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Mill Valley nursing home staff receives COVID-19 vaccine to help protect residents

Bay Area

MILL VALLEY, Calif. (KRON) – With that large number of deaths striking the older population, particularly at long term care facilities.

The CDC and governors COVID-19 vaccine task force deemed staffing at these places should be first in line to get the new vaccine.  

At The Redwoods in Mill Valley, there was a long line of staff members lined up to get that Pfizer COVID-19 shot on Thursday.

Health experts say it has been the staff sadly that has brought the virus in and lead to so many deaths in this county and nationwide.  

There was no hesitation with these healthcare workers.  

They knew what is at stake. Government figures reveal the sad fact about COVID-19, it is killing the greatest generation – those older disproportionately.

“This is historic moment for Marin County and for the nation, and for the world honestly. We have seen this community be our most vulnerable. We have more than 80 percent of the deaths in Marin County are among residents who live in facilities like The Redwood, and so we knew right away that when we see the vaccine, we need to target the staff who are going to be able to receive that vaccine and then create a bubble,” Dr. Lisa Santora said. 

“It’s been a lot of worry,” Shelby Levine said. 

Shelby Levine is the facilities manager at The Redwoods Senior Living Facility in Mill Valley.  

She along with 130 other colleagues received the first dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine.  

“A lot of anxiety, a lot of exhaustion, am I going to infect my family, am I going to infect my partner, or more importantly, am I going to infect the people I work for and the people I serve, cause these people are the residents, I mean they are so vulnerable,” Levine said.

The CDC and California’s Public Health Department deemed those in nursing homes or assisted living facilities should be in the first tier for vaccination.  

Public health experts explain seniors infected with the virus tend to need hospitalization and often those valuable ICU beds.  

Slowing the spread of COVID at vulnerable sites like long-term care facilities could help the states with the growing demand for bed space.

“I work in an area where you can catch it, or give it, you know so now, you feel like relief,” Stevan Cantania said. 

The Redwoods kept COVID-19 at bay and the Catherine Scott, the manager, says they are very proud of that.

“We haven’t had any COVID among the residents and we’re very proud, and now we are so excited because we feel like we are at the finish line with this vaccine,” Scott said. 

There are 300 residents here and no COVID-19 outbreak.   

Marin County will continue to roll out vaccines to the other long term facilities in the county in the coming days.

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