FONTANELLE — There was a point last fall where Good Samaritan Society Fontanelle was almost ready to welcome guests into their facility again, however high COVID-19 positivity rates have primarily led to that not being possible yet as the calendar has already turned to 2021.
Facility administrator Mallory Wheatley said the residents and staff have been in good spirits and perseverant through the pandemic.
Good Samaritan Fontanelle director of nursing Wanda Browning said the COVID-19 vaccine is a welcome sign in the fight against the virus for long term care facilities like hers. Browning and Wheatley explained they expect their facility’s residents to be able to receive the vaccine within the next two weeks.
“Walgreens is our contact who is going to come in and administer the vaccines for us, so we’re getting that all prepared, getting dates set up in the near future,” Browning said. “We’re really excited about the vaccine coming forward. I think it will be a real game changer. I’d say the vaccine will be a huge portion of helping with the pandemic we have going on.”
Browning said consent has been received from doctors for giving the vaccine and staff are working on getting consent from the families of residents for them to receive the vaccine. With that, they are providing education to families and residents so they’re able to make an informed decision on whether or not to receive the vaccine.
Wheatley said that closing the doors of the facility to visitors was a tough thing to do when the pandemic began, however she has seen that pay dividends in keeping staff and residents healthy over the past several months.
“Closing our doors really led to our success in our fight with COVID. Keeping our residents and staff safe is a key component in all of this. We’ve done tons of education and staff has been very persistent and are real heroes coming through our doors day in and day out. They’re here to give their all to residents,” Wheatley said. “We would love to see our residents get visits back with their loved ones as a result of the vaccine and the help of the community. We definitely need the community’s help to mask, social distance and stay home when sick, following all the guidance that’s being recommended. It definitely effects the residents here and when and if they can see their loved ones.”