Governor Walz Visits New Hope Skilled Nursing Facility to Talk Vaccines
On Friday, Minnesota Governor Tim Walz placed focus on vaccinating people in nursing homes, while also calling to mind progress in containing the virus at long-term care facilities. Walz visited Good Samaritan Society-Ambassador, a skilled nursing and rehabilitation facility, in New Hope, where residents are expected to receive their second and final dose of COVID-19 vaccine next weekend.
In the initial phase of vaccinations, or Phase 1a, about 80% of residents in skilled-nursing facilities have been vaccinated. That’s according to surveys of skilled-nursing facilities released Friday by the governor’s office.
Progress in Containing Virus at Long-Term Care Facilities
Walz noted progress in protecting residents of long-term care, as cases have fallen. Back in early November, of the long-term care facilities that recorded a case of COVID-19, 84% reported a case the previous week. That number has since fallen to 36%.
“This is what the future looks like,” said Walz during the New Hope visit. “This is the hopefulness that’s there. It’s going to take a while to move forward, but I think what everybody needs to recognize is once we start to get the most vulnerable population and front line workers, that’s’ a number that we can protect against and we’ll keep expanding out.”
The governor also indicated that the state is trying to improve its vaccine registration system for people 65 and older. The state began a pilot program this week for that age group by delivering about 6,000 doses of vaccine to nine community sites across the state, including one in Brooklyn Center. Currently, seniors must register every Tuesday to see if they get an appointment for the limited amount of doses currently available. The state is trying to change that so seniors don’t have to register more than once.