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Northwest side assisted living facility could soon distribute COVID-19 vaccine

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TUCSON (KVOA) - There are around 50 residents at Copper Canyon Assisted Living & Memory Care. According to Executive Director Juan Martinez, they have not had any cases of COVID-19. They hope the new COVID-19 vaccine will keep them on that streak.

"It was sent out by the CDC and health organizations to all communities in skilled nursing facilities. But Sunshine, as a corporation, we felt it was very important to get on this list as soon as possible and jumped on the opportunity," said Martinez.

Martinez said the Northwest facility is on that vaccine list.

"And having the opportunity to get our residents and staff members vaccinated. It is really an opportunity to get back normalcy."

Martinez said the feedback from residents and their families has been very positive.

"They are excited to be able to do this and get back to normalcy with visitation and things of that nature."

Barbara Leightenheimer's mother Alice lives at Copper Canyon and has only been able to see her mom through plexiglass and online.

"She said well why is this? Why do you not come in? And I said oh it is the flu and she accepts that but with dementia, no…We need to get the world going again."

She said the vaccine is a step forward in that direction.

"She {Alice} has always gotten her vaccines so I feel good about it…I know it is only 95% effective but having people around her having the vaccine, her having the vaccine and me having it, too."

News 4 Tucson asked Martinez who the vaccine will be available to.

"We are looking at whether to make this a clinic where people can come through and do that or just for the residents and the staff members. At this time, I cannot go either way. But it is something we are trying to figure out and see if it may be beneficial."

It is unclear exactly when the new vaccine will be available, but when it is, residents and staff will be one of the first to get it.

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Allie Potter

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