Long Term Care Homes Under a COVID-19 Outbreak will Begin to Receive Vaccine

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The Windsor-Essex County Health Unit is getting ready to roll out the COVID-19 vaccine to long term care homes that are currently under an outbreak.

Medical Officer of Health Dr. Wajid Ahmed says guidelines have been set for residents, staff and caregivers.

"When it comes to residents, the residents that are negative and are in the affected unit, they can get the vaccine," says Dr. Ahmed.  "Residents who are in the non-affected unit, they can also get the vaccine.  Previously positive COVID cases who are considered resolved, they can also get the vaccine at this time."    

He says the guidelines are different for staff members and caregivers.

"Any staff who is negative and who never worked in the affected unit at this time this can get the vaccine," says Dr. Ahmed.  "Any staff who are negative but who are not identified as a high risk close contacts of a confirmed COVID case, they can get the vaccine.  All caregivers who are negative and are not identified as a high risk close contact of a confirmed COVID case, they can get their vaccine.  Having said that, there are certain situations when vaccine should not be offered to individuals which includes anyone with acute febrile illness or severe acute infection, anyone with active COVID disease."  

Dr. Ahmed says the goal is to have all long term care homes done within the next seven to 10 days.       

The health unit has already administered the Moderna vaccine to seven area long term care homes.

Health unit CEO Theresa Marentette says some people have declined to receive the vaccine.

Once all long term care homes are done, the focus will then shift to area retirement homes.

There are 44 long term care and retirement homes in Windsor-Essex.  21 are currently under a COVID-19 outbreak.