Mary Wade Prepares for Safe Return of In-Person Visits for Residents and Families
June 5th, 2020
NEW HAVEN – (June 5, 2020)—As Mary Wade Home prepares for the gradual return of outdoor in-person family meetings and visits there, President and CEO David V. Hunter assured residents and their family members that it will all be done with an abundance of caution and within guidelines set forward by city, state and federal health officials.
While no specific date for a return of outdoor in-person visits has been set as of yet, Hunter said he believes they should be possible by the end of June, with a number of safety-based modifications made. Residents and family members have been unable to visit with one another since the state halted all such visits in early March at the outset of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We are moving carefully and deliberately toward reuniting families and residents, in outdoor settings for now, and beginning to normalize everyday life,” said Hunter. “We will continue to use extreme caution and follow the guidelines set by local, state and federal authorities. We understand some of these procedures and protocols may be inconvenient, but we are in this together and we share a common goal – the health and safety of our residents.”
Hunter today praised Governor Lamont for his newest Executive Order making COVID-19 testing mandatory for all nursing home workers; in late April, Mary Wade worked with Fair Haven Community Health Care in New Haven to provide testing to its residents as well as its employees who have direct patient access.
“We were pleased to be ahead of the curve,” Hunter said. “The Coronavirus Pandemic has tested us to the core, and we have been forever changed by it. We’ve learned a lot and we responded to the best of our ability in caring for our residents; from the very beginning, we exercised the highest level of caution and continue to do so.”
As media reports have consistently indicated, nursing homes have been hit disproportionately hard by the COVID-19 crisis, due to the vulnerable populations of people they serve and—in many cases—numerous pre-existing health conditions which make nursing home residents more susceptible to the virus. Hunter said Mary Wade cares for an extremely fragile population of elderly, ranging in age from late 80’s through 100’s. According to a federal reporting survey, the average resident age at Mary Wade is 12.2 percent higher than the state average and 17.2 percent higher than the national average.
“We are hopeful that the widespread testing and sweeping health precautions put in place here and elsewhere—including social distancing and the extensive use of personal protective equipment (PPE)—will lead to a continually diminishing number of cases and the eventual end to this crisis,” Hunter said.
Beginning March 9th, when Mary Wade started to shelter in place and restrictions were instituted system-wide, Mary Wade has been inspected on numerous occasions by the CT Department of Public Health, each time resulting in zero deficiencies, Hunter said.
“We welcome these visits and stand committed to working alongside our community partners, local, state and federal officials to ensure the health and safety of the elderly,” Hunter added. “As we grieve the loss of family and friendships, the health and safety of our residents continues to remain our greatest priority.”