By Louisa Moller

ROWLEY (CBS) – A skilled nursing and rehabilitation facility in Rowley is refusing the state’s request to test all of its residents and staff for COVID-19.

Steve Comley, the owner of Sea View Retreat, says he does not want to subject his residents to a test that he believes is uncomfortable and faulty. Comley says he also received some pushback from staff over the idea of mandatory testing.

“It is not a comfortable test. It is rather invasive. The failure rate, I believe, is over 30 percent at this point,” Comley said.

Right now, Sea View is testing any new resident who wishes to move into the facility.

Comley says it will no longer participate in a program by the state that provides supplemental funding to nursing homes that promise to test at least 90 percent of residents and staff by May 25.

The failure to comply with the state’s request means Sea View is forgoing roughly $150,000 in additional funding from MassHealth.

“Its money that we could really use. It would offset a lot of the added costs that are associated with combating this. But, not under these circumstances,” Comley said.

Instead, Sea View’s nursing director, Maureen Curley, says the facility will stick with the use of personal protective equipment. Guests are only allowed to enter one room in the building where they can see their loved ones through glass.

“The CNA’s here are incredible. They know these patients inside and out and they report every subtle change,” Curley said.

The Department of Public Health released a statement saying, “Testing is a key strategy for implementing public health and infection control measures to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 in nursing facilities.”

During the course of the pandemic, the state launched a Mobile Testing Program which has provided more than 45,000 tests in long term care facilities.

Louisa Moller

Comments (4)
  1. Sue D says:

    It would be interesting to know the death rate, is it lower, equal, or higher than other homes in the area?

  2. Margaret Hamilton says:

    Thank you Mr. Comley for not playing games with the elderly persons at Seaview. The Seaview took more than excellent care of my Mom. They always put the patient first. I believe the State of Massachusetts wants these tests done with monetary incentives so that they can manipulate statistics and funding to the state itself. There have been many disasters that have taken place around the state with elderly and VA care centers. It is with great esteem that Mr. Comley stands for the patients and staff.

  3. Healthcare Worker says:

    WOW….hats off to you sir! Can I come work for you? I work at a SNF that currently has 0! positives…..we had 52! We did lose 7 residents : ( but amazingly all other have recovered! Now…???…you want to violate us with a painful useless procedure? IT HURT MY RESIDENTS! It was confusing to those with dementia, tbi, psych issues, and OMG…..I am STILL traumatized a day later…..from hearing their cries! Even our NON-verbals CRIED out! How dare you do that to these poor people. They have been through ENOUGH! and now…..for the employees….we were told to line up for antibody testing. Some cried and almost fainted from the needle….yet the very next day we are all told….those test results DO NOT COUNT….and that we all have to have the painful nose swab. We busted our asses suiting up and taking care of everyone for months and holding the hands of the dying and working outside our scope to work as a team….for the same damn pay…..and you tell us…get the test or be FIRED??? We are ALL better!!! How dare you do this to us!!! If you want mass testing done…..DONT be so damn CHEAP……send out all the saliva tests that were created RIGHT HERE IN NJ!!! It makes ZERO sense to inflict this pain on our elderly and our employees. You should have done this 3 damn months ago!!!

  4. D says:

    Disgustingly Irresponsible and Dangerous. Most of the positive comments on any posts come from the CNAs who flood their posts with positive comments. Nurses not wearing masks with patients…… The state needs to step in…. this is dangerous for these residents, and for the staff as well.

    #GROSSNEGLIGENCE

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