Nursing homes see COVID-19 cases plummet after vaccine becomes available

Nursing homes see COVID-19 cases plummet after vaccine becomes available

AMARILLO, Texas (KFDA) - Amarillo nursing homes are experiencing decreasing numbers of COVID-19 cases.

Over the holidays, the Executive Director of one senior living facility says positive COVID-19 cases were consistent.

Back in November, there was a certain point in time where 25 members at The Craig Senior Living center were quarantining inside the facilities COVID-19 unit.

Flash forward to the end of February with over 90 percent of skilled and nursing home residents receiving their second dose of the vaccine, there hasn’t been a positive case in over three weeks.

“It’s been a real breath of fresh air to get this process moving forward,” said Gene Wockenfuss, executive director at The Craig Senior Living Center.

Once a majority of residents received their second dose of the vaccine in February, all cases vanished.

An adult day care facility also started seeing their cases go down once their participants started getting the vaccine toward the end of the year.

“Like other facilities and Amarillo as a whole we are seeing a downward trend of numbers and active cases because of that,” said Krissy Hurt, executive director of Jan Werner Adult Senior Living Center.

Jan Werner also took a precaution at the start of the pandemic that only two other facilities in Texas did.

They switched from having participants inside their facility to using their 25 vans to visit them inside the safety of their own homes.

“That’s the driving force for our pace program is to be able to take care of our participants and allow them to live at home or with family as independently and as safely as possible for as long as possible,” said Hurt.

So far, Hurt says this method has been working in preventing the spread of COVID-19.

It has also allowed members to be able to start coming into the center again.

“We have actually started bringing participants back into the center and January we started with six participants and we’ll be up to 18 by Monday,” said Hurt.

It has also interested possible new residents.

“We are seeing an uptick now of people looking at the Craig as an option for their next home,” said Wockenfuss.

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