Wellesley’s reported COVID-19 cases will shoot up again on Wednesday, largely the result of double-digit positive cases reported at Newton-Wellesley Center for Alzheimer’s Care. The state is showing Wellesley with 164 confirmed cases, which includes those under investigation. The town reports 155 cases, 33 of them new.
Yesterday, Wellesley reported 35 new cases, most as the result of positive tests at Elizabeth Seton Residence, a Wellesley-based Catholic, not-for-profit skilled nursing and rehabilitation facility offering short-term rehabilitation and long-term care.
Latest on Elizabeth Seton Residence
On Wednesday, Elizabeth Seton issued a press release to give an update on how COVID-19 has affected its community, 6 members of which have succumbed to the disease. The facility says from the beginning of the pandemic it has been following state and Centers for Disease Control guidelines to protect residents and staff. Visitors have been barred since March 11, large group gatherings were eliminated, social distancing was practiced at smaller gatherings and staff was screened twice daily.
Despite its efforts, the coronavirus spread within the building. The National Guard came onsite to test residents with symptoms on April 7 and 6 residents tested positive for COVID-19. The Massachusetts Department of Health made test kits available to test remaining residents throughout the nursing home on April 20 regardless of symptoms. Of these 60 residents, 34 tested positive, though most showed no symptoms. 16 residents are currently showing symptoms such as fever, fatigue and respiratory issues.
“Our heartfelt condolences go out to those families whose loved ones succumbed to this virus,” said Lori Ferrante, Administrator of the Elizabeth Seton Residence, in a statement. “We are closely monitoring all residents, as we have seen that the virus can escalate very quickly and with little warning. Our care continues to focus on comfort and supportive care to relieve symptoms as our residents fight this virus”.
Test results have guided separation of those who tested positive and negative, and strict quarantines are in place. Nursing interventions have been streamlined to limit interactions, per DPH recommendations. The facility’s leadership has been thankful for personal protective equipment supplied by the town and community efforts.
“In a normal world, we might have three people in the building requiring limited protective gear for their care,” Ferrante said. “Now we have over 40 people on full precautions. Ensuring adequate supplies continues to be a focus.”
The facility is keeping residents in touch with loved ones via calls (including Facetime video calls), emails, and social media.
NWH COVID-19 Fund
COVID-19 funds are coming fast and furious, and now Newton Wellesley Hospital has established the NWH COVID-19 Fund, “which will support the hospital’s ongoing efforts to ensure the health and safety of our community during this challenging time.”
The fund will be used to support care of those with COVID-19 as well as to help contain the disease’s spread and support the hospital’s clinicians and staff. Funds will also be used in recovery efforts following the pandemic.