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Ottumwa Good Samaritan Society administers first coronavirus vaccines

Ottumwa's Good Samaritan Society administered its first doses of the coronavirus vaccine on...
Ottumwa's Good Samaritan Society administered its first doses of the coronavirus vaccine on Sunday.(James Barrickman)
Published: Jan. 4, 2021 at 9:40 PM CST
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OTTUMWA, Iowa (KYOU) - The Iowa Department of Public Health is partnering with county health departments across the state to administer the COVID-19 vaccine. In Wapello County, health officials are in Phase 1A of rollout, giving priority to health care workers and long-term care facilities.

One of the long-term care facilities receiving its first doses of the vaccine on Sunday was Good Samaritan Society in Ottumwa. 84 residents and 60 staff members received the Pfizer vaccine.

Good Samaritan Society saw one of the largest COVID outbreaks among long-term care facilities in the state in 2020:

- 97 positive cases among residents

- 69 positive cases among employees

- 31 COVID-19 related deaths

Executive director, Vani Tschantz, says it’s a relief to finally have the vaccine in the building.

”I was very emotional yesterday just seeing the possibilities that could come and knowing that we can maybe have our residents be visited by their families more than just through a window or through the outdoor enclosures. To let them hug each other again, all those feelings, it’s just a feeling of relief and hope; that’s the light at the end of tunnel,” Tschantz said.

Now that the facility has most of the residents and staff vaccinated, it’s now up to state officials to determine when the facility will be able to re-open for normal visitation.

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