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Health & Science

COVID-19 Vaccinations Begin At Some Wisconsin Nursing Homes

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Ann-Elise Henzl
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The Bay at Sheridan Health and Rehabilitation Center in Kenosha, WI. In May, six residents died of COVID-19 and the facility became the center of a statewide investigation of nursing homes.

Gov. Tony Evers says COVID-19 vaccinations of residents and staff are now underway at some Wisconsin long-term care facilities, including nursing homes. Eligible sites are paired with two large pharmacy chains, which will provide storage and handling of the Moderna brand vaccine, as well as scheduling, administering the drug and reporting its use. 

About 57,000 doses will initially be available for the long-term care facilities.  The Wisconsin Department of Health Services says the vaccination program at those sites will continue for about two months.

The department says as of Sunday night, nearly 40,000 doses of the Moderna vaccine or the one made by Pfizer have been given to health care workers in the state. About 265,000 doses of the two products have been allocated to Wisconsin. The agency says it expects immunization efforts to keep ramping up, and for shots given to keep pace with supply of the vaccines.

On the COVID-19 testing front, U.S. Representative Gwen Moore (D-Milwaukee) announced she has tested positive for the virus, and is isolating, but feeling well. 

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Credit Chuck Quirmbach
Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett speaks to news reporters on Monday.

Also, in Milwaukee, Tuesday morning, the city is opening what's called a mobile testing site at Barack Obama School — the former Custer High School — on the north side.

Mayor Tom Barrett said it's called mobile because the equipment may only be there a couple weeks, before it can be moved to other Milwaukee locations where the virus is prevalent. 

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Credit Chuck Quirmbach / WUWM
The mobile coronavirus testing site located at Barack Obama School in Milwaukee.

"So, what our health department will continue to do is to monitor where all the outbreaks are, look at all the numbers by census tract, and see where we believe that there is the most need for testing,” said Barrett.

Hours at the Obama site are limited to mornings during the week, with some early afternoon hours on weekends. Barrett said he'll soon announce a second mobile facility. A private company under contract with the city will do the free testing.

Milwaukee's fixed COVID-19 testing sites at Miller Park, the Northwest Health Center and Southside Health Center will remain open.

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