Brooke Patterson, director of nursing, did not hesitate when she had the opportunity to receive the COVID-19 vaccine Tuesday at Arbutus Park Manor.
“I’ve seen what it can be with the disease itself,” Patterson said. “I’m willing to do it for myself, for my family and for my residents.”
Staff and residents at the Richland Township nursing home were among the first in the state outside of hospitals to be offered the vaccine under the initial phase of distribution nationally. Arbutus is one of 126 skilled-care homes where residents and staff are receiving the vaccine this week.
In the coming weeks, all long-term care, personal care and assisted living homes will receive the vaccine. Teams from CVS and Walgreen’s distribute and administer the immunization through the federal Operation Warp Speed.
Arbutus Administrator Rick Wilson said the CVS pharmacy team had been busy all day Tuesday with the home’s 280 employees and 77 residents.
“I think the vaccine is great,” Wilson said. “It builds up the immunity. Everybody should get it.”
Workers and residents are not required to get the vaccine, although Patterson said it is strongly encouraged.
Wilson said he was pleased with how many were getting the injections.
Nursing and personal care homes across the state and throughout the country have been devastated by the virus.
The disease has claimed the lives of 8,633 residents of the homes. There have been 51,999 cases of COVID-19 among residents and 9,410 cases among employees, with cases reported in a total of 1,457 facilities across Pennsylvania.
A Delaware County nursing home has had 97 residents die from COVID-19. That is the most deaths in one home among 549 with data reported Tuesday. There were 144 nursing homes whose reports were not received in time for Tuesday’s weekly breakdown.
The report shows 29 Cambria County nursing or personal care homes have had 922 residents and 83 employees test positive, with 111 resident deaths attributed to COVID-19.
Somerset County has had 12 homes with 334 resident cases, 27 staff cases and 17 resident deaths.
Bedford County has had five homes with 267 resident cases, 28 staff cases and 40 resident deaths.
Blair County has had 23 homes with 695 resident cases, and 88 staff cases and 65 resident deaths.
Indiana County has had 16 homes with 482 resident cases, 63 staff cases and 44 resident deaths.
Clearfield County has had 10 homes with 243 resident cases, 66 staff cases and 22 resident deaths.
Westmoreland County has had 45 homes with 1,636 resident cases, 191 staff cases and 177 resident deaths.