CONWAY, S.C. (WBTW) — It’s been over a month since vaccinations in assisted living facilities have began in South Carolina.
South Carolina is still in Phase 1a where many of those most vulnerable to the virus are getting vaccinated.
“Our actual hopes is that we can get back to an actual operation,” said Jim Wooddell, administrator at Conway Manor nursing facility.
Vaccinations of the Moderna vaccine started the first week of January at Conway Manor.
“Our second vaccination clinic happened on the second of February,” Wooddell said.
Wooddell told News13 77% of residents at Conway Manor are have received both doses of the Moderna vaccine.
While many are now protected against the virus not much has changed.
“We’re still going to do the masks. We’re still going to do the social distancing,” Wooddell explained. It may be a while before visitations will return inside.
“Right now we are still under the mandate by the governor for indoor visitations,” Wooddell said.
Governor McMaster and SCDHEC’s latest guidelines were announced back in September which allowed distanced outdoor visitation dependent upon COVID cases, PPE and testing availability.
Wooddell also said allowing indoor visitation while cases soar in Horry County would be risky, but hopes to get back to normalcy for the sake of residents missing their family member’s touch.
“Get back to being able to hold somebody and say ‘they love them’, as opposed to yelling through a door or picking up a phone,” Wooddell said.
Meanwhile, only 38% of staff at Conway Manor have been vaccinated. DHEC reported late Tuesday evening, that out of the nearly 200,000 doses allocated to assisted living facilities, less than 10,000 staff at these facilities are fully vaccinated.
According to the CDC, the average vaccination of nursing home residents sits at 77.8% nationwide, compared to 37.5% of staff at those same nursing facilities. Wooddell told News13 he’s encouraging both his staff and residents to get vaccinated.
“We are still continuing to educate our families, our residents, and our staff. Giving them any information they have. They have to feel comfortable in taking it for one reason or another,” Wooddell said.
Wooddell said the facility will continue to follow safety precautions such as mask wearing, social distancing, and limited outdoor visitation.