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ASHLAND – The National Guard was testing at Waterview Lodge Rehabilitation & Healthcare facility on Wednesday, according to Town Manager Michael Herbert.

Herbert said the Town was informed most of the residents were tested, although a couple refused testing.

Herbert said he was told staff was not tested.

On April 7, the Baker-Polito Administration launched a program to allow for safe, rapid on-site testing of residents of long-term care facilities like nursing homes and rest homes, via the Massachusetts National Guard.

The Commonwealth is reporting between 10-30 residents at the 103-bed facility at 250 West Union Street in Ashland are positive for the coronavirus.

According to Ashland, the owner and 9 staffers have also tested positive for the Coronavirus.

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SOURCE reported on April 14 that three residents from the Waterview Lodge Rehabilitation & Healthcare facility had died from COVID-19 or complications from the coronavirus.

On April 10, SOURCE reported five Waterview Lodge residents were transported by Ashland firefighters to Framingham Union Hospital. All five of those residents who were transported tested positive for COVID-19

In 2016, Indira Desai, president and CEO of Laxmi Corporation and Resident Care Rehabilitation & Nursing Care opened the 103-bed Waterview Lodge Rehabilitation & Healthcare facility on Route 135 in Ashland on the Hopkinton line.

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In a statement to SOURCE on April 14 Desai said “on Thursday April 9, it came to our attention that a few of our elderly residents with co-morbidities displayed mild flu-like symptoms.  Our staff responded immediately, and subsequently transferred 5 residents to a local hospital.  Our thoughts are with them and their families.”

“For the past month, we have been working closely with the Massachusetts Department of Public Health and the Ashland Health Department implementing precautionary measures to prevent COVID-19, including prohibiting visitors, screening staff members as they start their shifts, and ensuring all staff members wear personal protective equipment (PPE).  Our clinical staff members are working harder than ever before.  All of our residents are being monitored daily for COVID-19 symptoms. We are fortunate to have some of the best nurses and clinical support staff in the State caring for our residents and we are grateful to them for their commitment and devotion,” said Desai, in a statement.

“Protecting the health and well-being of our residents and employees remains our top priority. We continue to be on high alert and will take every precautionary step possible,” said Desai in a statement.

The 52,000 square foot healthcare facility on the Ashland-Hopkinton line provides individuals with orthopedic, stroke, cardiac and pulmonary rehabilitation services in private and semi-private rooms

The 4-story facility also provides long-term care unit for residents who are no longer able to manage on their own.

As of April 23, the Town of Ashland was reporting 92 positive coronavirus cases.

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AARP Massachusetts sent a letter to the Massachusetts Governor this month seeking the names of senior facilities with confirmed COVID-19 cases made public.

“We urge Massachusetts’ Department of Public Health to release publicly the names of nursing facilities with confirmed COVID-19 cases,” wrote AARP Massachusetts on behalf of its 775,000 AARP members in Massachusetts.

“Contrary to concerns that such disclosures would violate a patient’s health privacy, we do not believe HIPAA precludes a state health agency from releasing the names of facilities because a facility is not a covered entity as defined by federal law. We believe transparency and notice to the public is critical for public health,” wrote AARP Massachusetts.

Earlier this week, the Massachusetts House of Representatives passed a bill that would requires that senior, rehab, and long-term facilities send data on COVID-19 positive cases and on mortalities to public health officials during this public health emergency.

The bill now goes to the Massachusetts Senate.

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On April 7, the Baker-Polito Administration 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 a.m. to 5 p.m., 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.

By editor

Susan Petroni is the former editor for SOURCE. She is the founder of the former news site, which as of May 1, 2023, is now a self-publishing community bulletin board. The website no longer has a journalist but a webmaster.