JAMAICA PLAIN, Mass. – The Armenian Nursing and Rehabilitation Center (ANRC) on April 15 provided an update to its situation in the middle of the surge of COVID-19 in the Boston area. This month so far there have been 9 deaths connected to this virus at the center. Nursing homes in general in Massachusetts and elsewhere are experiencing rising numbers of deaths and difficulties in staffing.
Chief Executive Officer Stewart Goff in his informative and often times eloquent weekly report said that there were 11 deaths this month total, which is of course higher than the average of 2-7 monthly deaths prior to the advent of COVID-19.
ANRC stayed one step ahead of evolving guidelines by deciding to test all residents, even those who are asymptomatic, on April 7, while the Massachusetts Department of Public Health recommended this approach on April 13. The tests were done by the National Guard on April 9. Of the 73 resident samples, 25 had symptoms on that date but 50 residents tested positive.
Goff wrote, “We are bewildered by this result. We have been so vigilant around any clinical changes in condition. Any identified clinical changes resulted in a transfer to the isolation suite, whether day or night.”
He added that all employees were checked for symptoms and temperature when entering the facility on all three shifts, but this has limited benefit because people could be asymptomatic while infected (as confirmed by the test results from the residents).
Fifteen employees were out with COVID-19, and almost all had positive test results, but two employees completed the quarantine period recommended by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and have returned to work fully recovered, Goff stated.