Nursing home vaccination rates vary across the Stateline

One assisted living home says 85 percent of staff are vaccinated, while another says only 25 percent got their shots.
Published: Oct. 12, 2021 at 6:33 PM CDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) - Nursing homes care for the population most vulnerable to the Coronavirus, but vaccination rates at some Stateline facilities still sit as low as 25 percent.

“Our main goal at the very least was to keep COVID away from our residents,” said Wesley Willows Senior Living Home Vice President Chief Resident Engagement Officer, Helen Dittmer.

It is hard to believe, but Wesley Willows Senior Living Home in Rockford has not had a single COVID-19 case among their assisted living residents, and only one in independent living.

“We’ve done that with diligence, mask-wearing, screening of our residents, and screening of our staff,” said Dittmer. “Making sure visitors that are here have been screened and potentially vaccinated.”

Dittmer said vaccination is not mandated, but 86% of staff, 100% of assisted living residents, and 98% of independent residents are fully immunized.

“It’s been an overwhelming response,” said Dittmer.

It’s quite a different story for one Stephenson County facility. Currently, 29% of staff and 88% of residents at Pearl Pavilion are vaccinated. There have been 50 cases of COVID-19 total there, and one resident death.

“It’s disappointing that we’re looking at a place that’s 25% vaccinated,” said Stephenson County Public Health Administrator Craig Bientema. “That’s just not being responsible.”

Dr. Bientema said while it’s good the resident vaccine rates are up, it is not enough.

“I’d like to see the staff be much higher,” said Bientema. “I would love to see all nursing home residents 100% or at least above 90% vaccinated.”

Copyright 2021 WIFR. All rights reserved.