State intervenes at Hadley nursing center amid coronavirus outbreak

  • The Elaine Center at Hadley, a skilled nursing and rehabilitation facility on North Maple Street in Hadley. STAFF PHOTO/KEVIN GUTTING

  • The Elaine Center at Hadley, a skilled nursing and rehabilitation facility on North Maple Street in Hadley. Photographed on Wednesday, Jan. 13, 2021. STAFF PHOTO/KEVIN GUTTING

  • The Elaine Center at Hadley, a skilled nursing and rehabilitation facility on North Maple Street in Hadley. Photographed on Wednesday, Jan. 13, 2021. STAFF PHOTO/KEVIN GUTTING

  • The Elaine Center at Hadley, a skilled nursing and rehabilitation facility on North Maple Street in Hadley. Photographed on Wednesday, Jan. 13, 2021. STAFF PHOTO/KEVIN GUTTING

Staff Writer
Published: 1/14/2021 2:22:22 PM

HADLEY — Elaine Center at Hadley is not allowed to accept new admissions to the skilled nursing and rehabilitation facility until the current COVID-19 outbreak is under control.

The state’s Department of Public Health on Dec. 30 issued the mandate to the 20 North Maple St. site, where 67 residents and 27 staff members have tested positive for COVID-19 over the course of the pandemic. Fourteen residents have died from the virus, according to state figures.

According to information supplied by the state health officials, Elaine, operated by Genesis HealthCare, will be allowed to begin admitting new residents again once conditions at the facility improve.

“Our thoughts and prayers go out to those impacted by COVID-19 during this difficult time, especially the families of the 14 residents who passed away,” said Dr. Richard Feifer, chief medical officer for Genesis in a statement.

The state stepped in to help with a rise in both infections and deaths, with six fatalities attributed to COVID-19 this month.

A clinical team from the Massachusetts National Guard was on site from Dec. 22 through Jan. 4, and licensed nurses from the state’s Rapid Response Team were deployed at the location from Dec. 29 until Monday. Those teams, which include assistance from a private contractor, were created by the state in April to support nursing homes with urgent staffing needs throughout the pandemic.

Feifer explained that during the pandemic, stringent restrictions and other precautions have been in place at Elaine. This has included following Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services protocols and guidelines for the coronavirus, and in many cases getting out in front by adopting infection precautions that go beyond these requirements.

“We also continue to work closely and follow the direction of the Massachusetts Department of Health in an effort to contain and minimize the spread of the virus,” Feifer said. “The Department of Health conducted an unannounced infection control survey and no deficiencies were noted.”

Specifically, steps that have been taken include screening residents and patients for symptoms three times a day, actively screening and taking temperatures of all staff upon building entry and requiring them to wear personal protective equipment, placing restrictions on visitors, and canceling all outside medical appointments except for medically necessary, time-sensitive and life-saving treatments, like dialysis and chemotherapy.

Elaine also has enhanced its videoconferencing calls for families and residents using Zoom technology.

But even with this work, Feifer stated that having space for patients with dementia and other cognitive disorders means challenges in keeping them confined to their rooms and not wandering about, and they can be easily frightened when asked to put on masks, goggles and face shields.

“We are using techniques to distract and guide them to remain in their rooms and wear the protective equipment to the extent possible,” Feifer said.

Fortunately, Elaine’s first vaccine clinic for residents was held Jan. 7 by CVS Pharmacy.

Feifer also praised the center’s staff.

“With no questions asked, they are coming to work each and every day to care for their patients and residents,” he said.

Scott Merzbach can be reached at smerzbach@gazettenet.com.


Daily Hampshire Gazette Office

115 Conz Street
Northampton, MA 01061
413-584-5000

 

Copyright © 2020 by H.S. Gere & Sons, Inc.
Terms & Conditions - Privacy Policy