Each day, more and more residents and staff at Good Samaritan Society locations across the United States are getting the opportunity to get their first and second doses of a COVID-19 vaccine.
“To date, we have almost 80% of our residents who have been vaccinated,” says Nate Schema, Society vice president of operations.
Between the vaccination clinics and the Society’s safety protocols, positive cases at all locations combined are now under 100.
“Mid-November we were sitting at nearly 1,000 cases between residents and employees. It was some dark times. I’m really excited to say we’re in a different spot today,” Schema says.
New reopening guidance
That means many locations are starting to reopen to more frequent family visits. Staff members are also finding ways to bring loved ones in for more compassionate care visits.
Compassionate care visits are available for residents in need of physical or emotional support, help with eating and more.
“We’re opening up our doors or we’re able to bring people in and allow those visitations at a much different level than we were just a month or two ago,” Schema says.
Measures are in place to provide for safe visits. Masks are still necessary and staff is screening visitors for symptoms.
“We have all the resources and tools. We understand the virus differently than we did back in early 2020. All of that allows us to feel more confident in our response. It allows us to confidently say, it’s safe to come to the Good Samaritan Society,” Schema says.
Visits vary by state
The visits also depend on the community spread or county positivity rate surrounding each location, along with local state regulations. When numbers are low, restrictions are rolling back safely, wherever possible, at the Society’s senior living communities.
“Just like you’re seeing in many of the restaurants where you can seat 25, 50% capacity, we continue to see that same trend in the senior living space. They might be able to open up their dining rooms to 50% capacity as long as they can maintain social distancing and all the right precautions are in place,” Schema says.
That means safely bringing back consistent connections between residents and their families.
“It’s still not everything. You still can’t have that birthday party in our independent living community in all of our states but just seeing your son or your daughter consistently every week is huge,” Schema says.
Check with your location to see if restrictions are easing up.
“Call. Schedule those appointments and we’ll get you set up,” Schema says.
Information in this article was accurate when it was posted. As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, scientific understanding and guidelines may have changed since the original publication date. Read more about the COVID-19 vaccines.
The Good Samaritan Society requires masking in its locations. Anyone shown without a mask was either recorded prior to the masking requirement or recorded in a non-patient care area where social distancing and other safety protocols were followed.