SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — Residents at the Good Samaritan Society are getting hopeful about the future as the COVID-19 vaccine continues rolling out.
A month ago, Gordon Carlson celebrated his 100th birthday in his home at the Good Samaritan Society Prairie Creek.
Today, he’s celebrating another big moment in life.
Receiving his COVID-19 vaccine.
“I’ve been looking forward to it ever since my birthday, as soon as they approved it,” Carlson said.
Carlson says getting vaccinated brought excitement for the future, and hopes of spending time with his family once again.
“They were happy. That means that someday we can get together,” Carlson said.
“We’re entertaining as much as we can, and we have family visits in our chapel. Of course, six feet apart, but, it’s not the same as being able to go right into their apartments and into their homes, and just be able to spend as much time together as, as they want to together with families,” Alecia O’Neill said.
Good Samaritan Society senior living administrator Alecia O’Neill says Good Sam is now working to partner together with the South Dakota Healthcare Association and the Department of Health for their reopening plan.
“We have to be patient, but hopefully, with our, South Dakota Healthcare group can partner with them and get some planning and some processes moving for us,” O’Neill said.
For now, she reminds people to not let their guard down just yet.
“We can’t forget all that we’ve learned and all the different tools that we have in this toolbox, the vaccines, now just an additional tool to help get us closer to the end and maybe some more normalcy, but we’ve got a ways to go yet,” O’Neill said.
She says 27 assisted living and 19 memory care residents have already received the vaccine at the Prairie Creek location.
As it continues being distributed, Carlson hopes others will be open to getting it.
“I urge everyone be a good citizen. Be a good neighbor, be a good friend and take your vaccination,” Carlson said.
As vaccinations continue rolling out, O’Neill reminds people to continue practicing all safety precautions to protect against COVID-19.