COVID-19 cases confirmed at Armbrook Village

WESTFIELD-“Full precaution” measures are in place at Armbrook Village on North Road as four residents who were tested earlier last week had tested positive for COVID-19, according to a letter to families, residents and associates on April 3 from executive director Beth Cardillo, M.Ed, LSW, CDP.

“None of these residents are currently in the building,” noted Cardillo. “The majority of these folks are either at the hospital where they are receiving appropriate care or are at home with their families. We have a few staff with symptoms and they are awaiting testing results and are out of the building.”

Cardillo added that Senior Living Residences’ protocol requires an additional week of isolation for positive associates over and above professional health mandates. Armbrook Village, part of Senior Living Residences based in Braintree, encompasses independent living apartments, assisted living options, respite stays, and a Compass Memory Support Neighborhood for persons with Alzheimer’s and related dementia.

Cardillo noted that at Armbrook, visitor restrictions, health screenings, and new policies around meals and programs have been in place for several weeks.

Cardillo followed up with a letter to families on April 4. Both letters were shared with The Westfield News by Pamela Maloney, director of marketing and technology, Senior Living Residences.

“Based on our daily health screening of all residents, several residents in our Compass Neighborhood are showing symptoms of coronavirus as of this morning (April 4) and three others are awaiting test results,” noted Cardillo.

Cardillo said of the two residents who tested positive, one is in the hospital and is being discharged back to Armbrook because their symptoms “do not require” hospital respiratory services.

“They will be more comfortable in their own apartment under our care,” said Cardillo.

As of Saturday, Cardillo said her staff members are making the assumption “many more” residents are carrying the virus despite not showing symptoms.

“And so for the safety of all residents and all staff we are applying full precaution measures while caring for all residents,” she said.

Full precaution measures require staff members providing services of any kind to residents will be garbed in full personal protective equipment (PPE) which includes gloves, masks, gowns, goggles and booties.

“We have been advised by local public health authorities, and I completely agree, that the best place for your loved one is right here in the comfort of their home where they are in familiar surroundings with familiar, loving faces caring for them,” said Cardillo.

Cardillo reassured family members she is in constant contact with the Westfield Board of Health which has been “enormously helpful” since the onset of the pandemic.

“The head of emergency preparedness for the City of Westfield is coordinating getting more supplies of PPE for our caregivers, and is working on obtaining test kits for residents,” said Cardillo. “We are so grateful for their support. We welcome their guidance and will follow any of their recommendations that go above and beyond our already stringent measures.”

Cardillo said if a resident shows symptoms of coronavirus, the staff will contact the family and physician, and will then follow the directions provided by the physician.

“I have been advised by the hospitals not to send residents who are exhibiting symptoms to the hospital’s emergency room unless directed to do so by their physician,” said Cardillo. “Our local hospitals want to reserve space for those who are in need of hospital based respiratory services.”

Residents with symptoms awaiting a test, or discharged back to Armbrook for continued care, will be in protective isolation in their apartment and treated under the “full precautions” measures, noted Cardillo, adding the resident will remain under care in isolation for the greater of 14 days or until they are fully symptom free and declared virus free in writing by their physician.

On a related note, a Westfield Emergency Management Facebook note posted over the weekend said Cardillo is seeking two volunteer cooks at this time.

“We are looking for volunteer cooks in case the need arises,” said Cardillo in a phone interview Sunday afternoon.

For anyone who would like to consider being a volunteer cook, contact Cardillo at (413) 244-3246.

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