LITTLETON, Mass. (WBZ NewsRadio) — The Massachusetts National Guard has taken over at a nursing home in Littleton that has been accused of negligence during the coronavirus pandemic.
The National Guard arrived at 7 a.m. Friday at the Life Care Center in Nashoba Valley, two days after the town released a letter alleging the facility had failed to comply with COVID-19 guidelines.
Before the Guard came in, nursing home staff reported receiving a series of notices from the company, which owns 15 care facilities in the state. The notices reportedly told them to "expect misinformation in the news," that there was "no I in team," and that staffers should come to work.
Life Care Center also released a public statement thanking the National Guard for the help testing their residents and employees.
According to a joint statement from town officials, "serious concerns were brought forward to the Town by the Littleton Fire Department and our Board of Health Director," about a recent uptick in emergency calls from the facility.
In a press release on Wednesday, town officials said they had written to the Massachusetts Department of Public Health’s Bureau of Health Care Safety and Quality. In the letter, officials said they were “alarmed” to learn the Littleton Fire Department had responded to the assisted living facility 18 times, transporting 16 patients to area hospitals over the prior week.
"Our understanding is that extensive testing will take place among the residents," officials said in a statement Friday.
The move to bring in the National Guard came after at least one resident at the Nashoba Valley location died of coronavirus. Other residents there are infected, and so are several staffers.
According to Chrystal, a Certified Nursing Assistant at the facility who approached reporters on Friday, she has tried to get information about the situation. Despite being "on the infected floor," she said she was not successful.
"I tried to call and say I do not want to come back until I am tested and my results come in," Chrystal said. "It is all through this facility."
WBZ NewsRadio's Karyn Regal (@KarynRegal) reports: