MIDDLEBURG, Fla. – As the COVID-19 vaccine continues to roll out through communities, a look at life at long-term care facilities is a reminder that things are not yet back to normal.
Signature Healthcare of Middleburg is one of the few facilities in Clay County accepting COVID-positive patients from outside the facility.
It is operating as a short-term and long-term care facility for COVID-positive patients coming from hospitals and other locations in the community. Those patients are getting care inside a COVID-only unit inside the facility.
Taylor Tate’s grandmother came to Signature Healthcare of Middleburg about two weeks ago after testing positive for COVID-19. Tate and her family have been visiting her grandmother through a window
“It’s been rough not being able to physically be able to touch her and hug her when she needs us,” Tate told News4Jax on Monday. “And we need her at the moment.”
At last check, Tate’s grandmother did not have any symptoms and she was working to regain her strength.
Signature Healthcare told News4Jax it has successfully recovered more than 70 patients from hospitals and other locations in its COVID-19 Care Unit.
Tate said she hopes her grandmother can do the same.
“She’s emotional, but she’s hanging in there for us -- just as much as we’re hanging in there for her,” Tate said.
Last week, residents and staff at the facility started getting the COVID-19 vaccine.
Signature Healthcare told News4Jax that participation has been strong, but the facility has not yet fully completed its first round of shots.
Tate and her family didn’t say whether their grandmother got the vaccine, but said they’re focusing on keeping her in good spirits.
“We just lost another family member to COVID since she’s been in there, so it’s been a lot,” Tate said. “It’s scary.”
As of Sunday, according to a Florida Department of Health report, there were 24 residents at the facility testing positive and another 65 who have been transferred to other facilities. But again, Signature Healthcare says most of the residents counted on the report didn’t originally live at Signature. The report shows there were also 11 staff members testing positive as of Sunday.
A Signature Healthcare spokesperson told News4Jax that as the vaccine rollout continues, Signature’s other safety protocols continue. These include social distancing, testing stakeholders twice a week, daily screening staff and residents, and restricting visitation.