Residents at Richmond Hill long-term care facility receive vaccine

Richmond Hill long term care facility residents receive vaccine

RICHMOND HILL, Ga. (WTOC) - Many long-term care facilities and their residents have received their initial dose of the two-part COVID-19 vaccine.

Residents at the Station Exchange in Richmond Hill are days away from receiving their second dose.

Though residents and some staff members here at The Station Exchange have received their first dose of the Pfizer vaccine, the executive director says they’re still taking the necessary safety precautions and it will be awhile before they start doing in person visits again.

It’s been a rough year for staff members and residents at the Station Exchange, as COVID forced them to stop visitation. Many residents haven’t seen their loved ones in a year.

And though they’ve had their first dose of the Pfizer vaccine, they still have a long way to go before things get back to normal.

“I have had some family members say, you know mom is getting the second vaccination and I will be coming to get her a week or two afterwards, I haven’t had her out of that building in over a year, I really want to spend that time with her,” The Station Exchange Executive Director Doris Purser said.

Purser along with other staff members say even though they might be breathing a short sigh of relief now, they still have a long way to go.

“There is still that fear that COVID can still impact our building before we have the second vaccine and so, there is that small sigh of relief that we know that it feels like there’s an end in sight but we know we still have to be cautious to make sure we’re still protecting our residents,” Business Officer Director Brenda Wheeler said.

Wheeler says they’ve only had about 50 percent of staff get the vaccine.

“You know we just have some that are hesitant. Whether it be for religious reasons or medical reasons and some of them are just afraid.”

So even though it may take a while, they hope this is the light at the end of the tunnel.

“We’re really hoping that we will be able to have people come back in the building, even if it’s scheduled indoor visits, we miss seeing faces, we miss having people come in and visit us. We would also love to be able to have indoor entertainment again.”

Both Wheeler and Purser say they will have to start having staff members who don’t get vaccinated wear two masks.

They say residents and staff members are expected to receive their second dose Feb. 3.

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