Vaccinations required for workers at one Kansas City area long-term care facility

Missouri

Visitors who get vaccinated at Thirsty Planet will be allowed to choose from three varieties of free beer.(AP Photo/Rahmat Gul, file)

RAYMORE, Mo. — The company that owns a Raymore senior care center now requires all of its employees to be vaccinated.

It comes as AARP asks for vaccine mandates in nursing homes across the country.

Foxwood Springs Senior Living in Raymore announced Monday that all new hires need to have proof of vaccination, or proof that they’ve started their vaccination series when they begin working. All current employees have until Oct. 31, 2021, to be fully vaccinated.

The company that owns Foxwood Springs said it plans to hold on-site vaccine clinics, or provide locations of nearby clinics, to help make sure employees, and residents, have easy access to vaccines. Employees will also be paid for the time it takes to get vaccinations.

Employees who don’t get vaccinated will be required to provide an approved exemption from the company’s vaccination requirement, according to the owners. The company said it will also offer wellness incentives for employees who are vaccinated before the end of October.

AARP said more than 186,000 residents and staff at nursing homes and other long-term care facilities have died from COVID-19. That’s about 30% of the people who’ve died from the virus in the U.S.

AARP Public Policy Institute helped develop a Dashboard to track the number of COVID-19 cases in nursing homes across the country. The Dashboard shows data about the previous month in each state. The idea is to track the data and identify specific areas that are concerning.

The Dashboard also tracks vaccination rates of people living and working at nursing homes. for the previous two months. Right now just 46.8% of health care staff at long-term care facilities in Missouri are vaccinated. That compares to 56% of staff at facilities in Kansas. The two states have some of the lowest rates in the country, according to the data on AARP’s Dashboard.

The data in AARP’s Dashboard lags about a month. As of July 18, the organization said that according to week-to-week trends, the number of COVID-19 cases are rapidly increasing because of the Delta variant. AARP reports there were more than twice as cases at long-term care facilities on July 19, 2021, than there were on June 27, 2021.

The Dashboard also showed that while vaccination rates among residents and staff slightly increased, AARP Public Policy Institute said it’s not high enough to protect the health of people who live in the facilities.

Nationally, about 82% of residents were fully vaccinated as of July 18, 2021, according to the Dashboard. That compares to just 60%of health care staff. AARP Public Policy Institute also reported that as of July 18, 2021, about 25% of long-term care facilities had reached the threshold of having at least 75% of staff vaccinated.

Vaccines are plentiful and they are available across the metro. If you aren’t vaccinated, and want a dose, all you need to do is text your zip code to GETVAX (438829) to get information about the closest place to get a vaccination. The option is also available in Spanish by texting a zip code to VACUNA (822862).

In seconds, you’ll have several locations to get a vaccine, which vaccine is available, and information about making an appointment, or if you can simply walk-in for a shot.

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