As holidays approach, many are forced to celebrate without family living in senior care facilities

Posted at 10:14 AM, Dec 18, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-18 12:14:14-05

LONGMONT, Colo. — Any other year, Valeri McHugh would be spending Christmas with her mother. As we all know, this is no ordinary year.

"She’s 87 years old. How many more Christmases do you think we’re going to have with her?" McHugh questioned.

Her mother, Donnah, is living inside a Longmont care facility. McHugh, like many others, are left wondering when they'll be able hug their mother or father, grandmother or grandfather again. It's a harsh reality many are dealing with this holiday season.

"We didn’t get Thanksgiving and now we’re on another holiday. When does it become available situation for you to be able to actually touch your mother again?" McHugh told Denver7.

More than half of the state's nursing homes are dealing with active COVID-19 outbreaks and many are wondering why the vaccine hasn't made its way into these facilities.

"When is that going to happen?" McHugh asked.

As part of Phase 1, vaccinations are meant for healthcare workers as well as residents and staff inside long-term care facilities. The plan is for pharmacists from CVS and Walgreens to administer the shots.

Denver7 asked the Colorado State Joint Information Center about the vaccine roll out. This was their response:

"Right now, pharmacies are arranging plans with the facilities and they will be going into the facilities to administer the vaccine. We estimate in around 10 days they will begin vaccinating. Within a few weeks, they can do all Skilled Nursing Facilities.

We want this program to start as early as possible."