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Feb. 3, 2021 – Letter to Parents and Guardians of Bridgewell Residential Programs

Published: February 8, 2021

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February 3, 2021

Dear Bridgewell Family Members and Guardians,

We are so glad that 576 people living in and staff working in our residential homes have received their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine to date, and clinics to administer the second dose are starting to be held this week.

While COVID-19 infection rates and hospitalizations seem to be on a gradual decline – a trend that we hope will continue – many of the cities and towns in which Bridgewell has programs are still showing higher than average rates of infection. We are very fortunate that the vaccine has been made available to those in our residential programs in the first phase of the MA vaccine rollout plan, but we know that people who are vaccinated are still able to transmit and potentially contract COVID-19 to and from others. We must continue to operate with an abundance of caution to ensure the health and safety of those we serve and the staff who work with them. It is with this same concern that we will continue to ask people to not return to their day programs until it is safe to do so.

For our residential programs, we will also be maintaining the visitation guidelines I shared with you on December 11, 2020 until the positivity rate goes down in Essex and Middlesex counties.

Bridgewell’s visitation guideline are as follows:

  1. Any residential program in a red zone as determined by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts shall be restricted from all visitation. Currently those cities and towns that impact Bridgewell are: Billerica, Chelmsford, Dracut, Haverhill, Littleton, Lowell, Lynn, Merrimac, Peabody, Salem, Salisbury, Saugus, Tewksbury, Topsfield, Wakefield and Westford.
  2. Any residential program not currently in a red zone but experiencing a COVID positive at the residence, shall be restricted from visitation for the duration of the quarantine period.
  3. For all other Bridgewell programs, or once a program is no longer in the red zone, visitation shall now be held on site at the residential program only. There will be no sharing of food during these visits. Visitation will take place in the designated areas, limited to two visitors at a time. Masks must be worn at all times, and all other screening measures will be in place.
  4. If there are extraordinary circumstances, please contact your Residential Manager.
  5. Bridgewell will regularly reevaluate this visitation policy.

We are encouraged by the rollout of COVID-19 vaccines and hopeful declines in overall COVID-19 infection rates across the state, and I know we are all ready to move on from restrictions like these. However, our efforts to keep Bridgewell programs as free from COVID-19 risk as possible must continue. We will continue following strict protocols around wearing masks, hand washing, social distancing, and cleaning of our homes.

Thank you for your understanding and your cooperation in ensuring the health and safety of all at Bridgewell.

Sincerely,

Elaine M. White

Chief Operating Officer

 

Cc:  Kelly Lawless, Jennifer Killeen, Bonnie Hungler, Tom Marshall, Michelle Vercellone