Residents, Staff at Long-Term Care Facilities Prioritized During Maricopa County COVID-19 Response

Maricopa County Government
3 min readMay 11, 2021

May 2021

Residents of long-term care and assisted living facilities and the staff that work to support their daily needs have been a priority for vaccination efforts by the Maricopa County Department of Public Health (MCDPH). To date, 844 facilities have enrolled in MCDPH’s vaccination program that provides first and second doses of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine or one dose of Janssen to staff and residents of each site.

Of the 844 long-term care and assisted living facilities that have enrolled with MCDPH, over 86% have received their second dose and 6% have received their first dose, for a total of over 14,700 first and second vaccinations administered. An additional 5% of registered facilities have been assigned to vaccination teams for scheduling. MCDPH also partnered with Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System (AHCCCS), which arranged vaccination for over 50 adult group homes that met Phase 1A vaccination eligibility criteria.

“We’ve been working with our partners in long-term care facilities consistently throughout the past year providing guidance, access to personal protective equipment, testing, and now, vaccinations,” said Dr. Rebecca Sunenshine, medical director for disease control at MCDPH. “The vaccines are an important step in protecting the health of residents in these high-risk congregate settings, so it was especially important that we prioritized this population in our county.”

Residents of most of the county’s larger nursing homes and assisted living facilities are being vaccinated through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Pharmacy Partnership for Long-Term Care (LTC) Program. Through this initiative, CVS, Walgreens and Managed Health Care Associates offer on-site COVID-19 vaccination services for residents of these facilities. To complement these efforts, MCDPH worked with facilities that were interested in offering vaccine on-site to staff and residents but were not enrolled in the CDC program.

“While we have been happy with the participation rate of vaccinations in long-term care facilities, we are continuing to work with these facilities to prevent the spread of COVID-19,” Dr. Sunenshine added. “We are still working very closely with these facilities any time a single case, resident or staff, is identified to help mitigate spread within the facility, offering testing of residents and staff, and providing personal protective equipment.”

Both Maricopa County and AHCCCS have expanded mobile vaccination to include behavioral health residential facilities. Assisted living and behavioral health homes that have not yet registered with either the federal or county vaccination program, and currently have residents who would like to be vaccinated, can email to enroll.


On Monday, December 14, 2020, Maricopa County Public Health received the first doses of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine. The vaccine received emergency use authorization by the FDA on Friday, December 11. Approximately 18,000 doses were included in the first shipment, which were then taken to county Points of Dispensing (PODs), where the first healthcare workers were vaccinated as part of distribution Phase 1A, marking a turning point in the ability for Public Health to address the pandemic.

As of May 4, 2021, almost 3 million COVID-19 vaccine doses have been administered in Maricopa County.

Recent Updates on Maricopa County’s COVID-19 Response

05/10/2021: Volunteers Give 94,360 Hours to Assist During Pandemic

05/04/2021: Residents, Staff at Long-Term Care Facilities Prioritized During COVID-19 Response

04/23/2021: Maricopa County Offers Safe Indoor Space

04/14/2021: COVID-19 Assistance Available to Spanish Speakers

04/07/2021: 1.3 Million Maricopa County Residents Vaccinated in 5 Months

04/06/2021: 26,036 Essential Education Workers Vaccinated in Maricopa County

03/19/2021: Maricopa County Expands Rent and Utility Assistance