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Joyce Endee

Visitation opening up at area nursing facilities

April 01, 2021
REGION — New Hampshire is making progress on the Covid-19 vaccination front with 15.9 percent of the population fully vaccinated, as reported on the state's dashboard. That is good news, as Carroll County (as of March 29), is recording a high rating of daily new cases per 100,000 of 16.6. At the same time, the county has a low infection rate of 0.86 and a medium positive test rate of 4.1 percent.

As the numbers of fully vaccinated residents increases, including folks in younger age groups, some are experiencing a sigh of relief among them people with family members in long term care facilities.

It's been a year of restrictions on visitation to avoid or curtail outbreaks, but now, with vaccinations available, at last families and friends are beginning to reconnect. At Mountain View Community (MVC), the county's long term residential facility located in Ossipee, Clinical Coordinator and Preventionist Ciaran Smith reports that of the 98 residents, all are vaccinated, with the exception of just three, and 70 percent of the staff have received the Pfizer vaccine. "It is not mandatory. Some chose not to, but they are gradually coming forward," says Smith, as an "ongoing education effort" is relieving some concerns and hesitation.

MVC follows state guidance. Compassionate care visits, in consideration of a resident's anxiety level, depression, or in the case of failing health, are scheduled by the recreation department, and take place three days a week, with two at a time at most in one room.

"We are very happy to see it," she says.

Visitors are screened and must wear masks at all times. Families are welcome to inquire.

Lori Mayer, spokesperson for the Wolfeboro Bay Center, run by Genesis, also says that visitors are asked to call ahead to schedule a visit.

"At this time, approximately 86 percent of residents and 63 percent of staff members have received dose one of the COVID vaccine across all Genesis-affiliated centers. This compares to a median of 77.8 percent for residents and 37.5 percent for staff who received more than one vaccine dose through the first month of the program, as reported by CDC," says Mayer.

She emphasizes, "Center staff, visitors and residents must still adhere to the core principles of COVID-19 infection control, including maintaining physical distancing, screening of all who enter the facility for signs and symptoms of COVID-19, hand hygiene, wearing a surgical mask and conducting visits outdoors whenever possible. This continues to be the safest way to prevent the spread of COVID-19, particularly if either party has not been fully vaccinated."

Martin Lord Osman
Salmon Press
Garnett HIll
Varney Smith
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