Update from Administrator – May 22, 2020

As always, our team and I hope this finds you safe and healthy.

As we approach Memorial Day Weekend, I would like to first take this opportunity to show respect and honor to all those Veterans who have lost their lives serving our country. My sincerest thoughts and prayers go out to them and their families.

Another “thank you” for all the staff’s hard work, dedication, and compassion for all our residents here. We remain incredibly grateful for our entire dedicated team and ask you to join me in ensuring that they are included as “Health Care Heroes” battling COVID-19. They are doing everything they possibly can to care for those suffering and support them as they battle this disease.

We continue to offer our weekly conference call for families and FaceTime calls, and window visits for you and your loved ones. Please continue to reach out to our recreation team to schedule “visits”. The state was kind enough to supply us with an additional iPad to conduct FaceTime visits.

As you know from our communications, managing this virus has been devastating to our staff but we are doing all we can to treat them. Today, the Department of Public Health and members of the National Guard visited Laurel Ridge and found us to be in compliance for PPE, staffing, infection control and prevention issues. We continue to follow all CDC and state guidelines and receive regular updates on new guidelines that are offered.

Window Visits

Please remember that the window visits must be pre-scheduled to ensure safe and healthy visits for you, the residents, and our staff.

Patio visits

We are very excited to be working on outside visits with your loved one. The patio visits will start on Tuesday May 26, 2020. To schedule these visits, please call the Recreation Department at 203-438-8226, Ext. 7047. The visits will be approximately 20 minutes long. It will be Monday through Friday from 10:00am to 12:00pm and again 2:00pm to 4:00pm, weather permitting.

When you arrive at Laurel Ridge, please wear a mask, come to the front desk to have your temperature taken, and you will be directed out to the patio. While you are visiting with your loved ones, please maintain social distancing from one another. Please be patient with us, as this is a work in progress.

Staff Testing

We appreciate your concern for our staff, and we have fielded many questions on social media and through phone calls about testing of our staff. We know there have been many references to testing being available to all staff and that the governor “wants” and “encourages” the testing of all nursing home staff. We have heard that spots are reserved for staff. We strongly support this idea – but as I have mentioned before, the state is still not there yet. We would love to see mass testing of our staff, but we have not been provided with the state’s plan to address this.

We are working with the state and our state association for staff testing. This is not about our finances. This is about access, planning and assuring a process is in place.

The state of Connecticut is reserving only 50 spots per day for nursing home, assisting living, and residential care workers. These spots will be available each day, six days a week (Monday through Saturday), for these workers. Obviously, the demand for testing is expected to exceed the capacity. Our center alone has 210 full and part-time employees. Below is the information we have received from the state:

“Effort will be made to prioritize requests based on the criteria listed below, recognizing that not every potential test recipient will be able to immediately take advantage of this opportunity. (Healthcare workers and their family members can be directed to the CVS website for CVS testing independent of these reserved spots, too).

Priority will be given to persons with one or more of these symptoms:

Fever of 100 degrees or higher.

New cough within last 14 days.

Shortness of breath

Second priority will be given to person with one or more of the following risk factors:

Exposure to or contact with someone with COVID-19 in the last 14 days.


Healthcare workers may also register through the online system for the general public for assignment to the non-reserved slots. Anyone who does not have an appointment will not be tested. Tests can be scheduled for the same day or up to two days in advance. To register, visit

As a reminder, our next “Town Hall” meeting is scheduled for 5/28/2020. We will discuss more detailed information during this time. We encourage any residents and family members to contact me with any questions you have about the care we are offering.

Our commitment is to be as transparent as possible and work to address any issues that arise. This is an incredibly challenging time and we will continue to do all we can to get through this, together.

A reminder that resident-specific questions cannot be answered during these calls or on our Facebook page so please reach out to us directly if needed.

Thank you and please stay safe and healthy!

Sobha Lamontagne


May 22, 2020 Athena News
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