Some local nursing homes have not received doses
Some Santa Barbara County nursing homes are still waiting for the COVID-19 vaccines that started arriving in mid-December.
As of right now, the county is distributing COVID-19 vaccines for Phase 1A, tiers one and two.
These tiers include, in this order: hospital workers, staff and residents in long-term care settings serving high-risk individuals; emergency medical services providers; dialysis center staff; intermediate care facilities; home health workers; community health workers; and primary, correctional and urgent care clinics.
Some care facilities in Santa Barbara County are in the process of administering their first doses of the vaccine, but others either have not administered them or declined to comment.
At Country Oaks Care Center in Santa Maria, vaccines were promised to arrive either the last week of December or the first week of January.
According to Country Oaks Administrator John Henning, the facility has yet to hear any word on the vaccine’s arrival.
“As of now, we don’t have a date yet,” Mr. Henning told the News-Press Tuesday. “I’ve been communicating with CVS on a regular basis trying to find out when we’re going to get the vaccine, so yesterday, I forced the issue on them. Other people have it and we don’t have it.”
CVS and Walgreens are partnering with long-term care facilities on the distribution of the vaccines.
Mr. Henning said that upon some investigation, Country Oaks got dropped from CVS’ system on Monday, leaving the center with no indication as to when the facility can expect the doses.
“I wish we had it. I wish I had some good news. …The guy tells me yesterday, 15,000 clinics over the weekend got it,” Mr. Henning said. “That doesn’t help me over here.”
He added that Country Oaks hasn’t had a positive COVID-19 case since June, and the center tests staff members every week and strictly enforces quarantine protocols.
“When I spoke with this guy initially in the beginning of December, they wanted to know all this information on us. I gave him my name, my phone number, cell number, back-up person, email address, a backup email address, another back-up person and their phone numbers and email address,” he said. “He added that, ‘Communication is important to us. You can’t over communicate.’ That was the right thing for him to say
“… And then they dropped the ball.”
Monica Prinzing, a senior communications consultant for CVS Health, told the News-Press Tuesday that the Santa Maria facility is not one of the long-term care facilities for the COVID-19 vaccination partnerships.
Elsewhere in Santa Maria, Villa Maria Post Acute Administrator Jared Cullifer confirmed that the center was able to hold its first vaccine clinic “right on time.”
“It went really well,” he told the News-Press. “Everyone’s really excited and really happy to have received it when we did.”
He described receiving the doses as a “streamlined process” and shared that the facility already has a second and third date scheduled for the second doses and to vaccinate those who were unable to make the first clinic.
Villa Maria, too, is working with CVS.
When asked about any recent positive COVID-19 cases or outbreaks, however, Mr. Cullifer refused to comment on the matter.
At Covenant Living at Samarkand, spokesman Randy Eilts said the Santa Barbara center is in the process of getting the Pfizer vaccine for its residents and employees within its skilled nursing care section.
Samarkand is partnering with Walgreens on the vaccine.
“When this first round is completed, we’ll have approximately 50 skilled nursing residents and 125 skilled nursing healthcare employees receiving the vaccine,” Mr. Eilts, the director of public relations and communications, told the News-Press. “It’s an exciting day as the vaccine offers hope for, not only our senior living community, but everyone in the area, to finally see a pinpoint of light at the end of the tunnel.”
He said there have been no deaths associated with COVID-19 at Samarkand, and the facility provides updates on its website at the end of each week regarding positive cases in the community.
Elsewhere in Santa Barbara, Wood Glen Hall refused to comment on anything related to the vaccine or share information about any congregate living outbreaks or positive COVID-19 cases.
At the Golden Inn & Village in Solvang, spokeswoman Juliana Minsky said the facility is registered with the Santa Barbara County Public Health Department for access to the COVID-19 vaccine by partnering with CVS.
But she told the News-Press that the facility has not yet had any doses delivered.
The facility is not a licensed care facility, so it is prioritized after skilled nursing facilities and other assisted living and long-term care facilities.
Ms. Minsky said she estimates the vaccine will arrive in February through early spring.