Avon senior living facility expands vaccine plan after 19 News raises questions over excluded residents

Avon senior living facility expands vaccine plan after 19 News raises questions

AVON, Ohio (WOIO) - A senior living facility in Avon said it has expanded its vaccine rollout to include all of its eligible residents after a family member reached out to 19 News, expressing concern that some of the residents were being excluded.

“We plan to vaccinate all independent, assisted living, and memory care residents on the vaccination date at our community,” said MJ Giovanetti, the executive director of Rose Senior Living.

Her e-mailed statement came after multiple attempts by 19 News to get clarification on a letter sent to residents on December 29, which said only those in the assisted living and memory care units would receive the vaccine.

Gretchen Varga, who lives out of state, reached out to 19 News after learning her father and aunt, both in their 90s, were not in the original plan because they lived in the Independent Living unit.

“They have access to the same medical care except now, at the most critical time,” she said, pointing out that all three units are housed under the same roof and share some common areas and staff.

The Ohio Department of Health has repeatedly referenced congregate living when explaining its Phase 1A vaccine plan.

19 News raised the dispute with the health department; a spokesperson said they were looking into the situation.

Hours later, in a new letter to residents, Giovanetti confirmed the facility’s plans.

“As of [January 4] we have some good news!” she explained. “Based on a review of vaccine allocation, the pharmacy determined that they will be able to accommodate vaccinating [all] residents at this time.”

“We are so pleased, as we have been advocating the vaccinations of all residents residing in the building in this phase,” she added.

The news was welcomed by Varga and her family.

“My father received a letter and a consent form for his first vaccination slated for January 11. I can’t tell you how relieved I am,” she said.

According to the most recent public health data published on December 30, there are eight current residents and one current employee with COVID-19 at the facility.

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