May 13, 2020 – I am writing to inform you that we had the National Guard back at Heritage this morning to do testing of some additional Residents and Staff. A total of 62 tests were completed. Residents and staff who were identified for testing were asymptomatic. This means that they did NOT currently have symptoms for COVID-19. The Department of Public Health, in partnership with the Massachusetts National Guard, and the State Public Health Laboratory in conjunction with the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard is operating a program for Assisted Living Residences to allow for in-facility testing of Residents and staff. Testing of all asymptomatic Residents and staff can help to set a baseline and eliminate the possibility of having a “silent carrier: of the virus. As you may have heard, there are cases of people carrying the virus, yet, having no symptoms, so testing people who do not feel sick is a very important part of controlling the spread of COVID-19 virus.
We are excited to be a part of this program because it eliminates the need to leave the facility to get tested which prevents exposing people to even greater risk and can overwhelm emergency rooms and clinics. The Mobile Testing Program allows for safe, onsite, sample collection by trained personnel from the Massachusetts National Guard. Samples collected form Residents are transported directly to the State Public health Laboratory, which works with the Broad Institute to prioritize these samples for testing. We are providing this testing in partnership with the City of Framingham, DPH, EOEA, and the State Epidemiologist Office in order to test Residents and staff who have not previously been tested for COVID-19.
This testing was completed at no charge to Residents. Residents or their Responsible Parties will be notified of the testing results as soon as they are available (typically 2-5 days). All Classic Residents will be notified in person and in writing of their results. For Residents in
special care areas (Harmony and Homestead) these test results will be shared with the primary healthcare proxy.
Lastly, I want to thank you all for making Mother’s Day so very special to all of our Residents and our staff loved it as well! We may have to change the way that we celebrate Mother’s Day, but I promise you that we will never cancel such an important day!
Bethany Mercer, Executive Director
Mary Ann Morse at Heritage