Community fundraises to bring food and PPE for struggling workers at Rhode Island’s Orchard View Manor nursing home
27 have died and 103 of 115 residents have tested positive, as have 57 staffers, at the East Providence, RI, facility. I just donated, in memory of my mother who passed away in the loving care of Orchard View over a decade ago.
The last we wrote about the Wuhan coronarivus situation in Rhode Island, Governor Gina Raimondo had ordered the State Police and National Guard to stop vehicles with New York plates, expanded to all out-of-state plates after NY Gov. Andrew Cuomo threw a fit.
The goal was to prevent an influx of virus infected people from hot spots, as I explained in Rhode Island does not welcome you, by finding infiltrators and requiring them to self-quarantine for two weeks, subject to health and law enforcement follow up:
It seemed like a futile effort to me, and that has turned out to be the case. Dr. Deborah Birx noted at a recent White House virus briefing that Rhode Island was in particularly bad shape due to its location between New York City and Boston:
At Wednesday’s White House press conference of the nation’s coronavirus task force, Coronavirus task force member Dr. Deborah Birx flagged Rhode Island as a potential national concern.
“I do want to highlight — and we are remaining concerned — and we’ve been having discussions with Rhode Island and Providence, [who] are in a unique situation. First, they had increasing cases from the New York City area and now they have new increases in cases from the Boston area. They are caught between two incredible hotspots,” said Birx during the press conference in the Rose Garden at the White House.
“They’re doing an extraordinary job — they’re caring for the individuals in the front lines but Providence continues to have new cases and we do continue to work with specific states that have specific outbreaks related to individual occurrences,” said Birx.
Nursing homes in Rhode Island have been particularly hard hit:
“We have to put on a brave face and tell them not to worry, even though we are terrified ourselves,” said Amanda Collins, a registered nurse at a long-term care facility in Smithfield. “We are literally in the face of people who can die of this illness and kill us in the process.”
States across the country are grappling with high rates of death in nursing homes, as vulnerable populations in congregate care settings are highly susceptible to dying from the disease. But the crisis is particularly bad in Rhode Island.
As of Friday, 94 Rhode Island nursing home residents had died from the disease, representing 80% of the state’s entire death toll of 118….
The high rate of nursing home deaths has contributed to Rhode Island having a relatively high rate of deaths per capita.
One of the hard-hit nursing homes is Orchard View Manor in East Providence, RI. Orchard View caught my attention because I’m familiar with it, over a decade ago my mother spend her last months there when it became impossible to care for her at home anymore due to her medical condition. A relative called my attention to the dire situation which has been in the local press.
As of this afternoon, according to The Providence Journal:
East Providence is home to Orchard View Manor, a nursing home that’s been hit particularly hard by the coronavirus. Twenty-seven residents have died as a result of COVID-19, the respiratory disease caused by the new coronavirus, DaSilva said Friday. There are currently 115 residents of the facility, and 103 are confirmed positive with COVID-19, DaSilva said, in addition to 57 staffers.
Local ABC6 reported earlier in the week (when the numbers of dead and infected were lower), that staff falling ill has created a severe staffing shortage:
Orchard View Manor nursing home in East Providence is dealing with staff shortages because many of their employees are out sick.
The nursing home is in such desperate need of staff that Tim Brown, a spokesperson for Orchard View Manor, said they have employees who tested positive caring for COVID-19 patients
Brown said they are going by health department guidelines to ensure the safety of patients….
As a result of the staff shortage, family members are now having trouble getting updates on their loved ones who are sick.
Currently, East Providence Mayor Bob DaSilva, said there are 101 residents and over 20 staff at Orchard View Manor that have tested positive….
According to DaSilva, the reason family members can’t get ahold of anyone is the number of staff out with COVID-19. He says the staff working, are overwhelmed and dealing with patients.
“There was a break down of communication for a while because the person who is running this facility became sick.”
To fill the staffing staff shortage they are trying to recruit people and have increased wages.
They are hiring CNAs for $35/hr., LPNs for $55/hr., and RNs for $70/hr.
The mayor said he is working with the department of health and the governor’s office to get the nursing home additional manpower.
The Mayor of East Providence issued a call for community help, as local NBC10 reported:
While East Providence Mayor Bob DaSilva visited Orchard View Manor nursing home Wednesday, the city’s own fire and rescue trucks could be seen at the front entrance helping out a dwindling staff, many of whom are sick and out of work themselves.
“This should be treated almost like field hospital or a hotspot,” said the mayor, who called on the community for support.
“The people who are still working here, they’re working very short staffed, they’re working extra shifts, they’re the front line people who are really fighting a war on this virus,” said DaSilva. The mayor told NBC 10 the facility’s head nurse is sleeping in a camper on the property, as many are working around the clock….
DaSilva said the community has already stepped up and offered meals to be delivered to Orchard View.
“I want the public to know they need your support,” he said.
A focal point of the community effort is a GoFundMe page set up by East Providence Resident John Oliver to raise money to feed struggling workers and provide PPE. The original goal was $5000. As of this writing, they have raised just over $7500.The page contains this plea for help from a City of East Providence official [note the numbers have increase since this was originally posted at the page]:
As some of you may know Orchard View Manor like a lot of places is having an extremely hard time during the COVID-19 Pandemic. There are currently 101 residents and 20 staff that have tested positive.
With many of their staff out sick, they are dealing with extreme shortages. Many family members of the residents are having a tough time getting updates on their loved ones.
I am asking my fellow townies to contribute what you can so that we may purchase the staff lunches, dinners and anything else they may need during this critical time.
Every single dollar will help these frontline workers directly. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to me or the Mayor’s office with questions.
If you would like to donate directly you can call
Director of Project Management & Communications
On Friday, April 17, Oliver provided this update on the situation:
by John Oliver, Organizer
*Day 1 Update*
As of 6:00 pm on Friday, we have raised an incredible $5,750 and counting; we were also able to secure 500 masks (Mix of surgical and N95) and 12 Face Shields with more on the way.
We have committed to supplying the lunch & dinner for the week of April 27th and are awaiting a reply from the mayor’s office to see if we can provide the meals for the first week of May as well. We have also reached out through the mayor’s office to see what other things these workers may need to make their lives more comfortable. I will update you with the complete details on the restaurants participating and costs as I get them (hopefully later tonight), so we can maintain full transparency and accountability for every dollar the community has donated.
I have been getting messages and emails questioning the management/ownership at Orchard View. My team’s primary focus remains 100% on the residents and workers at the facility at this time. I don’t think it is very productive right now to point fingers as keeping everyone safe deserves all of our attention.
We are working with Representative Greg Amore to see to it that they get the supplies they need in a timely fashion, and we will update more as we go along.
I would like to thank Nicole Quigley and Jessie Danielle for being instrumental in working tirelessly to set up the meal deliveries with ALL LOCAL East Providence businesses.
Again, thank you all so much for your extreme generosity; we will keep this fundraiser open as long as we need to and continue to help these workers the way they deserve. I hope to have more good news to report soon.
I just donated, in memory of my mother.DONATE
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to the full extent allowed by law.