Four more patients at Buckley HealthCare Center diagnosed with COVID-19

  • Buckley HealthCare Center on Laurel Street in Greenfield. STAFF PHOTO/DAN LITTLE

Staff Writer
Published: 3/22/2020 7:40:26 PM

GREENFIELD — Eight patients have tested positive for COVID-19 at Buckley HealthCare Center on Laurel Street — six of whom have been transported to a hospital for treatment.

That’s an increase of four since the 120-bed long-term care facility reported its first case Thursday.

“The center had already taken steps to isolate the infected patients when symptoms occurred to prevent additional exposure,” according to a statement issued Sunday by the National HealthCare Center, which owns Buckley HealthCare Center along with about 140 other health care facilities and agencies nationwide.

In response to the outbreak, the state sent an epidemiologist and two public health nurses to help contain the outbreak Friday, according to Sen. Jo Comerford, chair of the Joint Committee on Public Health. Anyone who might have come in contact with the patients who tested positive is being notified.

Additionally, all residents and staff members are “being closely monitored for COVID-19 symptoms. If any patient experiences a change in condition, we will follow our standard procedures and notify the family,” according to the statement. No employees have tested positive for the coronavirus as of Sunday.

Preventative measures being taken by the Greenfield facility include hand-washing and wearing masks, gowns and gloves when caring for any symptomatic patients. Any employee who comes down with telltale symptoms is not allowed to work.

Symptoms include a fever, coughing and shortnesss of breath and, in severe cases, pneumonia, based on information from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health.

Statewide, the number of documented cases increased by a few hundred over the weekend to 646; five people have died from the coronavirus. Although it’s worth noting the patients who’ve contracted the coronavirus in Franklin County have not yet been specifically included in the state’s data.

Andy Castillo can be reached at acastillo@recorder.com.


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