MARLBORO (CBS) – As many senior living facilities throughout the region are being devastated by coronavirus, one assisted living center in Marlboro is a bright spot. At New Horizons, every resident and worker has been tested, without a single positive result.
The Massachusetts National Guard came in to conduct the testing of 159 residents and 147 staff members.
Leaders at New Horizon say they took action in mid-March hoping to keep the virus away, and it appears to have worked.
“We’re very, very proud and happy for our results,” said Andy Eick, New Horizons Executive Director. “But what we’re mostly proud and happy for is just the cooperation we received from our residents, from our family members, and from our employees.”
Command Sgt Maj Greg C. Widberg and I visited soldiers and airmen from the @TheNationsFirst who are providing support and #covid19 testing to nursing facilities across the Commonwealth. #inthistogether pic.twitter.com/dcd1TYstLb
— Maj Gen Gary W Keefe (@AdjutantGenMA) April 28, 2020
The center banned non-essential visits, stopped group activities, and moved to room service for meals early on. Staff members also face daily temperature checks and health questionnaires.
“I know some other assisted living and skilled nursing facilities haven’t been as fortunate as we have been, and I’m sorry for that. But I know everybody is really trying,” Deputy Executive Director Betsy Connolly said.
There is at least one COVID-19 positive patient at 319 long-term care facilities in Massachusetts. Residents at these facilities also account for nearly 60 percent of the deaths in Massachusetts.
The average age of the New Horizon residents is 87.
As a caveat, one test at the Marlboro facility did come back “preliminary negative” and five other tests broke. Those people will be retested in the near future.