Chelsea Soldiers Home

Visits Canceled at Chelsea Soldiers' Home After Staffer Tests Positive for COVID

The non-clinical staff member tested positive during the home's bi-weekly staff surveillance testing, according to a spokesperson for the Massachusetts Executive Office of Health and Human Services

Soldiers Home Chelsea
NBC10 Boston

A staff member at the Soldiers' Home in Chelsea tested positive for the novel coronavirus on Thursday, sparking safety precautions including visits being canceled, according to the Massachusetts Executive Office of Health and Human Services.

The non-clinical staff member tested positive during bi-weekly staff surveillance testing at the home, where 31 people with coronavirus died in an outbreak this spring, and was immediately sent home to quarantine and contact their health care provider, a department spokesperson said in a statement.

As a result of the positive test, visits are being canceled for two weeks and all residents in long-term care and the skilled nursing facility will be tested, the spokesperson said.

In addition, chapel services and outdoor recreation are being postponed until there are 14 days with no positive tests, the spokesperson said.

Since a COVID-19 outbreak at the home in the spring, staff are temperature screened upon arrival and are still required to wear "full PPE in all resident care areas."

"While the staff member does not provide direct care to veteran residents, out of an abundance of caution and per infection control protocol, the Home is immediately taking necessary precautions including deep cleaning, canceling visitation for two weeks, and will continue to perform weekly surveillance testing," the spokesperson said.

The Chelsea Board of Health and the Department of Health has been notified of the positive test, according to the spokesperson.

Back in June, U.S. Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Ed Markey and Rep. Ayanna Pressley sent a letter to Gov. Charlie Baker requesting an independent investigation into the deadly COVID-19 outbreak at the home.

At least 31 veteran residents died and at least 40 who were infected were sent to other facilities for treatment.

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