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May 19, 2020

Fallon converts senior facility to coronavirus care

Photo | Grant Welker Fallon Health's Summit ElderCare program at 288 Grove St. in Worcester

Fallon Health has converted one of its two Worcester senior care facilities into a residential coronavirus care center to help accommodate a surge in cases locally.

Fallon's Summit ElderCare site at 288 Grove St. has been dedicated strictly to coronavirus care, the Worcester health insurer said, with nine participants who've been admitted for around-the-clock care. The center opened for coronavirus care on April 20 and discharged its first patient Wednesday.

The center is the first such infirmary in Massachusetts and one of just a few in the country created at a center dedicated to seniors on Medicare and Medicaid, known by the acronym PACE, for Programs of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly. Such centers provide health care needs as an alternative to a nursing home or similar care facility.

Patients from any of Fallon's six Summit ElderCare sites are able to go to the Grove Street location for care if they've tested positive for the virus or have symptoms. Those who normally receive care at that site are able to go to the Grafton Street location in Worcester for any necessary in-person visits.

Summit ElderCare sites, which have remained open during the pandemic but have restrictions on visitors, are also in Leominster, Lowell, Springfield and Webster. The centers' health providers have also been visiting participants in their homes, delivering meals, dropping off medication or checking in remotely during the outbreak. The centers have a combined 1,200 participants.

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