Long-term facility has concerns about low staff vaccination rates

Published: Sep. 28, 2021 at 12:47 AM EDT
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WALNUT RIDGE, Ark. (KAIT) - Just 33 percent of Lawrence Hall Health and Rehabilitation staff are vaccinated, below the state average of 66 percent.

Conlee says the facility is waiting on more details about the vaccine mandate. He’s unsure on how it’ll affect staffing.

“Right now, we’re preparing for all scenarios with 100 percent of our staff vaccinated or our current or everything in between and how we can safely care for our residents, so there is some concern,” said Conlee.

Conlee says there have been staffing challenges, and there are some open positions. Like other health care providers, the facility is waiting to see if there will be exemptions from the mandate, like weekly testing.

Conlee says there are concerns that the percentage is low.

“Of course, I want our vaccinations to be at 100 percent for the safety of our staff, the families, our residents, especially the nursing home population,” said Conlee.

To get rates up, the facility is offering a $200 incentive for the shot.

“We’ve still been every day encouraging and educating staff to become vaccinated, so over the last few weeks, we’ve had staff get vaccinated, so we’ve had our rate increase,” said Conlee.

Within the past few weeks, rates have increased from 22 to 33 percent. Conlee says they will continue to push to get those numbers up through education.

Residents are at 95 percent vaccinated.

There have been no positive resident cases within the past one to two weeks. Three staff members are positive.

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