Armenian Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Jamaica Plain, MA

Armenian Nursing and Rehabilitation Center Grapples with COVID-19 Epidemic, Thankful for Community Assistance

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JAMAICA PLAIN, Mass. — The Armenian Nursing and Rehabilitation Center (ANRC) has regularly been providing updates on its situation as it deals with the difficulties of the COVID-19 pandemic. Continuing community support is helping it through this crisis period.

While normally ANRC expects 2-7 deaths per month, Chief Executive Officer Stewart Goff reported on May 8 that there were 24 deaths in April, of which only two were inconclusive concerning COVID-19, and 5 more in May, of which only one individual had tested negative for COVID-19. Therefore there have been 26 deaths in total from April 1 to May 7 due to COVID-19.

While contact with residents has been restricted, Goff said that if a resident appears to be in such a condition that he or she may pass soon, ANRC will arrange a FaceTime or Skype visit with loved ones.

All residents were recently retested for the virus and 14 positives remained positive, while 12 converted to negatives. One person tested inconclusively and a few refused testing, Goff wrote.

Soon the entire workforce, which has three shifts, will also be tested. Goff had stated on April 23 that 23 employees were out with verified COVID-19 infections but all were stable. Five employees who were sick had returned to work after quarantine. When employees come their temperatures are checked and they are asked about any symptoms of viral infection. The lower number of residents left in the home have made the smaller workforce able to handle the workload, Goff said. Separate teams work with COVID-19 infected residents and with those who are uninfected.

At present, ANRC has been able to meet most of its personal protective equipment needs (PPE). However, two ways that people can directly help the home is by finding large or extra-large nitrile or vinyl gloves (no powder or latex), which ANRC has not been able to obtain, and providing meals to the workforce. Meals help employees who do not need to buy groceries or go out for their meals and it also helps lighten the load of the ANRC kitchen staff. Those interested in either delivering meals or donating for the employee meal fund may contact Carolyn at help-line@armeniannursing.org or (857) 273-9958. Donations can also be made at this website: https://www.awwa.us/donate.

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In addition, the Armenian American Pharmacists’ Association  and the AGBU Young Professionals of Boston together on May 5 launched a GoFundMe campaign for the ANRC to help purchase N95 masks and contribute to the employee meal fund. See here. As of May 12, approximately $3,000 out of the goal of $5,000 had been reached.

Two well-known Armenian musicians, John Berberian (oud) and Garo Papazian (doumbek), are generously donating their time and providing a Facebook Live Stream Benefit Concert on Thursday, May 14 from 7 to 8 p.m. to support the residents and staff of the ANRC.

Goff noted, “We cannot overstate how your support makes such a difference in the morale of our staff and in our ability to support our staff with the right PPE. It is amazing to see how the Armenian community through both its formal and informal agencies and networking, can come together to bolster our little community here at the ANRC. So, we thank you!”

Topics: Coronavirus
People: Stewart Goff
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