Windemere residents, staff test negative for COVID-19

One staff member is being retested.

All of Windemere’s residents tested negative for COVID-19. One staff member is being retested. — MV Times file photo

All residents tested at the Windemere Nursing & Rehabilitation Center for COVID-19 tested negative, following a mass testing conducted by the Massachusetts National Guard.

The comprehensive evaluation was part of a statewide testing program of nursing homes through the state Department of Public Health, according to a press release from the Martha’s Vineyard Hospital. Of the 105 tests, 43 were of residents, who all tested negative. Of the 62 tests conducted on staff, 61 resulted as negative. 

Three Windemere residents declined to be tested. One staff member requires retesting because the nasal sample was not adequate, according to hospital CEO Denise Schepici.

Many nursing homes across the state have been hit hard by the coronavirus. Residents and staff at Windemere were tested out an “abundance of caution.”

“This is excellent news for the residents, their families, and our staff. These results are the outcome of hard work by our team, and tight restrictions put in place early at Windemere. Under the most difficult of circumstances, Windemere staff, with the medical leadership of Dr. Ellen McMahon, have managed to keep everyone in our care healthy and engaged,” Denise Schepici, president and CEO of Martha’s Vineyard Hospital and Windemere, said in the release. “I couldn’t be more proud of our staff and medical leadership under Dr. Ellen McMahon, and am grateful to them for taking the best care possible of our most vulnerable Island residents.”

Marie Zadeh, R.N., NHA, administrator of Windemere, praised the staff and the families of residents for their part in this favorable outcome. “The diligence required to keep the building COVID-free is not easy; it requires everyone to do their part, never let their guard down. It also requires families of our residents to be understanding of the tight restrictions we’ve had on visitors, and we are appreciative of their support throughout this unusual time. With everyone’s participation, we are pleased to be able to share this great news with our community today,” Zadeh said in the release. “While we couldn’t have hoped for better results than these, this further enforces that we must continue with our prevention measures to keep our residents and staff safe throughout this pandemic.”