LITTLETON —Director of Public Health James Garreffi, Fire Chief Scott Wodzinski, Police Chief Matthew Pinard, Chair of the Board of Selectmen Joseph Knox and Town Administrator Nina Nazarian are today expressing concern on behalf of the Town of Littleton that the Life Care Center of Nashoba Valley assisted living facility located on Foster Street has failed to comply with the lawful and appropriate instructions of the Littleton Board of Health with regard to protocol for COVID-19 after a staff member and a patient tested positive for the disease.
In a letter to the Massachusetts Department of Public Health’s Bureau of Health Care Safety and Quality, Littleton’s Director of Public Health Jim Garreffi, who also represents more than a dozen other communities under the Nashoba Associated Boards of Health, expressed his concern that Life Care Center of Nashoba Valley failed to cooperate with the health agents who responded to the facility after a resident and employee were diagnosed with COVID-19.
Additionally, town officials are alarmed that the Littleton Fire Department has, in a five-day period since Friday, March 27, responded to the facility 18 times and transported 16 patients to area hospitals. In 2019, Littleton Fire averaged fewer than four calls to the facility per week.
In his letter, Garreffi indicated that public health officials began their vital work of identifying close contacts with the person who tested positive but were stonewalled by officials at Life Care Centers. Garreffi has also formally requested the assistance of the Department of Public Health to investigate and render whatever assistance may be necessary in Littleton.
“Our primary concerns are for the safety and well-being of our residents,” Town Administrator Nazarian said. “The COVID-19 pandemic is an unprecedented public health emergency, and our public heath officials have a duty to protect not only the residents and employees at Life Care but also to protect all residents of Littleton and our first responders who are going on emergency medical calls without question or hesitation, putting themselves at risk every day.”
COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, has been declared a global pandemic by the World Health Organization and has led Governor Charlie Baker to declare a State of Emergency in Massachusetts and led to a formal request, which was granted by the federal government, for a Major Disaster Declaration in the Commonwealth.