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Buckley HealthCare Center in Greenfield confirms 17 COVID-19 patients

  • Buckley HealthCare Center on Laurel Street in Greenfield, as seen in June 2018. STAFF File PHOTO/DAN LITTLE

Staff Writer
Published: 3/30/2020 6:53:13 AM

GREENFIELD — Seventeen residents from Buckley HealthCare Center on Laurel Street have been diagnosed with COVID-19, an increase of 13 confirmed cases in less than two weeks. A total of 11 patients have required hospitalization.

“We can confirm that 17 patients at Buckley HealthCare Center have tested positive for COVID-19,” according to a press statement issued Sunday by National HealthCare Center, the organization that operates the Greenfield long-term care facility along with about 140 other health care facilities and agencies nationwide. The outbreak was first reported March 19, when four patients with COVID-19 were identified.

“The center had already taken steps to isolate the infected patients when symptoms occurred to prevent additional exposure. Buckley HealthCare Center continues to follow protocols set forth by the Centers for Medicaid & Medicare Services and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as well as Massachusetts Department of Public Health to isolate this situation,” the statement reads.

Those protocols include monitoring all patients and employees for COVID-19 symptoms such as a cough, a fever, fatigue and difficulty breathing in severe cases, based on information from the World Health Organization.

In response to the outbreak, the state sent an epidemiologist and two public health nurses to help contain the situation, according to Sen. Jo Comerford, chair of the Joint Committee on Public Health. The following day, March 22, four additional patients of the 120-bed facility were diagnosed with the illness.

Public health recommendations include proper hand-washing techniques, social distancing and donning of masks, gowns and gloves when caring for symptomatic patients, the statement says. Additionally, health officials are connecting with those who might have come into contact with the patients who tested positive. Visitation is restricted and only essential personnel can enter the facility.

Amid the crisis, the organization notes, “Our incredible partners (employees) continue to show their dedication to our patients with remarkable teamwork inside our center during this unprecedented time. We would like to thank each of them for their continued commitment to our patients.”

Reach Andy Castillo at acastillo@recorder.com or 413-772-0261, ext. 276.


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