POMEROY — A vigil was held on Thursday afternoon to bring awareness to the needs of nursing home staff and residents during the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as pay tribute to the lives lost the the virus.
Carol Walters, Deputy Director of SEIU (Service Employees International Union) which represents some of the workers at Overbrook Rehabilitation Center and Arbors of Pomeroy, said the peaceful event was being held to bring awareness to the numbers of staff and residents who have lost their lives due to COVID-19.
“We’re lucky in the south part of the state we have not had as much loss here,” said Walters, noting that the nursing home residents are some of the most vulnerable, as are staff members.
Among those lost to the virus included SEIU members in the Cleveland area.
Walters added that initially there was a PPE (personal protective equipment) shortage in nursing homes as supplies were directed to hospitals, but that has gotten better.
Walters encouraged nursing homes to prepare for the future as “we believe it will come back.”
A the end of the event white carnations were placed on the village marker in memory of those lost to COVID-19.
Staff members from the local nursing homes also took part in the event.
Similar events took place in Cleveland, Cincinnati, Youngstown and Toledo, Ohio and Huntington, W.Va. Walters, who works out of the Huntington SEIU district office, is a resident of Meigs County.
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Sarah Hawley is the managing editor of The Daily Sentinel.