COVID Stats To Date:
Positive Staff: 10
Positive Patients: 3
Update: October 5, 2020
Dear Staff, Residents, Families, and Community Members:
This is an update to let you know that we received a positive COVID test result back on a patient who we discharged back home after their rehab stay with us. As part of our ongoing COVID-19 testing surveillance, and in accordance with regulations, we are conducting weekly testing of 100% of our staff and residents in an effort to keep everyone safe. This person who was with us was in a room alone, and at this writing, all residents and staff tested negative for the same time frame.
We are again testing 100% of the staff and resident population this week and will do so weekly for the next 14 days or longer, as necessary. In addition, when we take in a new admission, we have been, and still are, having them COVID-tested at the hospital prior to admission. And, we are putting new admissions into a room on their own under surveillance and quarantine for 14 days as an extra level of precaution.
QVHC has been committed to resident and patient safety since the beginning of the COVID pandemic, and we continue to operate in the best interest of everyone here at the facility. Please know that we have made the decision last week to stop all in-person visits because of a staff positive case, as well as outdoor visits, out of an abundance of caution. We are also restricting any outside items being brought into the facility by staff or family members, unless it’s something necessary for their care at the facility. We will let you know when the visit ban is lifted.
To date, we have had 10 staff and 3 residents test positive, all with no adverse outcome whatsoever. As a matter of fact, none of these individuals had any signs or symptoms of COVID and were part of the testing surveillance group.
At this time, no staff or resident has any signs or symptoms, direct-care staff is in full PPE, and all tests but that one have come back negative.
We thank you for your support, and will continue to keep you updated.
Update: September 28, 2020
Update: We just sent a letter to families about reopening for indoor visits, but today we must stop all visits (indoor and outdoor) once again. In addition, we cannot accept any items, other than personal clothing at this time. We had a consulting pharmacist at the facility to review records and has since tested positive for Covid-19, prompting us to go on lockdown, per state and federal guidelines. The pharmacist was masked the entire time while here and had their temp taken and surveillance questions asked. This person has never had any signs and symptoms and was tested as part of her own organization’s surveillance program, revealing the positive result. This means everyone at QVHC has to be tested weekly for two weeks and if there are no positive cases, we can reopen. The person in question didn’t have contact with any patients or residents. We will continue to keep you up to date and appreciate your continued support.
Covid-19 Update (October 2020)
Limited Reopening To Visitors, Inside Visits
Target Date: September 28
As things continue to evolve with COVID-19 restrictions, we will make necessary changes, but will always operate in a way that best protects our residents, patients, and staff. Our rules may not be exactly what any governing body recommends, and that’s OK, our rules take precedence.
Visitations: Indoor visitations will take place beginning the week of October 28. Will be limited to no more than 2 people per resident/patient. The visitors must call the facility to set up a visitation time and provide the name of each visitor. Our Activities Department will take the calls to schedule all visits except for Dana unit visits. Chris, the Dana unit manager, has determined that Dana unit will schedule their own visits conducive to the unit’s schedule.
No more than 2 visitors are allowed and the entire group will be turned away if visitors show up with more than 2 people. Visitors will be given a selection of dates and times when you call; the current time, visits will be arranged Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sundays. One day a week visits will be offered up until 7:30 PM. No visits allowed between 11:30 AM-1 PM due to lunch or between 5-6 PM due to dinner. We have to accommodate a lot of visits so a resident will not be able to have multiple visits within the same week.
You can still visit outdoors, but now there will be an indoor option available. We have a designated space inside for visits and the details of the visit will be discussed when you call. Outdoor visits will still take place outside on the back patio and will be supervised, weather permitting. You will be advised where to go when you call to make the appointment. Please note that your visit may be cancelled at the last minute based on any new cases of COVID that are identified during the facility’s surveillance testing should we receive a positive case. All visits will be supervised by a QVHC staff member. Masks are required by all visitors, residents, patients and staff with the only exception being for a medical condition. If the visitors try to remove their masks, or make physical contact with the resident beyond what is allowed, you will be asked to leave the premises. You will be required to maintain social distancing of 6’ during the visit. If the visitor tries to breach the defined 6-foot barrier, the visit will immediately end and you will not be allowed to visit again, for a defined period of time.
To schedule a visit: Call and ask to be transferred to our activities department to set up the visit (if your loved one resides on the Dana specialty unit ask for the unit manager for Dana when you call). If no one picks up the phone, someone will call you back within 48 hours to set up the appointment. We will not be able to accommodate last-minute visits. All visitors will have their temperature taken and name recorded. You will not be allowed to visit if your temperature is 100 degrees or higher—per QVHC testing. We will not use your personal temperature (a temp you took yourself) as a valid temp.
We have done everything in our power to avoid COVID in the building and have been successful so far. We want to accommodate visitors but we must continue to be diligent and not let our guard down—especially now. There will be many questions as this process unfolds and there will in fact be some confusion, but we ask that all of us remain respectful and polite towards one another even if there are disagreements about what is allowed or not or whether there are disagreements with how we are handling this or not. We have been successful because we do not allow personal beliefs to guide our decision-making process, rather we are driven by facts, and real-time experiences and that is how we will continue to operate.
Thank you to our amazing staff, family and friends, and the community at large, you all have been an enormous support throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. Your understanding and courage have been keys to our success and we look forward to easing more restrictions over time if it is safe to do so.
Please note that should we have a positive COVID case at any time, we will immediately revert back to lockdown mode and all visitations will be cancelled.
Covid-19 Update (August 2020)
We had a staff test positive for COVID-19 on July 28. The good news is, they haven’t been in the building since, and they had a negative test just two weeks prior so we know their exposure to others is very limited. Also, the staff person is not on the nursing team, and has limited direct care responsibilities.
We contact-traced and identified everyone they came in contact with, both staff and residents: Only 4 residents were in direct contact an additional 11 people were in in-direct contact.
We are currently under testing surveillance—separate from this issue—as required by the Department of Health. We baseline tested all staff and 100% of them in that group came back negative. The subsequent surveillance testing revealed the 1 positive, all others tests came back negative.
No residents or patients have been affected—meaning their tests have been negative. This is believed to be an isolated incident with the staff person. But we have implemented a series of aggressive measures to be on the safe side:
Any resident in contact with the positive staff has been retested. Any staff in contact with the positive staff, has been retested.
Any resident room affected is on full precautions and vital signs are being monitored 4 times per day.
All facility outdoor visits have been suspended through August 10. All non-essential persons are not allowed in until further notice. We are in effect in full lock-down mode for the safety of all we serve.
We anticipate this is contained and fully under control, but as we know with COVID, anything is possible and we will always operate with the health and safety of our residents, patients, and staff as our top priority and make drastic decisions to keep people safe.
We can’t stress enough that people remain diligent in their personal lives and take this very seriously and wear masks, limit social gatherings, wash hands, and remember your actions affect significant amounts of people around you. Together, let’s keep everyone safe.
Covid-19 Update (June 2020)
As of this letter, QVHC still has no residents or patients with a COVID-19 diagnosis. As a matter of fact, when we admit anyone new to the facility, we require them to have a COVID test that returns a negative result before they come to us. Additionally, they are admitted to a private room for 48 hours to be sure they are not exhibiting any signs and symptoms, even though their test is negative. This is just another layer of protection we are taking to ensure everyone’s safety.
We also have to continue to act responsibly and plan for a situation where if we were to have a patient or resident test positive for COVID-19, we would have a safe and secure place for them to move to so that we protect the rest of our community from possibly contracting the virus. So to be sure we have an appropriate place that is isolated from the rest of the facility, we have decided to set up a unit on our lower level, because it is ideally set up—it has a separate entrance and exit, and can be safely used as a COVID-19 recovery center because it is entirely closed off from the rest of the facility. Our intention is to act in a very proactive way so that it minimizes the possible chaos that would arise should we be faced with this situation without a solid plan in place.
If we need to use the unit, we have staff who requested to be dedicated to that unit to care for these individuals, and we have enough Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) in stock—N95 masks, surgical masks, gowns, gloves, hair bonnets, shoe booties, face shields, goggles, and hand sanitizer. We will continue to get the necessary PPE in and keep our stock at robust levels.
We know that rumors can take on a life of their own, and when we meet with staff to discuss ideas and strategy, we understand word gets out. But it’s often rumor—not fact—which in turn alarms the community and the people who have loved ones with us. We are issuing this letter because, as we have been from the very beginning, we believe in being honest and transparent with you. We view this as the responsible thing to do and want to be as prepared as possible so that we keep everyone as safe as possible.
In the meantime, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health has determined that all residents, patients, and staff at long term care facilities be tested for COVID-19 by May 25, regardless of whether anyone is exhibiting signs and symptoms. We will need to comply with that mandate and complete the tests in the given time frame. You will be notified of the results of the tests when they come back. Our goal is to start widespread testing the week of May 4. QVHC implemented an aggressive COVID monitoring process on March 11, 2020, which included taking temperatures of all residents and patients at least 2 times per shift and monitoring any other associated symptoms. We also screen and take temps of all staff and any visitor allowed at the facility. That process led us to conduct 5 tests—all of which came back negative. No other person has exhibited any symptoms since, leaving us with no COVID cases at the facility. Please note that widespread testing of asymptomatic people may, in fact, result in “positive” cases, which will require us to move those people to the new space to isolate and be treated while we work to protect everyone else. Because of our aggressive approach to screening new admissions, we think the likelihood of exposure is limited, but it’s never eliminated completely.
The fine rehabilitation department at QVHC consists of a diverse team of therapists and doctors who offer some of the most advanced physical therapy, occupational therapy and speech therapy programs in the area.
ALZHEIMER’S AND DEMENTIA CARE
QVHC boasts the area’s most comprehensive Dementia Unit. This unit offers a home-like, secure environment that is specifically designed to lessen the stresses of everyday life.
QVHC offers a complete range of programs and services to meet the long-term healthcare needs of elderly adults and their families. Our facility is noted for its supportive environment.
Welcome to Quabbin Valley Healthcare.
Quabbin Valley Healthcare offers a variety of individualized healthcare services and therapy programs to families and patients in Athol, Gardner, Orange and surrounding communities throughout Worcester County. Whether you are here for a brief visit or plan to make QVHC your new home, we will develop a specialized program that will help you reach your highest potential level of function and independence.
Each Resident Is Unique.
Our philosophy is to learn how they choose to live their lives and honor their choices in their daily routines.
To that end, we will ask our residents the questions that help us assist them in living the life that they choose. We will assist in securing the resources necessary to meet their choices. We will respect each resident as one of our own and treat them with the dignity and choice that we would want for ourselves or those we hold dear.
Testimonials & Awards
A small reflection of what makes Quabbin Valley Healthcare so special.
“The two weeks I spent at Quabbin Valley, I was treated extremely professionally, but also like a guest in someone’s home and returned home healthier and in less pain than I have been in, in over two years. I really cannot say enough about how pleased I am with my experience at Quabbin Valley Healthcare. Should I ever need any rehab or longer term care, I will undoubtedly choose your facility.”
“Dear All, Thank you so much for all your tender loving care and aid to walk again. When I arrived at your facility, I never thought I would be able to move, sit or be so independent after such an extensive surgery. You all showed me your professionalism and compassion. I appreciate and will never forget how you helped me to believe all can be better again. Thanks to all of you,”
Exceptional Care and Service.
Our family of administrators and staff treat everyone with the greatest empathy, compassion and respect. It certainly shows in everything we do!