Our Response to COVID-19

Our Preparedness Plan for COVID-19

To our residents and families,

We understand that residents and families are concerned about COVID-19, the novel coronavirus, particularly since the World Health Organization (WHO) has declared the virus a global pandemic. Welch Senior Living and Providence House have been responding to the news of this outbreak with a coordinated preparedness plan. The health and safety of residents, their families, staff, and visitors are our highest priority. There are no cases of the virus at any Welch Senior Living Community. We want to share the actions we are taking to prevent infections and ask that you work with us in this regard.

Following CDC and WHO Guidelines

We have a communicable disease policy in place, are follwing all protocols and advisories, as they are updated from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (MDPH) and continue to implement any new precautionary steps to safeguard health as advised. A Welch Senior Living Task Force is coordinating these efforts. Managers throughout the community have specific, assigned responsibilities, should we ever suspect exposure to the virus. Our corporate senior Nurse Clinician is working with key staff within Providence House to make certain they are apprised of the latest developments, advisories, and protocols. Personal protective equipment to safeguard both residents and staff are in use when necessary.

Staff have experience with flu and norovirus and are well trained in following “Universal Precautions,” to minimize the impact of communicable disease. Stepped up infection control protocols have been initiated and include disinfecting common surfaces within the community such as doors, railings, tables, counter tops, phones, computers and their accessories, throughout the day. 

We ask Residents that:

If you are not feeling well, you stay in your apartment and immediately notify the Wellness Department and your personal physician. We are meeting regularly with all staff and will provide frequent communications on our updates and new recommendations from the CDC, WHO, and MDPH. To make certain we have the most up-to- date contact information to provide expedient updates through email, please provide your email address to Charles James at [email protected]

Visitor Policy

For your health and safety, Welch Senior Living Assisted Living Communities are following the latest policy and procedures from the Massachusetts Office of Elder Affairs (EOEA) concerning COVID-19.

Assisted Living Residences are now required to restrict all visitors, except in the case of compassionate care situations, such as end-of-life. In this situation, visitors will have limited access to a resident’s apartment or a specific room designated for such visitation by the community. Any decision concerning visitation during end of life will need to be made on a case-by-case basis and will include careful visitor screening for fever or respiratory symptoms.

If a visitor, such as a member of the clergy or bereavement counselor displays any symptoms of a respiratory infection (fever, cough, shortness of breath, or sore throat) they would not be permitted inside the community. Visitors involved in compassionate care situations that are permitted to enter the community must wear a face mask. While in the community they will be reminded to perform safe hand hygiene. These same visitation standards are being applied within all Welch Senior Living Communities.

Welch Senior Living appreciates your understanding and compliance with these measures to safeguard everyone’s health.

What You Can Do

Currently no vaccine is available to prevent infection with the new coronavirus, but there are steps we can all take to reduce risk of infection. The WHO and CDC recommend following the standard precautions for avoiding respiratory viruses:

  • Wash your hands often for 20 seconds with soap and water or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer, when soap is not available.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with your elbow or tissue when you cough or sneeze.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth if your hands aren’t clean. Avoid close contact with anyone who is sick.
  • Avoid sharing dishes, glasses, bedding and other household items if you’re sick.
  • Clean and disinfect surfaces you often touch.
  • Stay home from work, school, and public areas if you’re sick.

The CDC does not recommend that healthy people wear a facemask to protect themselves from respiratory illnesses, including COVID-19. Only wear a mask if a healthcare provider tells you to do so.

If anyone in our community were to test presumptive positive for COVID-19, you would be notified immediately, along with the steps we are taking to safeguard your health and that of families and visitors. Please consult this website for frequent updates.

If you have any questions or concerns, don’t hesitate to contact me at [email protected] or the Resident Care Director, Erin Koenig at [email protected].

Sincerely,

Charles James

Executive Director