4.2.2020 Update from Administrator
Despite continued tireless efforts and tremendous care by the Williamstown Commons staff, the positive cases of residents infected with COVID-19 has continued to grow. As of today, Thursday, April 2, we have a total of 36 residents who are currently in-house that have tested positive and 7 more pending results. A small win is that 14 residents have also tested negative.
Our community is deeply saddened that two additional residents passed away last evening. It is extremely difficult at times like this to continue to remain positive, but I will tell you that it has been made possible through the tremendous support Williamstown Commons has received from the community. From medical supplies, signs of encouragement posted throughout the community to full meals and everything in between our staff has felt very cared for. This has encouraged them to push on and continue to care for our residents in tremendous ways during this unfathomable time. I could not be prouder to be standing behind the entire Williamstown Commons team that have been on the front-line since this has begun and will continue to be there for our residents, your loved ones. It is humbling to be part of a community that during such times of trial continue to find the selfless emotional and physical strength to remain hopeful and full of fight.
Our existing protocols remain in place: staff absences are noted; all staff are being screened at the beginning of their shift for respiratory symptoms, actively taking their temperature for evidence of fever, shortness of breath, new or change in cough, and sore throat. If they are ill, they will self-isolate at home. We are following guidelines provided by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC)and the Massachusetts Department of Health in this matter. I recognize that this is a time of great uncertainty. Our Employee Assistance Program and grief counselors from HospiceCare in the Berkshires have also been made available to our staff for emotional support should anyone feel they need it. I can assure that your support has tremendous meaning to our residents and staff.
Jodi Ouimette, Administrator
As of Tuesday, March 31, we continue to care for 20 residents at Williamstown Commons who have tested positive for COVID-19. One remains out at the hospital. These numbers are unchanged from yesterday.
As of Monday, March 30, 20 residents are being cared for at Williamstown Commons who have tested positive for the Coronavirus.
As of Sunday, March 29, Williamstown Commons has had 17 residents who have tested positive for the Coronavirus. Of the 17, 15 continue to be cared for by our dedicated and caring staff; one is at the hospital and one resident has passed away. We are deeply saddened by this loss in our community. We will continue to communicate closely with our residents and staff and stay in close contact with local and state health departments.
As of today (March 27), Williamstown Commons has 14 residents who have tested positive for COVID-19. 13 of those residents are currently under the care of a dedicated team of professionals at Williamstown, and one resident is at the hospital. At this time, 23 residents have been tested with four negative tests and five pending tests.
Williamstown Commons has been in an active response mode since the coronavirus first appeared on U.S soil and has implemented restrictions and protocols consistent with recommendations by the CDC and state health and public safety agencies.
All residents at Williamstown Commons are checked for potential symptoms three times daily (more often if they request it, or there is a noticeable change in condition). In order to meet the criteria for testing, residents must be symptomatic or have a temperature over 100 degrees. Residents who have been tested were identified through the facility’s daily health assessments and will continue to be assessed.
As an additional measure to protect residents and provide focused care, all residents who have exhibited symptoms and have tested positive are being cohorted onto one unit. Currently Williamstown Commons is adequately supplied with personal protective equipment that allows for the safe care of residents by our staff.
Our primary concern is continuing to support our residents and staff while taking every measure to safeguard their health and safety. We remain in close communication with our residents and families throughout this unprecedented situation.
The Massachusetts Department of Public Health and the Williamstown Board of Health have been notified and continue to consult and advise the Williamstown Commons team as we monitor residents and respond to any changes in resident health.
The past several weeks have been unprecedented, for our country and the world, as the COVID-19 virus has become front and center in all of our lives. The concerns you may have are shared by healthcare providers like ourselves as we navigate these uncharted waters. At Williamstown Commons we recognize that time-sensitive and candid communication with our residents, families and community is critical to how we all respond to this health crisis.
We have been informed that a resident, who has been residing at our skilled nursing center, has tested positive for COVID-19. We have and will continue to work with the Centers for Medicaid & Medicare Services (CMS), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the state and local health departments to isolate this situation and mitigate any future problems.
Please be assured that we have been preparing for this situation for the last several weeks knowing that the virus is present in our local communities. We are confident that our team of clinicians, nurses, aides and other support staff at Williamstown Commons are well prepared to protect the ongoing health of our residents.
Throughout this entire public health crisis, we have been guided by, and consulted with, key federal and state agencies who are involved in the prevention and mitigation of the Corona virus. Their infection control, screening and assessment protocols have been instrumental in our preparedness for this situation. We continue to assess our residents and staff daily for signs or symptoms of COVID-19. It was the strict adherence to these protocols that enabled us to identify this case and resulted in a swift response in caring for this patient and putting immediate precautions in place to help isolate the situation. We will continue to follow the Massachusetts Department of Public Health’s guidance on notifying members of our community who may have had contact with these residents.
We understand the concerns around COVID-19. Now, with a resident who has tested positive; patients, families and community members may feel worried about the care we are able to provide to them or their loved ones. We encourage you to remember that the team members working to care for our residents at Williamstown Commons are your neighbors and community members. They continue to work incredibly hard to ensure that our most vulnerable populations are being cared for with the highest quality of care, compassion and resources to safeguard their health and wellbeing.
Williamstown Commons remains committed, as your community partner, to provide the best care possible. We are grateful for the efforts of our team here at Williamstown Commons, and our local healthcare partners, for their commitment and dedication to our residents and families. We are humbled by your trust in us and will continue to work tirelessly to earn that trust and confidence each day.
Please continue to check our website for additional information and updates that pertain to this evolving situation as it becomes available.
Jodi Ouimette, Administrator