FAIRMONT – While the Fairmont Health and Rehabilitation Center is set to vaccinate 95% of its staff and residents against COVID-19, the facility will still not be open for regular visits for some time.
Center administrator Jen Pagliaro said that as studies are still ongoing on the potential for transmission of COVID from a vaccinated person to an unvaccinated person, the center will continue to limit contact with residents. .
“Once you get this second vaccine in the series after about two weeks, you have an immunity level of over 93 percent,” Pagliaro said. “Just because you have low immunity doesn’t mean we can stop using our masks and using hand sanitizer. Studies have not shown that even though I am immune, it does not mean that I may not yet be carrying the virus. “
Pagliaro said Fairmont Health and Rehabilitation ran from March through December last year with no positive COVID-19 cases, but four residents have since been diagnosed with the disease. However, Pagliaro said the facility has measures in place to help stop the spread of the virus, including new air filtration systems.
“We didn’t have any positive cases until December,” Pagliaro said. “We have since had four residents who have tested positive, but they are all asymptomatic. As soon as we had a positive resident, we got a portable air handler, a machine that filters our air… I think it really helped control COVID here.
Tommy Wells, maintenance manager for the Fairmont Health and Rehabilitation Center, said the new systems rotate the facility’s air with clean air, using an advanced ionization system that can remove the air. “negative”.
“We got a company to install a needle ionization system,” Wells said. “It’s on all of our air handlers, and it’s a self-cleaning air purifier, and it’s fitted in our air handlers, which means it treats the air. and returns it when purified.
Pagliaro said she believes Fairmont Health and Rehabilitation is one of the first senior care centers to implement this type of filtration system.
“It takes the ions and the ions end up attaching to ‘negative air’, and that makes it a bigger particle to be captured in the filtration system,” Pagliaro said. “When it shoots, it’s clean, it doesn’t contain negative bacteria. Many bacteria are so tiny that many filtration systems cannot filter them out. “
Pagliaro said for now, the installation will continue its alternative methods of communication and visitation until further notice. However, she said that with the percentage of people vaccinated in the facility, she is less worried than anyone who contracts COVID-19.
“For us, next week is our last immunization clinic, and we’re going to have over 95 percent of staff and residents vaccinated,” Pagliaro said. “That being said, we sort of create our herd immunity within the facility, because that’s what you want with these vaccines. We are waiting to see what that means for us in terms of releasing some of these restrictions that have been put in place. “
Pagliaro said the past 10 months have been difficult for her and the rest of the staff due to the demands of the job and the care of patients and residents. As she now sees an end in sight, Pagliaro said 2020 has had a negative impact on her staff.
“COVID has definitely increased stress levels for everyone in health care. I think the stress level for staff, for residents, for families has certainly increased, ”Pagliaro …
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