On Friday, 270 residents and staff of the Jack Satter House in Revere received the first dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine at an on-site clinic in collaboration with CVS Health. Nearly 10 months after the City of Revere and Hebrew SeniorLife first announced aggressive actions to prevent further spread of the virus at Jack Satter House, Mayor Brian Arrigo and Hebrew SeniorLife President and CEO Lou Woolf came together to reflect on the strength of the public-private partnership developed to safeguard the health and well-being of residents.
Between March 24 and March 26, 2020, the Revere Board of Health was notified by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health of seven positive cases of COVID-19 at the Jack Satter House on Revere Beach Boulevard. On March 26, the Board of Health issued a directive requiring all Jack Satter House residents to quarantine in their individual apartments and issued additional guidance to all senior facilities in the City of Revere. For seven weeks, residents were not allowed access to common spaces and if they chose to leave the building, were not permitted to return until after the quarantine was lifted. These cases also marked the start of the City of Revere’s contact tracing operation.
“In the early days of the pandemic, we had to make some very difficult and painful decisions to protect our most vulnerable residents, and so it’s a special day to be able to join the Jack Satter community as they receive their vaccinations and look forward to brighter days ahead,” Mayor Arrigo said. “For the past 10 months, we have worked closely with Hebrew SeniorLife on behalf of residents and I want to thank them for all their efforts to support resident health and well-being. The residents of Jack Satter House were among the earliest and most significantly impacted by COVID-19 public health measures, and I’ll never be able to fully express my gratitude to them — for doing their part to protect themselves and our community. I also want to again offer my deepest condolences to the families, friendvs and neighbors of those lost to the virus this past year.”
To support residents during the quarantine, Hebrew SeniorLife’s Jack Satter House was in constant communications with residents to address their everyday needs. Examples included: Providing extra cleaning and security staff for the safety of residents and implementing strict infection control procedures to admit limited staff and health aides. Daily wellness checks were conducted by a volunteer and staffer phone bank and all follow-up was addressed, such as medical appointment or transportation needs. Additionally, Satter House staff delivered lunch and dinner to each resident, operated an onsite grocery store, delivered mail, distributed packages, and helped refill prescriptions. It also implemented robust virtual programming and even helped with dog-walking. These are a partial list of the accommodations made for residents during this time.
Lou Woolf, President and CEO of Hebrew SeniorLife, said, “It has been a long journey battling COVID-19 but through it all, we have had a strong partnership with the City of Revere to help keep Jack Satter House residents as safe as possible. With the advent of vaccines, there is new hope and a spirit of positivity, especially with Satter House residents who were among the earliest to be affected by the virus in Massachusetts. Vaccinations are critical next steps in our ongoing efforts in addressing COVID-19 for our residents, patients, and employees, and with today’s clinic, Satter House residents continue on their way.”
Throughout the pandemic, Jack Satter House management and Revere Board of Health nurses have maintained regular contact to identify and isolate positive COVID-19 cases and discuss evolving best practices in quarantine and testing follow-up. Jack Satter House is implementing innovative testing solutions to protect residents and staff, including rapid antigen tests for surveillance testing of employees and pooled testing for residents. Staff and residents have also been encouraged to take advantage of nearby testing opportunities, including the Project Beacon testing site at Suffolk Downs, the Stop the Spread site at Revere High School, and the resident-only testing site at the Revere Senior Center.
The City of Revere’s Office of Elder Affairs has worked collaboratively with Jack Satter House to support residents in lieu of in-person programming and social events, including delivery of holiday meals from local restaurants, holiday cookies, well-wish cards and craft kits, and established the RevereTV “Senior FYI” program that invited Jack Satter House residents to share their stories and experiences from quarantine. The City also provided each resident with a PPE kit, and provides ongoing support to residents in need of transportation, food delivery, and PPE.
Hebrew SeniorLife, an affiliate of Harvard Medical School, is a national senior services leader uniquely dedicated to rethinking, researching, and redefining the possibilities of aging. Based in Boston, the nonprofit organization has provided communities and health care for seniors, research into aging, and education for geriatric care providers since 1903. Hebrew SeniorLife’s Jack Satter House is a HUD-subsidized supportive housing community on the ocean in Revere, Mass. For more information about Hebrew SeniorLife, visit https://www.hebrewseniorlife.org or follow us on our blog, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn.