Calgary care home at centre of COVID-19 outbreak selected to get vaccine

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Calgary care home at centre of COVID-19 outbreak selected to get vaccine
Officials working to contain an outbreak at a long-term care home say they received a heartwarming New Year's Eve gift. AgeCare Skypointe has been selected by AHS to start receiving the vaccine for its senior residents. Jill Croteau reports – Dec 31, 2020

It’s been a heartbreaking holiday for a Calgary couple separated by circumstance. Sharon-Ann Miner’s husband, Jim, has Alzheimer’s and has been living at AgeCare Skypointe.

“You go to bed with a phone instead of your husband. You just don’t know it can happen so quickly.”

He tested positive for COVID-19 on Christmas day.

“I’m already alone. I lost him through Alzheimer’s but there’s still another stage and journey to go through,” Miner said. “Now we are down to life and death. Will he make it past COVID?”

Sharon-Ann holding a photo of her husband Jim. Jill Croteau/Global News

Miner is a retired nurse and received word her husband and his fellow residents were going to get the vaccine starting New Year’s Eve.

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The news is encouraging but Minor admits she is guarded in her optimism.

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“If it gives an edge and we can control it, that’s perfect, but I’m not 100 per cent convinced,” Miner said.

“Whether he’s immune, is it too late? We don’t know if he needs it.”

AgeCare officials revealed to Global News some of the seniors at their Skypointe and Glenmore location did get their shots New Year’s Eve. In the coming days their other facilities, Walden Heights, Seton and Sagewood will be receiving resident vaccines as well.

But Tammy Lever wondered if it’s too late for her COVID positive parent. Her mom, Elaine Schlinker, received the results Wednesday.

Tammy Lever. Jill Croteau/Global Calgary

“She’s positive and now there’s a vaccine. It’s ironic and heartbreaking she’s gone through all of this and struggled and now there’s a vaccine,” Lever said. “She’ll be one of the only people not being able to get it right away and those others who have tested positive.”

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Lever said her 68-year-old Mom is very lonely.

Tammy\’s Mom Elaine Schlinker. Courtesy: Tammy Lever

“I haven’t hugged my mom since October. That hug and warmth of touching someone is missing.”

Lever said staff have informed her, her mom can still get the vaccine after the 14-day isolation period.

“The fact they are one of the first facilities to have residents getting vaccines is great news. At least they’re taking notice and trying, but I’m still scared,” Lever said.

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