COVID Cases in Nebraska Long-Term Care Facilities Almost Non-Existent Among Residents
By Jack Williams , Managing Editor and Reporter Nebraska Public Media News
March 30, 2021, 2:26 p.m. ·
There’s more encouraging news from long-term care facilities hit hard by COVID-19 cases and related deaths last year. State health officials say positive cases among residents are now virtually non-existent, with only two the past two weeks. That’s a big improvement from last year, when nursing homes were the epicenter of the disease in Nebraska. But Heath Boddy, the president of the Nebraska Health Care Association, is concerned some facility employees still haven’t been vaccinated.
“When you look at a percentage of cases in long-term care, the percentage of residents is essentially at zero, I mean it’s just as close to zero at it can get, and what’s left is some team members,” Boddy said. “So I’m really hopeful that those team members will continue to look at what the science of these vaccines has been and what the practice with their peers and others that they know has done and consider getting the vaccine.”
Of the 20 long-term care employees who tested positive for COVID-19 last week, a majority hadn’t been vaccinated. Boddy said the overall turnaround in positive numbers among residents gives him hope for the future.
“It gives me a lot of bright side to say, well, whatever comes up with this, whether it’s a COVID variant or some hybrid thereof it seems to me that we’ve learned a lot,” Boddy said. “I can say in this profession we’ve learned a tremendous amount and hopefully we’ll be more prepared and better ready to go no matter what comes at us.”
Boddy isn’t sure what things will look like for residents in the coming years, but said he wouldn’t count out some sort of yearly vaccine booster shot or other safeguards against COVID-19.