Braintree’s Coronavirus Response Team, including Mayor Charles C. Kokoros, Health Director Marybeth McGrath, Public Health Nurses Jean McGinty and Mary Mulready, Interim Chief of Staff Nicole Taub, Police Chief Mark Dubois, Fire Chief James O’Brien and Superintendent of Schools Dr. Frank Hackett, continues to work closely with long term care and rehabilitation facilities to gather resources, including personal protective equipment and additional testing, necessary to continue the implementation of precautionary measures to meet the needs of the health and safety of residents.
With the assistance of the Governor’s Office, through Lieutenant Governor Polito, the National Guard was called in to Braintree to conduct testing at our long term care and rehabilitation facilities to enable us to obtain an accurate count of positive cases among this population within our community. In addition, Lieutenant Governor Polito has assisted these facilities by providing a list of available staff to supplement their existing workforce. “I am incredibly thankful to Lieutenant Governor Polito for her responsiveness and swift action to support our community,” said Mayor Kokoros.
Our local representatives have also been an integral part in identifying resources during this public health emergency. Most recently, Representative Mark Cusack has facilitated communications between our long term care and rehabilitation facilities and the Massachusetts Department of Public Health to ensure their needs continue to be met. Also, Congressman Stephen Lynch continues to provide personal protective equipment through private partners to support our local facilities. Mayor Kokoros remains in constant communication with our representatives.
The Coronavirus Response Team has been working closely with our partners in the long term care and rehabilitation facilities since the beginning of this pandemic. On March 13, 20020, Mayor Kokoros invited representatives from our long term care and rehabilitation facilities, nursing homes, assisted and independent living facilities, adult day care centers, the Braintree Housing Authority and the Department of Elder Affairs to meet with members of the Health Department and discuss their emergency response plans and share best practices to protect our elderly and high risk community. These facilities have set forth best practices necessary to reduce the spread of COVID 19 amongst this vulnerable population within our community, including increasing cleaning protocols, prohibiting visitors and screening vendors and employees. “We have been very fortunate to work closely with Mayor Kokoros and the Braintree Health Department to ensure that our staff has appropriate PPE and that timely communication is provided to our residents, their families and the community. The number of positive cases in our facility has been posted to our website daily since April 2 and the Mayor and his team have been fantastic partners,” said Kristen Reilly McHugh, administrator at John Scott House.
As of today, the cases in our long term care and rehabilitation facilities make up 64% of the total number of positive cases reported in Braintree. These numbers reflect the cumulative total of all positive test results received to date in these facilities and do not reflect a reduction for those that have been resolved:
- Alliance Health—55
- Braintree Healthcare (Encompass)—23
- Braintree Manor Healthcare—20
- John Scott House—105
- Royal Braintree Nursing and Rehabilitation Center—65
“Our highest priority is to ensure all residents are cared for in a safe and healthy environment. We have been working with Mayor Kokoros and the Braintree Health Department and taking precautionary measures dating back to February, including a lock down of the facility, screening of visitors and implementing a personal protective equipment management program to ensure supplies would last for the duration of the emergency. The extraordinary work of our staff has resulted in 47 resolved cases and we will continue to improve our process on a daily basis,” said the Executive Director of the Royal Braintree Nursing and Rehabilitation Center.
In addition to the support received from our federal, state and local representatives, our business community has made generous donations of personal protective equipment to support the continuing operations of our long term care and rehabilitation facilities. This support has been essential, especially given the close quarters within which residents and staff interact in these establishments. Mayor Kokoros said, “It is important that we continue working with the administrators of our long term care and rehabilitation facilities in Braintree. Where visitation in these establishments has been prohibited, the care our loved ones are receiving now is more important than ever. The staff in our long term care and rehabilitation facilities, as well as in our nursing homes, continues to provide care for the residents while also giving them emotional support and comfort when they cannot see their families. This support is priceless, especially during this difficult time for our community.”
According to Alliance Health at Braintree, “We are taking every precaution possible to mitigate the spread of this infectious virus and testing as many residents as possible. In addition, we are continuing to work with the Town to secure more personal protective equipment and testing and are actively working to hire more staff and will continue to comply with all guidance from state and federal health authorities. We understand how difficult it is for families to be separated from their loved ones at this time and we will continue to update them on a regular basis as to the condition of their family member. Our healthcare workers are on the frontlines of this crisis and they are working around the clock providing compassionate care. We cannot say enough about them and are enormously grateful to them for their selflessness.”
If you would like to offer support to our long term care and rehabilitation facilities, please contact the Braintree Community Task Force at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For questions relating to COVID-19, residents may contact the Braintree Health Division at 781-794-8090.