Here’s how to check vaccination rates at your loved one’s nursing home

Published: Sep. 29, 2021 at 8:42 PM EDT
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CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - Nursing home residents have been the hardest hit during the pandemic.

There have been 7,800 deaths of nursing home residents from COVID-19 reported statewide since April 2020, according to the Ohio Department of Health.

You may be wondering how safe your loved ones are in long-term care facilities as the delta coronavirus surge in Ohio continues.

Now you can compare vaccination rates in nursing homes yourself.

19 Investigates found nursing homes statewide struggling to get nearly half of their staff vaccinated against COVID-19.

We spoke with Pete Van Runkle, executive director of the Ohio Health Care Association.

“We have somewhere between 40 and 45% of the staff who are not vaccinated. We are not happy with that, we support, we as an association, our members support vaccination and have been trying for months to get their staff and their residents, the people they serve vaccinated,” Van Runkle said.

19 Investigates found about 81% of Ohio’s nursing home residents are vaccinated against COVID-19, close to the national average of about 84%, according to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, CMS.

But Ohio lags behind with the number of vaccinated nursing home workers, at only about 54%.

The national average is nearly 64%.

“The reality though is, as we see in society in general, that there are many people who for one reason or another, refuse. They will not take the vaccine,” Van Runkle said.

Vaccination rates by nursing homes are now easy to find on the CMS Care Compare website.

19 Investigates randomly chose some nursing homes to compare in the Cleveland area and we found the numbers really vary by facility.

At Cityview Healthcare and Rehabilitation in Cleveland, less than half of residents are vaccinated, nearly 46%, and just over 28% of staff is vaccinated.

At Gateway Health Care Center in Euclid, about 87% of residents got the shots and nearly 62% of the staff is vaccinated.

And at Royal Oak Nursing & Rehab Center in Middleburg Heights, nearly 82% of residents are vaccinated and only about 37% of staff members have gotten shots.

You can take a look at vaccination rates yourself on the Care Compare website.

Just type in your location and select nursing homes, then hit search.

You can then select one or more nursing homes, hit “compare” and scroll down to “COVID-19 vaccination rates.”

A federal vaccine mandate will soon be in place for employees of nursing homes and other medical facilities.

There is no exact timeline yet.

Federal officials are expected to come up with guidelines in October.

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