Westfield long term facility linked to multiple confirmed cases of COVID-19

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WESTFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – A nursing facility in Westfield has reported an outbreak of COVID-19 cases.

Debra Mulvenna, RN, BSN, is the assistant health director and supervising public health nurse for the city of Westfield Health Department. Mulvenna confirmed to 22News that the Westfield Gardens for Nursing and Rehabilitation has 51 positive cases of COVID-19 at the facility. That number includes staff and patients.

Mulvenna said that her records show the facility contacted the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (MassDPH) on October 9 to report a positive case. Following state guidelines, all patients and staff were tested and more cases were identified.

The facility asked the state for help and the DPH’s Rapid Response team has been assisting.

22News spoke with a family member – who wanted to remain anonymous. Both his wife and brother tested positive.

“Right now it’s about the communication,” the family member said. “Because if you know what going on, then you can deal with what’s going on. When you know that there is a lot of illness up there right now, but you don’t know what’s going on, then I automatically think the Soldier’s home.”

According to Mulvenna, Westfield Gardens had no reported cases as far back as July and this is the first report of a cluster. They have been reporting to the city and state regularly, and are in contact with patient’s families and caregivers. The facility has been using temp agency services to fill positions while the staff is quarantined.

You can find COVID-19 information on hospitals and other medical facilities on the MassDPH website.

State public health officials reported on Wednesday, 36 new deaths and 1,137 new confirmed COVID-19 cases in Massachusetts, bringing the total number of confirmed cases statewide to 150,498.

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