Health care worker at East Bridgewater nursing home tests positive for coronavirus - News - The Enterprise, Brockton, MA
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Health care worker at East Bridgewater nursing home tests positive for coronavirus – News – The Enterprise, Brockton, MA

Residents and their families the worker was in contact with and staff have been notified.

EAST BRIDGEWATER — A healthcare worker at the Sachem Center for Health and Rehabilitation has tested positive for the coronavirus.

The worker, who was not identified, currently isn’t working at the nursing home and will not return until meeting guidelines of the CDC, a spokeswoman said.

“The residents and their families the healthcare worker was in contact with, as well as staff, have already been notified,” National Health Care Associates, the company that operates the facility, said in a Wednesday statement.

The healthcare worker was screened before each shift, as guided by the CDC, and followed all infection control protocols required by the state Department of Public Health, according to the company.

A spokeswoman declined to provide additional details, including how many people the healthcare worker may have been in contact with and what the nursing home is doing in response to prevent  residents and other staff from getting sick.

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Sachem Center administrator Paul Feddura referred comment to National Health Care Associates.

The facility has a total of 111 licensed nursing beds, according to its profile on Massachusetts Senior Care Association, which represents nursing homes, assisted living facilities and other senior care providers.  

National Health Care Associates also operates rehabilitation and skilled nursing centers throughout New England, New York and New Jersey, including the Colony Center for Health and Rehabilitation in Abington.

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Sue Mulloy, administrator for East Bridgewater’s health department, said the nursing home reported the healthcare worker’s positive COVID-19 case to her office.

“The nursing home did call us to keep us in the loop to let us know and called the Department of Public Health,” she said.

The healthcare worker isn’t an East Bridgewater resident, so their case won’t be included in the town’s total, Mulloy said.

There are 16 confirmed COVID-19 cases in town as of Thursday, according to the Board of Health.

Mulloy and nurse Lisa Royal receive information about positive cases from a state epidemiological reporting system. 

They call the person with a confirmed case to learn about their recent close contacts and make sure all of them are following self-quarantine, Mulloy said.

Board of Health Chair Peter Spagone Jr. said up to date information about the coronavirus is available on the board’s page on the town website.

“My biggest concern is to keep people calm, cool and collected,” he said about providing information about the virus.

Nursing homes can be a perfect-storm environment for the coronavirus because their residents, who are often older adults with serious underlying medical conditions, are at a greater risk for COVID-19.

In March, Gov. Charlie Baker issued restrictions for visitors to all nursing and rest homes to reduce risk to older adults.

However, there have still been deaths at nursing homes.

Six of the 13 veterans who recently died at the state-run Holyoke Soldiers’ Home tested positive for the coronavirus. As a result, the state put a new leader in charge and Baker announced an independent investigation into the facility and what led to the deaths.

There has also been at least one death at the Chelsea Soldiers’ Home, which is also state-run, due to the virus.

As of Thursday, more than 50,000 people have been tested for the coronavirus and about 7700 cases have come back positive, according to recent numbers from the state Department of Public Health. So far, 122 deaths statewide have been attributed to COVID-19.

Material from Statehouse News Service was used in this report. Staff writer Mina Corpuz can be reached at mcorpuz@enterprisenews.com. Follow her on Twitter @mlcorpuz

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