Nursing home residents, families urged to take extra precautions if gathering for Thanksgiving

Nursing home residents during Thanksgiving

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - We’re getting an update on vaccine distribution plans at Alabama nursing homes and how residents will be spending this Thanksgiving.

Right now, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has contracted with CVS and Walgreens to handle distribution of vaccines to nursing homes, which will be a free service.

But until a vaccine is approved, the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services is urging residents and nursing homes to take extra precautions if a resident chooses to leave for a family visit, like a Thanksgiving meal.

That recommendation is in order to limit potential exposure or bring the virus back to the nursing home.

“It’s incumbent upon the families. If you do host your loved one from the nursing home at your home, try to do your best to socially distance, wear a mask, make sure you do everything you can to protect your loved one,” said John Matson with the Alabama Nursing Home Association. “But of course, still know that even with all of those precautions in place, they will most likely have to go into an isolation unit for 14 days before they can go back to their regular room in the nursing home.”

Matson said he does think once a vaccine is approved, the process of distributing them to nursing homes should come quickly after that.

Copyright 2020 WBRC. All rights reserved.