Sherrill House's Response to COVID-19
Last updated May 1, 2020
Sherrill House is actively responding to the COVID-19 coronavirus. As always, our number one priority is protecting our patients, residents, and staff. This page will be kept updated with the newest information for our community and their loved ones.
COVID-19 is present and we are working directly with the families of those who are impacted to keep them up to date about their loved one's condition. Our hearts are with the seniors, families, and employees who are being affected by COVID-19.
In addition to these actions, we’ve bolstered our already strict infection prevention and control protocols with increased cleaning of high-touch areas, cancellation communal dining, and cessation of group programming. We are actively expanding virtual programming, video chat capabilities, and other efforts to fight social isolation.
Infection Control Efforts
Because we know residents are contagious and can test positive before they show symptoms, testing asymptomatic patients is critical to stopping the spread. It also allows the clinical team to physically separate patients with and without the virus, a key step in infection control. At Sherrill House, this is being achieved either by creating positive and negative cohorts, or by strict isolation of infected patients in their rooms, with the highest level of infection control precautions.
Once we were able to test all patients and implement associated cohorting and isolation, the infection rate declined significantly. As of April 30, 2020, our testing results are 90 positive, 37 negative, and 2 pending. We are deeply sad to report that 15 residents have passed due to this virus.
We are encouraged by our progress in limiting the rate of new infections, and are taking every effort to beat back this virus.
Compassion and Sympathy
We send our deepest sympathies to the families of those who have passed. With stringent no-visitor rules in place, it is heart-wrenching that families cannot visit their loved ones at the end of life.
For those families who are in this situation, please know that your loved one is not alone. Our staff, including chaplains, have become surrogates for families who no longer can be at their loved ones’ bedsides, and are holding their hands, speaking words of comfort, and caring for them gently. Every senior who passes away in our care will know that they are well loved.
We are continuing to restrict entry to essential personnel only. We know that this is difficult, and we remain incredibly grateful to family and friends for your partnership and understanding. Our staff cares deeply for each and every resident and chaplains are available to all residents for spiritual and emotional support, including at the end of life.
Since this crisis began, family members have received regular communications from Sherrill House leadership and proactive calls from social workers nurse managers. Staff on each floor have notified families if their loved one has been exposed to COVID-19.
Recognizing how important it is for you to have virtual visits with your loved one, we are facilitating one-on-one video chats between patients and families. We are eager to maintain the connection between families during this crisis.
Employee Screening and Support
We are physically screening each employee, each shift, for a fever of 100o Fahrenheit or higher and other signs and symptoms of illness to protect patients and fellow staff members.
We are providing Sherrill House employees a host of supports to maintain a stable and available workforce, including flexible schedules to accommodate child care concerns, meals, scrubs, and accommodations paid by Sherrill House if employees choose to separate themselves from their families.
To further reduce the potential for infection, in an abundance of caution, we are not allowing drop off or delivery of personal belongings, care packages, flowers, or food. We cannot risk bringing large volumes of items up onto the floors that are potentially contaminated.
Modified Dining and Programming
We’ve bolstered our already strict infection prevention and control protocols with increased cleaning of high-touch areas, modification of dining services to accommodate social distancing, and cessation of group programming. Virtual programming, including religious services, is available through closed-circuit television. Our life enhancement and social work teams, among others, have increased their presence with patients in order to engage them with individualized programming, and to help alleviate feelings of social isolation and depression.
Our medical, pharmacy, and food and beverage supplies are being delivered as scheduled. We have an adequate supply of the personal protective equipment (PPE) needed to follow clinical requirements issued by the Centers for Disease Control.
Thank you to our Sherrill House families and friends that have been so understanding and supportive of us as caregivers, medical professionals and administrators. We are very fortunate to have a seasoned staff that is knowledgeable, compassionate and committed.
Please watch this page and our social media for updates!
Frequently Asked Questions
At Sherrill House, we follow strict infection prevention and control protocols to minimize exposures to any airborne virus. We regularly ensure our health care personnel are properly trained and capable of implementing infection control procedures and ensure they understand, and can adhere to, infection control requirements. We also work closely with the state and federal regulatory agencies – including the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (MADPH) and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). With abundance of caution in this dynamic environment, we are proactively taking steps to protect our vulnerable seniors, employees, families, and friends. Among these steps is the activation of our Emergency Response Management Team, where decisions about COVID-19 are being made around what is best for our residents/patients and our community. We will update on a regular basis as necessary to ensure transparent and ongoing communication with the families of seniors in our care, as well as employees, friends, and others.
Staff at Sherrill House have the personal protective equipment (PPE) needed to follow clinical requirements issued by the Centers for Disease Control. We have a dedicated PPE Purchase and Delivery system focused on procuring PPE, ensuring that it meets clinical standards, and closely managing our inventory. We are exploring all avenues for securing PPE to maintain our supplies and are very grateful to have received several generous in-kind donations from supporters in the community. PPE includes masks, gloves, gowns, face shields, goggles, and more.
Notifying family members and caregivers of a change in a loved one’s condition in a timely manner is part of our standard policies and procedures. Additionally, please visit this page often for more general information about Sherrill House’s proactive approach to COVID-19.
At Sherrill House, we have strong infection control procedures in place and follow aggressive protocols to isolate any patient exhibiting airborne illness symptoms. We have the ability to move any resident exhibiting symptoms to our COVID-19 internal unit on our second floor. We are taking care not to have clinical staff rotating between different floors and have cancelled group activities for patients.
Sherrill House can provide COVID-19 testing when needed, and wait on results which return within two days to five days.
We were one of the first long-term centers to provide technology for residents and patients the opportunity to visit with loved ones through video chats. Our Expressive Therapy department and our Chaplain have created virtual programming through closed circuit television which is shown in each room throughout Sherrill House. We are working on video messages from volunteers who have been regulars here at Sherrill House for years and have already delivered numerous cards and greetings to every floor. To see stories about what’s happening and photos, please check us out on Facebook and Twitter.
Skype Calls with Residents
In order to maintain the health and wellness that comes from social visits – our Expressive Therapy department has created virtual visits for family and friends to visit with loved ones through Skype. The program is a success and our residents/patients love it!
Contact firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule.
Tel. 617-731-2400 ext. 3020
Sherrill House Worship Services
Chaplain Lindsay Popperson, Music Therapist Chelsea Haynes, Director of Expressive Therapy & Program Director of Special Care Unit, and Development Coordinator Chris Vu take part in an exciting new platform to bring activities, worship and entertainment to the residents and patients of Sherrill House.
Above and Beyond
The Sherrill House staff is second-to-none on a slow day – put them in a worldwide pandemic – and you see them shine like diamonds!! From programs to keep them connected to the outside, Lynn Rose from the Business Office helping a family in the parking lot to multiple one-on-one check-ins with each resident several times a day! Please follow, like, join us on social media to read about the amazing staff that cares for our residents and patients.
Updates from Sherrill House
It is said that social media is used to keep in touch with friends and extended family – but is it really when everyone’s eyes are on their phones? This may be the one time we will tell you to spend time alone and check out our online presence!!! It is where we will have updates, photos and stories of Sherrill House and the COVID-19 situation.
Trusted Resources on COVID-19
Please do not use social media for information on COVID-19 unless it is these trusted sites that are updated almost by the minute and contain official information. It will take everyone’s participation for us to be successful in dealing with the COVID-19 and we all want to do our part!
"They Who Care, Heal."
Contact us now to schedule an appointment.