Even when we’re away from our workplaces, our workplaces are never far from our minds. And sometimes we get visual cues that bring our work to the forefront.
That was the case for me Sunday when, on the way to a family picnic, my husband and I drove by two sister long-term care facilities, each featuring a large banner above the front door boasting of a system-wide 90% vaccination rate among residents and staff members.
When the picnic ended, I did little more research and found that Rae-Ann Skilled Nursing & Rehabilitation Centers — the company includes three nursing homes and one assisted living/memory care community — first made the announcement on its website on March 9.
That was quite impressive for March and remains impressive several months later!
A little more digging revealed that the staff vaccination rates of the two facilities we drove by are 86.4% and 89.3%, respectively, for the week ending July 18, according to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. (Resident vaccination rates were 86% and 92.7%, respectively.) Not quite 90%, but still well above what CMS says is the national nursing home staff vaccination rate, 58.6%; what the Ohio Department of Health says is the rate of full vaccination among residents of the county where these facilities are located, 51%; and what the full vaccination rate is of Buckeye State residents, 46%.
So say it loud and say it proud, Rae-Ann and all other long-term care centers with high vaccination rates, especially high rates among staff members.
It now is more than half a year after the vaccine first became available, and the highly contagious delta variant is spreading. Safety is a priority for prospective residents and their families. Operators increasingly are feeling it necessary to compel workers to become vaccinated, and industry associations are offering support for providers that implement such requirements. So let’s celebrate those workplaces where such a high level of vaccination has been achieved and those employees who have taken this step to protect themselves and those they serve.