The new television premiers are out. Our weather is cooler, and the trees are turning color. Colleges and high schools are having their homecomings. There are hayrides with hot chocolate afterwards. Kids are carving their Halloween pumpkins and parents are sipping cider. Ah yes, Fall is here.

On September 22, the Food and Drug Administration amended the Emergency Use Authorization for the COVID-19 Pfizer vaccination to allow the use of a single booster dose to those who received the Pfizer vaccine and to be administered at least six months after completion of the primary series. The Pfizer vaccine is the vaccine the facility provided back in December of last year and in January of this year. We are planning to have our clinic on October 12, to get all residents and staff that want, and have received the series, a booster and a flu shot. We have checked into this to make sure that we can do this safely and we have had this confirmed by multiple sources including the CDC and the Advisory Committee on Immunizations Protocols. I am thrilled about this because we were having so many breakthrough cases. The last five staff members who had COVID were fully vaccinated at the time we ran our first series, so we know the Pfizer vaccine efficacy has been reduced over time. At this time the booster does not include Moderna or Johnson & Johnson. Although those companies are also seeking the same approval. We still have a high rate of COVID-19 in our County according to the CDC we are still over 10% so we will continue to test staff twice a week. Please continue to be careful and wear your mask when out in public. Pfizer is also now seeking approval for children ages 5 to 12.

Remember doctors also recommend that all residents and staff get a flu shot. Flu alone leads to 200,000 hospitalizations and about 36,000 deaths nationwide each year. We do have a compromised population that needs as much protection as possible, so get the flu shot too.

As for the vaccine mandate for nursing homes here is what has happened. The legislation to mandate all nursing home staff to be vaccinated was changed to now mandate all healthcare providers from clinics, hospitals and nursing homes. Making it an across the board mandate for all healthcare providers and tying it specifically to Medicare and Medicaid funding. Making the mandate mor equitable for all has delayed the legislation. At this time, it appears that the legislation will probably not get passed until the end of November. I want to remind everyone that 85% of our staff is fully vaccinated and we are expecting those to also get the booster. We do however have to follow the guidelines if someone got their shots later or if they received different vaccinations.

I want to remind everyone there is a staffing shortage everywhere and for all business. We are trying our very best to do a great job for everyone. Just a reminder to please be kind to our staff that is serving you and your loved one.

As always, we hope everything is going well for all our residents. Our staff works hard to ensure all our residents are well cared for, comfortable, and as happy as possible. However, if you do have a concern, please let us know as soon as possible. We cannot fix something if we do not know about it. Once we are aware of the concern, we will address it immediately and make every effort to correct it.

Happy Halloween!

Sincerely, Orson Bauder - Administrator