The state is halting plans to temporarily turn a skilled nursing facility in Wilmington into a COVID-19 recovery building after test results revealed that nearly half of the residents slated to leave tested positive for the illness.
Of the 98 residents set to be moved, 51 tested positive for the virus, according to a statement from Pointe Group Care, the owner of the 142-bed facility named AdviniaCare. All of them, the statement noted, tested positive while asymptomatic.
"The residents who have tested positive will be isolated from those who did not, and will receive the specialized care and support provided by staff and a team from Partners [HealthCare]," the statement said, adding that staffers will also be tested.
"To say we are surprised by the findings would be an understatement," wrote Chris Hannon, chief operating officer at Pointe Group Care in the statement. "Considering how aggressive we have been, this points to how insidious this virus is; we are fighting an invisible enemy. We are ensuring that residents with the illness get the specialized care and support that they need."
In the release, Dr. Chuck Tsun-Zhi Pu, medical director of population health for Partners, praised the testing procedures the facility conducted.
"The testing protocol that was put in place at the facility prevented further spread of the disease," he said. "It makes clear the challenging clinical circumstances that we are all operating under, and the important role that testing plays in battling this pandemic."
As WBUR previously reported, AdviniaCare was the second skilled nursing facility to volunteer to help Massachusetts officials address the growing coronavirus pandemic. It announced its plan just days ago, on Tuesday.