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Trinity Homes residents, staff begin receiving COVID-19 vaccine

First residents, staff begin receiving COVID-19 vaccine

Submitted Photo A Trinity Homes CNA responds to receiving the COVID-19 vaccine during a CVS Pharmacy clinic Monday.

The first residents and staff at Trinity Homes received initial vaccinations for COVID-19 Monday, Trinity Health announced. The first of three scheduled vaccination clinics at Trinity Homes concludes today.

Jennifer Mitchell, director of Clinical Excellence and Resident Safety, said in a release that 100 residents and 100 staff were slated to receive the Pfizer vaccine during this initial round of immunizations. The long-term care center is working with CVS Pharmacy to administer the doses.

The last of the three CVS clinics will occur the first part of February. Trinity Homes has 116 residents, served by 303 employees.

Leading up to Monday was a flurry of interactions by nursing home staff to obtain consents directly from residents or, in some cases, from family members, according to Trinity. Vaccination is voluntary for residents and staff. Those who received their first shots will get their second doses in three weeks.

Mitchell, who was the first staff member to roll up her sleeve, said the vaccine’s arrival is a day residents and staff have been eagerly awaiting.

Submitted Photo Jennifer Mitchell, director of Clinical Excellence and Resident Safety, is the first staff member at Trinity Homes to receive the COVID-19 vaccine during a CVS Pharmacy clinic Monday.

“People that I’ve talked to have been very much looking forward to this day in anticipation that it will help us get back to some normalcy in terms of visits and families being able to be together. Our reaction is one of relief that there is an end in sight for us,” she said.

Mitchell stressed that getting back to normalcy will take time as nursing homes await direction from federal authorities and the North Dakota Department of Health.

“After we are vaccinated it won’t mean people can come in for visits right away,” she said. “Things may not change for months.”

Employees at Trinity Homes who have been working to keep residents safe initiated alternate ways of communicating and keeping residents engaged, even establishing the center’s own exclusive TV channel with a variety of content and programming.

Throughout Trinity’s health system, about 80% of staff have expressed interest in vaccination, including about 90% of physicians, said Trinity Vice President Randy Schwan. He said it won’t be known how many participate until all have had opportunity to do so. Trinity expects some interest to be influenced by experiences of people who have been vaccinated, availability of the vaccine and the timing of the clinics around holidays, vacations and conflicting schedules.

Schwan said Trinity encourages people to consider getting vaccinated to help protect against COVID-19 and its variants identified so far.

Authorities caution that although the vaccine rollout is good news, the region is still grappling with a pandemic, and the public is urged to continue mitigation measures such as wearing masks and practicing social distancing.

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