Nancy Buttner, northwest division vice president of the Life Care Center of Kirkland, pumps her fist as she receives a COVID-19 vaccine on December 28, 2020 in Kirkland, Washington. Karen Ducey
Residents and staff at a Washington long-term care facility received the second vaccine dose Monday, reports said.
Life Care Center Kirkland lost 39 residents to the virus last spring.
The Seattle Times reported that 95% of residents and 87% of staff received the first dose.
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Less than a year after Life Care Center of Kirkland reported its first COVID-19 case, residents at the site of the US’s first outbreak received the second dose of the vaccine Monday, according to a new report.
According to Seattle Times journalist, Paige Cornwall, both residents and staff at the Washington long-term care facility finished their vaccine inoculation earlier this week, after beginning the process at the end of December.
“I think everyone in the skilled nursing industry is thankful that a vaccine is available and being administered, but it means a little more to see vaccinations happening at Kirkland,” Ellie Schutt, executive director at Life Care Center of Kirkland, said on the nursing home’s website.
Life Care Center reported their first case of the new and deadly coronavirus on February 28, 2020. By March 11, more than 60% of the US’s coronavirus deaths were linked to the nursing home. Thirty-one days after their first case, 39 residents at Life Care Center had died. Life Care Center had stabilized their building in 32 days, but the losses were tremendous.
“It’s like the world stopped and everyone was looking at Kirkland,” Nancy Butner, vice president of Life Care’s Northwest Division, told USA Today. She said she was “worried about going into the facility and learning about the loss – how many had gone out or passed that night.”
The rapid outbreak at Life Care Center was for many in the country, the first they had learned of the virus that has gone on to kill more than 400,000 Americans in less than a year. Life Care Center’s tragedy illustrated the speed and deadliness of the virus. As the months wore on, thousands more nursing homes across the country would have to face their own battles with the virus, and by December 2020, residents and staff of nursing homes accounted for more than a third of the country’s COVID-19 fatalities.
But on December 28, Life Care Center in Kirkland began the process of vaccinations – a “great way to end the year,” Schutt said on the facility’s website. While residents are not required to get the vaccine according to Life Care Center Kirkland’s website, The Seattle Times reported that 95% of the facility’s 69 residents and 87% of staff received the first dose.
Though the second vaccine dose serves as a welcome ending to the tragedy that began 10 months earlier, the Life Care Center Kirkland community won’t forget those they lost.
In August, the Kirkland community dedicated a memorial plaque at a virtual service, according to USA Today. Thirty nine candles were lit; one for each resident lost.
The plaque reads: “Our family is broken because of your loss, but stronger because of your memory.”
Pharmacists watch vaccinations at Life Care Center.
Pharmacists at Life Care Center of Kirkland as staff receive the COVID-19 vaccine. Karen Ducey
Executive director of Life Care Center Kirkland receives the vaccine.
Ellie Schutt, Executive Director of the Life Care Center of Kirkland, receives a COVID-19 vaccine Karen Ducey
Pharmacists prepare doses of the COVID-19 vaccine.
Pharmacists prepare doses of the COVID-19 vaccine at the Life Care Center of Kirkland Karen Ducey
The nurse manager at Life Care Center of Kirkland receives the COVID-19 vaccine.
Alice Cortez, nurse manager at the Life Care Center of Kirkland, receives a COVID-19 vaccine. Karen Ducey
A physician assistant at the Life Care Center of Kirkland receives the coronavirus vaccine.
Christy Carmichael, physician assistant at the Life Care Center of Kirkland, is consoled by a pharmacist after receiving a COVID-19 vaccine. Karen Ducey
A physician assistant celebrates after receiving the vaccine.
Christy Carmichel, physician assistant at the Life Care Center of Kirkland, is greeted after she received a COVID-19 vaccine . Karen Ducey
Pharmacists look out the door at Life Care Center Kirkland.
Pharmacists from CVS Pharmacy look out the door at the vaccinations being given at Life Care Center of Kirkland, Karen Ducey
On Monday, December 28, pharmacists from CVS began vaccinations for residents and staff at Life Care Center Kirkland in Washington, the site of the country’s first COVID-19 outbreak less than a year after the facility’s first case.
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