On April 20, all staff were tested.  All were negative.  Trish felt like she was leading the staff to slaughter until the results came back.
By April 30, 15 long-term care facilities in NH were reporting cases of Co-vid 19.  Most of the cases were in dementia units where compliance was difficult.
On May 4, a resident tested positive for the virus.  The resident showed symptoms as early as May 2.  The resident was quarantined immediately and then shipped to the hospital.  The resident is doing well.  Contact tracing was initiated, all the Center’s employees were rapid tested at PRH and all tested negative.
Trish mentioned if she has PTSD from this, one moment will spur it. The look on the DON’s face when she informed Trish one of the residents had tested positive.
On Tuesday, May 5, the state was contacted and informed the Center would need to have everyone tested.  The state sent the rapid response unit that evening.  All but four employees waited patiently to be tested—some waited for two hours.  Some of the younger staff even had their parents with them while they waited in line.
One staff member tested positive.  Fortunately, the staff member had only worked one 8-hour shift to contact tracing was a simple task.
Lots of help was received from many corners.  The National Guard donated and delivered 6,000 protective gowns.
Due to the two positive tests, the Center was placed on lockdown.  Sections of the building were designated as quarantine areas.  Fourteen-day quarantining was implemented.  Full protective equipment was donned by all staff.  For two weeks one elevator was dedicated to the quarantine floor.
Staging areas were created.  Quarantine, isolation and transition areas were established.  Anyone that presented with symptoms was immediately placed in the quarantine area and had to remain there for 14 days.  Any resident that had to leave the building for a doctor’s appointment, etc., had to quarantine for 14 days upon return.
With no end date in sight, Flagg turned the meeting to questions.
Tiffany asked about when will visitation be brought back.  The answer—not until we reach Phase 3.  We are currently in Phase 1.  There is no date certain and no date in sight.  At a bare minimum, a facility has to go 28 days without any positive tests.  Nursing homes are now tested weekly.
Linda Brownell mentioned not being able to see her 94-year-old mother-in-law whose health is failing.  Trish said cards will be accepted, but no deliveries.
Ed Mallon mentioned the clear toll this is taking on Trish and asked how she is handling it.  Trish said she really can’t turn it off.  It is an all-consuming issue and you can’t take your foot off the pedal.  Our support is very important to her.
Flagg mentioned how therapeutic these virtual meetings are. They are the closest thing to social gathering that many of us have.  The meetings are deliberately goofy and irreverent to alleviate the painful challenges of social distancing.  So true.
And with that, Larry led us in the Four-Way Test and our meeting was adjourned.
Until next time.
Respectfully submitted, Mark Lorusso.
Photos by Don Chick