The following is a media release from the Governor’s office submitted to SOURCE media.
BOSTON – The Baker-Polito Administration today, April 7, new resources to support older adults living in long-term care facilities and their families, including a Nursing Home Mobile Testing Program and a Nursing Home Family Resource Line.
Nursing Home Mobile Testing Program:
Building on efforts to protect high-risk populations like older adults, the Baker-Polito Administration has launched a program to allow for safe, rapid on-site testing of residents of long-term care facilities like nursing homes and rest homes.
The initiative is being completed as a partnership between the Department of Public Health (DPH) and the Massachusetts National Guard and the testing being conducted by the BROAD institute.
So far, the National Guard has been deployed to 80 facilities across the state and has completed more than 1,300 tests since this program started last week.
Starting yesterday, Public Health Department worked to expand the program by providing an option for places to use their on-site medical personnel to collect specimens and send them to the state lab for testing.
Today, April 7, said the Department of Public Health issued new guidance to nursing homes and rest homes with recommendations aimed at protecting the health of residents and health care workers and mitigating the risk of transmission of COVID-19, both inside and outside of these facilities.
Nursing Home Resource Line:
The Baker-Polito Administration also announced the launch of a new Nursing Home Family Resource Line, a dedicated telephone line that will connect family members of nursing home and rest home residents with the information and resources they need.
This resource was created so that family and community members have one central contact that they can reach out to if they have questions or concerns about the care their loved one is receiving during the COVID-19 outbreak.
The line is staffed from 9 AM – 5 PM, seven days a week. Staff will coordinate across state agencies to help callers find answers to their questions.
Families and community members can call the line at (617) 660-5399.