KENNETT SQUARE — Only two long-term care facilities in Chester County have both 100% of staff vaccinated against COVID-19, and 100 percent of residents.
Achieving the status are Kendal at Crosslands in Kennett and the Inn at Freedom Village in West Brandywine, according to data sourced by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, the National Healthcare Safety Network and publicly reported on the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Nursing Home data site.
Oxford Health Center has 100% of staff fully vaccinated, but 99.4 percent of residents are fully vaccinated, and the Preston Residence in West Grove has 100% of residents vaccinated, but only 83% of staff. Kendal at Longwood has 100% of staff vaccinated but 98 percent of residents vaccinated. Most long-term care facilities have a high percentage of vaccinations among both residents and staff.
The news comes as the Gov. Tom Wolf Administration on Monday announced a new initiative to help long-term care facilities respond to COVID-19 and improve resiliency.
The Long-Term Care Resiliency, Infrastructure Supports, and Empowerment program (LTC RISE) gives long-term care facilities the support they need to battle COVID-19, recover, and rebuild.
“The challenges of caring for our most vulnerable populations in a congregate setting while managing the threat of COVID-19 creates extremely challenging and stressful circumstances,” Acting Secretary of Health Keara Klinepeter said. “While we are grateful for the efforts of those on the front lines in long-term care facilities, they need more than our gratitude.”
A federal grant provided by the CDC is funding the LTC RISE initiative.
“Our long-term care facilities provide a caring home for some of our most vulnerable loved ones,” said Meg Snead, Human Services Acting Secretary. “As they continue to work through the ongoing public health threat, we must sustain resources that have helped facility leadership, staff, and residents maintain safe operations. We are committed to supporting our long-term care facilities through what lies ahead, and LTC RISE will continue the infrastructure that makes prevention and effective response to health risks in long-term care facilities like COVID-19 possible.”
All long-term care facilities and nursing homes in Chester County are taking extraordinary measures to contain the virus, which lately has been spreading so fast that many firms are facing staff shortages with employees calling off sick.
Kendal-Crosslands Communities began educating residents and staff of the importance of getting vaccinated soon after vaccines were made available.
“We have such high vaccination rates because our residents and staff understand social accountability,” said Michele Berardi, director of public relations at Kendal-Crosslands. “We know what we need to do to keep ourselves healthy and our families, friends, fellow residents, and coworkers. With freedom comes responsibility and at Kendal-Crosslands Communities we are a family. Families care and love one another.”
CVS administered the Pfizer vaccine to over 1,300 people at Kendal-Crosslands Communities in the community, twice.
The effort to achieve a high rate of vaccination was facilitated when Kendal-Crosslands Communities provided numerous educational seminars for their residents and staff members and an informative vaccine video interview with their medical director.
“Our residents lived through our world’s history with polio, measles, and chickenpox immunizations,” Marsilio said. “They shared their personal stories, which helped our staff members understand that vaccines are necessary for immunity.”
Marsilio said the high vaccine rate provides peace of mind for both residents and staff.
“We are grateful that staff worked successfully with our CVS Health partners in administering 10 vaccination clinics on our campus,” she said. “The hope with our vaccination success provides us the ability to begin to open areas within our community safely.
With the exception of Adventura at Pembrook and Brandywine Hall, both in West Chester, all other long-term care facilities in Chester County have resident vaccination rates of 90 percent or above, according to CDC data.
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