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March 29, 2020

Worcester nursing center to be used for coronavirus patients

Photo | Google Beaumont Rehabilitation and Skilled Nursing Center in Worcester

Beaumont Rehabilitation and Skilled Nursing Center in Worcester is being converted to caring strictly for coronavirus patients, the first of what is planned to be several such sites set up at the direction of the state.

Beaumont, located at 378 Plantation St. next to the UMass Memorial Medical Center's University Campus, will be used for coronavirus patients who are in stable condition but need nursing care, Marylou Sudders, the state's secretary for health and human services, said in a letter to colleagues Friday. Patients will be transferred there starting this week.

The decision to use Beaumont comes after UMass Memorial, Saint Vincent Hospital and Worcester city officials had already determined they would use the DCU Center for 150 to 200 beds to give those hospitals extra capacity when the number of coronavirus patients needing hospital care is expected to surge far beyond typical capacity.

"Transferring patients to dedicated facilities such as Beaumont, where they can continue to receive nursing facility levels of care, including oxygen, will provide acute care hospitals with the additional capacity for incoming patients who need hospital level acute care," Sudders said.

[Related: Columbia study says Worcester County best-case scenario is 20K coronavirus cases]

Existing Beaumont patients are being transferred to other nursing facilities. 

"We understand this is not an easy thing to ask residents, families and nursing facilities to do, but it is necessary for health and safety of the current residents and to insure COVID-19 patients are receiving care in appropriate medical settings and that hospitals can sustainably handle the anticipated surge of care demands caused by the outbreak," Sudders said.

The state is seeking additional such facilities, Sudders said.

Beaumont is one of a series of medical facilities owned by Salmon Health and Retirement of Westborough.

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