Nursing home in desperate need of staff, employees testing positive caring for COVID-19 patients

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.

There are 10 fatalities but DaSilva said he is being told there’s more deaths that haven’t been reported yet.

“I’m told by staff there may be another 9 that have not been confirmed COVID-19 yet,” he said.

Melissa Calcione, a Johnston resident, says her father is one of the patients who tested positive for COVID-19.

“They are leaving their COVID patients in bed to die,” Calcione said.

Her father, Richard Calcione, moved to Orchard View Manor in 2019 because of dementia and Alzheimer’s. Due to his condition, he is immobile and can’t leave his bed, leaving them with questions.

“He didn’t go out and get it because he can’t move, so it came to him by someone,” Calcione said.

Calcione said the lack of communication is what worries her the most.

“Each day? You are lucky if you get 1 or 2 calls a week,” Calcione said. “You can’t even get these people to answer the phone.”

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.

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The mayor said he is working with the department of health and the governor’s office to get the nursing home additional manpower.

However, Calcione said she hopes it happens sooner rather than later.

“It’s horrifying every time the phone rings it’s like oh is this going to be the call… especially because we haven’t seen him in a month,” Calcione said.

In the meantime, Brown said they are also working on setting up a voicemail system for family members. This would allow them to get a call back quicker than calling the main phone line.



Categories: Coronavirus, News