COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Information

A Message for our Families

(Updated April 19, 2021)

During these unprecedented times, please know that there is nothing more important to us than the health and safety of your loved ones in our care.

We are doing everything in our control to provide our residents a safe and comfortable environment. We have implemented daily cleanings, restricted visitors to our centers, are monitoring residents at every shift, and our staff is engaged in aggressive infection prevention strategies.

As states move forward with re-opening phases and policies, we remain committed to helping families stay connected with their loved ones. We continue to follow all guidance from the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC), Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), and state Departments of Public Health, Indoor visits are now possible, following the guidance and directives of CMS and our state DPH. Please contact the center and we will assist in scheduling a visit. We also encourage you to visit the center’s Facebook page or the news section of the website for additional updates.

We know this is a difficult time. We care deeply about our residents and staff, and appreciate your understanding. Please contact us with any questions or concerns. We know we can get through this – together.

COVID-19 Vaccination Update

Our centers were able to participate in vaccination clinics at the end of 2020 and beginning of 2021. As the CDC continues to stress the importance of getting vaccinated when it is offered to you, we continue to encourage our staff to get vaccinated. They are able to schedule appointments within the community.

Additionally, we have been able to schedule “Catch-Up Clinics” for new residents and staff to ensure that the percentage of vaccinated in the buildings remain high. If the building your loved one is in is participating in one of these clinics and your loved one is not vaccinated, or is a new resident, as soon as specific dates and information is made available, we will share it with you.


As you know, public health officials, in the states our centers are located in, had restricted nursing home visitors from March through late September. Although we are now able to offer indoor visits following the guidance of CMS and state DPH, our staff is committed to ensuring families can continue to connect with their loved one in our homes both virtually and with social distancing, outside visits. Please contact the appropriate center and we will make sure you are able to speak with your family member in our care. This is a priority for us.

We have implemented our indoor visitation policy and procedures following state and federal requirements. Based on that, nursing homes and visitors must adhere to the following conditions:

  • We must limit the number of visitors per patient and limit the total number of visitors in the center at a time. This is based on the physical space available for the designated visitation area.
  • We need to limit the duration of visits to help ensure all patients can receive visitors. Cleaning and disinfecting of the visitation area will occur by our staff in between visits. This is another factor affecting the amount of time and visitors we can have in our center.
  • Screening for anyone who enters the center – temperature and health screen questionnaire – will take place. Hand hygiene must be followed, and facemasks must be worn by visitors. Social distancing requirements remain as they do for our outside visits.

Indoor visitation may be affected by a COVID outbreak in a center or state level requirements to allow for safe testing of residents and staff.


While COVID has presented many challenges, our recreation teams are here to keep our residents active and engaged. Activities are planned each day, some in our recreation room, while others are conducted on a unit or even one-on-one in resident rooms.

Our teams provide a daily update on where and when activities will take place, based on the COVID status within the center and the unit which you reside.

Provided the center does not have a COVID “outbreak” (one or more residents or staff testing positive) in our center, residents may move freely about our center and participate in socially distanced activities, relax in our lounges, and have hallway visits with other residents, while wearing a mask.

We have tablet devices available for resident use. These tablets are available on every unit and have many uses; FaceTime, video chatting, Zoom calls, playing many games (word search, crossword puzzles, etc.), reading the news, and more!

Health Departments

Check with your local authority for more information
Rhode Island
Rhode Island

Important First Steps…and Ongoing Safety

We take cleanliness and ensuring a safe environment for our residents very seriously, and our policies and the practices at our centers reflect that.  Every center is frequently and thoroughly cleaned by professional staff. We have aggressive infection prevention strategies which are exercised by all of our staff.  Due to the Coronavirus pandemic, our infection prevention efforts are at an even more heightened level. We have stepped up our typical cleaning and disinfecting schedule that would be in place during the regular flu season, requiring more frequent surface cleaning on high contact areas and other strategies.

These efforts are enhancements to guidelines and recommendations set by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for institutions like ours. At the start of the Coronavirus pandemic, we initiated a series of protections aimed at mitigating the threat of the pandemic at our centers.  These included: 

  • Restricting visitors to the building;
  • Requiring anyone entering the center to complete a health questionnaire and have their temperature taken;
  • Increasing monitoring of all residents at every shift;
  • Our staff are trained in steps to minimize the spread of airborne illnesses when providing care and have received additional training and reinforcement;
  • Athena centers employ an in-house “Infection Preventionist,” an in-house, specially trained clinician responsible for implementing our infection prevention policies and procedures, as well as training staff on these policies and procedures. These specialists also conduct audits to ensure staff are following proper protocols, especially related to hand hygiene, personal protective equipment use, and cough etiquette.
  • Our centers follow CDC, CMS, and our state Department of Health’s  recommended schedule and guidelines for testing our residents and staff for COVID-19.
  • All new admissions to our center are screened for COVID-19 and appropriately placed.
  • While the acquisition of PPE has been a struggle since the beginning of this pandemic, we have an appropriate amount of the necessary PPE to safely operate our center, care for our residents, and protect our staff.

We continue to follow the guidance of the state regulators and have taken additional steps to protect our residents.  The Coronavirus pandemic is a rapidly evolving situation.  Please consult the CDC Coronavirus website, or your state’s Department of Public Health.  These are the authorities with the most up-to-date information.

We understand this is a difficult time for our residents and their families, but there is no greater priority for us than their health and safety of our residents and staff.  We are doing everything in our control to provide our residents a safe and comfortable environment.

Our staff is committed to making sure families are able to connect with their loved one in our homes.  Please contact us and we will make sure you are able to speak with your family member in our care.

Media Inquiries:

Tim Brown
Director of Marketing & Communications
Athena Health Care Systems