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Community fundraises to bring food and PPE for struggling workers at Rhode Island’s Orchard View Manor nursing home

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.

[Click on image to go to GoFundMe page]

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

Patricia Resende
Director of Project Management & Communications

On Friday, April 17, Oliver provided this update on the situation:

Updates (1)
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.


Donations tax deductible
to the full extent allowed by law.


Hawaii is the same. Enter the State and you will be put in a mandatory 14 days quarantine.

    rdm in reply to puhiawa. | April 19, 2020 at 5:20 am

    So how are they getting food shipments and such? It would seem that would be almost impossible if people on the boat have to be quarantined for two weeks.

Just gave what i could.

We lost a family member on Wednesday. Difficult times.

Ty Prof. for helping Orchard View Manor.

    I am so sorry, amwick! Our thoughts and prayers are with you and yours. Ugh, that sounds so pat, but it’s true (not just empty words). Big virtual hugs to you.

    Colonel Travis in reply to amwick. | April 18, 2020 at 8:42 pm

    I’m sorry for your loss.
    God bless you and your family.

    amwick in reply to amwick. | April 19, 2020 at 9:20 am

    Ty all..

    This was an older person who suffered from MS and had other severe health issues. Still there are such sad repercussions to the family, there is no service, no coming together, no sharing tears, and no sweet memories.

    There is a 15 day wait list for cremations.. (Suffolk County)

How can they be short on supplies after all this time and the knowledge of same by the Presidents task force

Why isn’t there a truck from 3M full of supplies not sitting in their parking lot and why are there not military Drs and nurses there to help?

We have a ship in NYC harbor with no patients and fully staffed!

Come on now people this is not rocket science!

My condolences amwick…

I was going to send my bribe back with my estimated tax payment, but I’m thinking it would do more good at the Salvation Army.

SpaceInvader | April 18, 2020 at 9:54 pm

Telling people not to take their family members out of nursing homes was the biggest mistake made in the handling of the virus. Every elderly person with a family should have been relocated home where they would be exposed to far less chances of catching the virus. I guess it depends on what your goals are. If your goal is to get rid of social security recipients then maybe they can reopen the cruise lines also.

The Friendly Grizzly | April 19, 2020 at 9:00 am

I am alone, and – really – have no friends. I live in sheer terror of ending up in a nursing home or a retirement center.

Fear of disease? No.

It is the more or less compulsory “actifivities” and the “we/our” way staff addresses the residents. The actifities they are absolutely sure I will enjoy.

Kill me now.

New Mexico has a 14 day quarantine for anyone entering the state, including residents, who traveled outside the state. Our first two cases came from residents who traveled to Egypt. Tourist towns have also tried to shut down STRs because we still have tourists who want to hunker down and ride it out here. Unfortunately, they’ve brought in 1/3 of the cases for my county. We do have an assisted living center that went into lockdown in March and luckily, they have zero cases.