Chillicothe, Ozark campuses commended for response to recent outbreaks
JEFFERSON CITY – The Baptist Home plans to take part in a pharmacy partnership program that will make COVID-19 vaccines available to residents and staff members with no out-of-pocket costs, President Rodney Harrison told The Pathway, Oct. 20.
The announcement came soon after Missouri’s Department of Health and Senior Services commended the Baptist Home for their response to COVID-19 outbreaks on the Chillicothe and Ozark campuses.
Federal officials said, Oct. 16, that long-term care facilities nationwide can partner with either Walgreens or CVS Health to provide “on-site management” of the COVID-19 vaccine as soon as it is available, according to the Clinical Daily News.
“Our leadership team supports the plans announced by Governor Parson on Oct. 16 prioritizing the first round of vaccinations for seniors and caregivers in long term care facilities,” Harrison told The Pathway. “We were pleased to learn two days later that the partners announced by the CMS were pharmacies that have provided flu vaccinations on our campuses for many years. Our working relationship with Walgreens and CVS for vaccinations is excellent, and we anticipate a smooth implementation process.”
Federal officials said a vaccine will soon be available, the Clinical Daily News reported, though HHS deputy chief of staff Paul Mango added that Food and Drug Administration authorizations may take “several weeks” after clinical trial results are announced.
“It will likely be two or three months before the first round of vaccinations begins, but be assured The Baptist Home will be participating,” Harrison said. “Once vaccinations are complete we look forward to opening our campuses to family, friends, churches and volunteers.”
COVID-19 outbreaks hit
Ozark, Chillicothe campuses
According to The Baptist Home website, active COVID-19 cases had impacted 18 residents and nine staff members at the Ozark campus as of 4pm, Oct. 21. By that same time, active cases on the Chillicothe campus included eight residents and two staff members. Also in Chillicothe, one resident and two staff members were “out of isolation,” but “not recovered.” Another 10 residents and 10 staff members have already recovered. Six residents died due to complications related to the virus.
According to Harrison, the Department of Health and Senior Services conducted an on-site inspection following the outbreak at the Chillicothe campus, in keeping with coronavirus response recommendations. On Oct. 14, the campus administrator was notified that the inspection found no deficiencies, with no suggestions.
“To say our staff were doing a great job is an understatement. However, it is nice to have confirmation that we are doing all we could do,” Chillicothe campus administrator Ruthie Meyers said.
Harrison shared his gratitude for Missouri Baptists who partnered with The Baptist Home during the outbreak.
“The outpouring of prayer and support from the churches and Missouri Baptist Convention has exceeded expectations,” Harrison said. “One church provided crisis counseling for our staff. A group of volunteers is coming to provide assistance with mowing and grounds work which allows our facilities team to focus on the ongoing deep cleaning process inside the facility. A Disaster Relief volunteer joined MBC Liaison Spencer Hutson in helping to set up the isolation wing, and several Baptist nurses have provided coverage for staff who are quarantined.”
Harrison also expressed his grief over those who died in connection with the virus.
“My heart goes out to the families and churches of those who have passed,” he said. “Those who are sick and those who have passed are not only residents, they are our brothers and sisters in Christ.
“In Matthew 14, as the disciples cried out for help in the midst of the storm, Jesus did not stop the storm; rather, He joined them in the storm,” he added. “In the same way, we have experienced God with us in this storm rather than His keeping us from the storm.”
For updates on The Baptist Home’s COVID-19 response, visit https://thebaptisthome.org/covid-19-our-response.