Friend tells Globe she learned of Sunrise woman's death from hospital

UPDATED, April 27: The Boston Globe has reported that Ellen McDonald, a guardian to Norma Ricci, 92, said her friend’s assisted-living residence, Sunrise of Arlington, told her April 1 that a nurse who worked on Ricci’s floor had been infected. A week later, McDonald was told Ricci was rushed to Mount Auburn Hospital in Cambridge, with no mention of coronavirus.

Covid-19 image The next day, Mount Auburn called to say Ricci had Covid-19. McDonald donned full protective garb to visit her friend on Easter. Ricci died April 15, according to a DeVito Funeral Home notice, which lacks an obituary. 

McDonald told the Globe that Sunrise nurses told her many residents were coughing and some staffers had stopped coming to work, without official word from management. In a statement, Sunrise Senior Living told The Globe that nine residents of its Arlington facility have died and 25 have tested positive. The statement said Sunrise has regularly updated residents and families by phone and e-mail. It quoted a regional vice president, Thomas Kessler, as saying, “Communication has always been a source of pride at Sunrise of Arlington.”

Covid-19 cases rise just 2, deaths stay same

The April 24 town update reports 193 cases of Covid-19 in Arlington, an increase of two from the day before, and deaths have remained at 19. See all numbers by clicking on View more tables >> 

The age breakdown of cases April 24 were: 

19 and under20-2930-3940-4950-5960-6970-7980 and overTotal cases
2 14 17 12 30 20 36 62   193

As of April 23 (no April 24 update), 46,023 confirmed cases are in Massachusetts, 10,724 in Middlesex County and 2,360 reported deaths associated with the virus. 

Gov. Baker provided an update on testing, personal protective equipment, and hospitalizations related to Covid-19. Baker also announced work the state is doing in collaboration with Community Health Centers to increase testing and contact tracing in the state. Watch the press conference.

The age breakdown of cases April 23 were (the category 80 and older has been added): 

19 and under20-2930-3940-4950-5960-6970-7980 and overTotal cases
2 14 17 12 29 20 36 61   191
4th identified

Among the 19 Covid-19 deaths so far reported among town residents, YourArlington has identified a fourth, Alfred "Fred" Iannacone. The website reported a third death, occurring April 14 at Sunrise Assisted Living. A source confirmed the virus victim was Theodore S. Wayne. Since the end of March, two others have died in town from coronavirus: A Globe death notice identifies the first as James K. Power on March 30. A second death here was reported March 31, without details. 

April 29 virtual town forum: Town election planning: Learn about safety protocols and voting options amid Covid-19. 

Art and Cards for Seniors Project: See more than 100 submissions or make a submission: Last week we asked you to help lift the spirit of Arlington seniors. To date, we've received 120 submissions for the project. Thanks to contributors. We are working with the Council on Aging to safely print and deliver copies of the cards to our senior population. New submissions are welcome. You can upload your Art or Card and view the gallery of previously submitted art

The age breakdown of cases April 22 were (80 and over has been added): 

19 and under20-2930-3940-4950-5960-6970-7980 and overTotal cases
2 13 15 10 29 20 36 60   185

As of April 22, 42,944 confirmed cases were in Massachusetts, 10,094 in Middlesex County and 2,182 reported deaths associated with Covid-19. The day before: 41,199 confirmed cases in the state, 9,621 in Middlesex and

Testing is still key in helping to understand and manage the Covid-19 crisis, the latest town update says. As testing becomes more available, it has been prioritized at senior-care facilities across the state.


ACMi News reports about National Guard at Sunrise.

In the last week, with help from the National Guard, testing has been conducted at Sunrise Assisted Living and Park Avenue Health Center. To date, there have been 23 positive residents identified at Sunrise Assisted Living and 50 positive residents identified at Park Ave Health Center. With this information, the Health Department is working closely with the Massachusetts Department of Public Health and each facility to contain the further spread of the virus.   

The age breakdown of cases April 21 were: 

19 and under20-2930-3940-4950-5960-6970 and overTotal cases
2 12 14 10 21 20 96 175

As to deaths, the update says the "town continues to work to provide the most accurate reporting to residents. We added confirmed cases by demographics last week and our new reporting page yesterday. Today we are adding deaths to our reports.

"It’s been a while since we reported on deaths and that number has risen. The town does not receive reporting of deaths due to Covid-19 from Mass. Department of Public Health or area hospitals. A death notification may come from the family, a friend, or a funeral home (if local). We will update this number as we are notified."

Patch reported April 17 that a second worker at Arlington Whole Foods had tested positive foir Covid-019.

The age breakdown of cases April 17 were: 

19 and under20-2930-3940-4950-5960-6970 and overTotal cases
1 11 13 11 19 11 46 112

As of April 16, 32,181 confirmed cases are reported in Massachusetts, 7,206 in Middlesex County and 1,245 reported deaths associated with the virus.

Continue to heed stay-at-home advisory: Public health officials continue to urge everyone to adhere to Stay-at-Home advisories. If you must go out to run an essential errand, social distance (stay 6 feet away from others), and wear a cloth face covering. Peirce Field and Arlington playgrounds are still closed and we urge that you do not congregate in parks or on bike path.

State updates: Governor Baker provided an update on the state’s Covid-19 response, including testing, personal protective equipment, hospital capacity and to support shelter community and homeless population. Watch the press conference.

The age breakdown of cases April 16 were: 

19 and under20-2930-3940-4950-5960-6970 and overTotal cases
1 10 13 10 18 11 42 105

This ongoing town statement continues: "We continue to believe this number may provide a false sense of security to residents as numbers in the region and across the state increase at a rapid rate. Public health officials remind all residents, regardless of age, to stay at home and away from anyone who does not live in your house, including relatives. If you have to go out to conduct a necessary errand, like grocery shopping, picking up medication, or checking in on a neighbor who may need assistance, it is crucial you practice social distancing and keep 6 feet away from others."

Pandemic Unemployment Assistance information: The Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program is now accepting applications; this program provides up to 39 weeks of unemployment benefits to individuals who are unable to work because of a Covid-19 related reason, but are not eligible for regular or extended unemployment benefits. This includes the self-employed, independent contractors, workers with limited work history, and others. Individuals can review eligibility scenarios here and apply for PUA here.

CoA delivers cloth facial coverings to all 5 senior housing in town: Arlington's Council on Aging (CoA) finished delivering 750 hand-sewn masks to all residents in the five senior housing buildings in Arlington on April 11. The addresses include 4 Winslow St., Drake Road, 8 Summer St., 54 Medford St. and 17 Mill St.

The CoA is now collecting fabric hand-sewn masks to be distributed to the Arlington seniors who are receiving weekly grocery deliveries through the town, organized through the Arlington Food Hotline. This is about 250 more masks. CoA plans to expand to older adults who live in highly dense apartment buildings within Arlington. If you want to donate fabric masks or personal protective equipment, you can donate here.

Update on senior-care facilities in Arlington: Cases of covid-19 continue to increase at both Sunrise and Park Ave. The Health Department continues to monitor the situation and provide guidance and resources to limit the further transmission of the virus within these private facilities. Testing support is in place at each facility. A special team of Town leaders including Health Department, Fire Department, and Armstrong Ambulance staff are in daily contact to monitor and discuss additional steps that can be taken to control the virus. The Town will provide additional information, including case numbers, in its April 14th update.

Nursing Home Family Resource Line: The State has launched a dedicated hotline that will connect family members of nursing home and rest home residents with information and resources they seek. Created so that family and community members have one central contact that they can reach out to if they have questions or concerns about the care their loved one is receiving during the COVID-19 outbreak. The line is staffed from 9 AM – 5 PM, seven days a week. Staff will coordinate across state agencies to help callers find answers to their questions. Families and community members can call the line at (617) 660-5399.

CDC recommends wearing cloth face coverings when in public: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) now recommends wearing cloth face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain (e.g., grocery stores and pharmacies). Wearing a cloth face covering is not a substitute for social distancing, but an extra measure while you are running essential errands to minimize the spread of the virus. The CDC provides instructions on how to make your own cloth face covering.

For the national picture, see this U.S. map showing numbers from all counties >>

The town is also accepting donations of cloth face coverings, to local seniors, as well as PPE equipment for first responders and healthcare professionals.

Warning sign on Minuteman Bikeway in East Arlington. / Paul Schlichtman photoWarning sign on Minuteman Bikeway in East Arlington. / Paul Schlichtman photo

Social distance at the park; single file on the bikeway: We understand it may be awkward to keep your distance when you are out getting exercise or running an essential errand that finds you on the bike path or at an Arlington park. However, keeping a distance of 6 feet or more from others is akin to being polite. Let’s get over our awkwardness and be more polite. Say no to play dates, group activities and sports. Please keep your distance when you are outside and walk single file on the bike path. These are a simple choices that we all can, and should make, to save lives. Please continue to do your part.

Real estate open houses prohibited: Private showings allowed if following public health guidelines
Starting immediately open houses for real estate sales are prohibited in Arlington. Private showings are allowed and local realtors have been provided guidelines to conduct private showings from Arlington's Health Department.

A window in Arlington tells the story in April 2020. / Marjorie Howard photoA window in Arlington tells the story in April 2020. / Marjorie Howard photo

Save your pipes; don't flush wipes, other items
MWRA warns not to flush personal care wipes, paper towels, other items in toilet.
Even if they're small, and the package says "flushable," some everyday items can cause messy and expensive problems for your plumbing and MWRA sewer treatment facilities. Products that might seem safe to flush down the toilet, such as personal care wipes, dental floss, and paper towels, don't dissolve quickly – or at all – in water. If a scrap of undissolved material gets caught on a nick, bend or bump within a pipe, it can trigger a growth of buildup that could cause a sewer backup in your home or neighborhood creating an additional public health risk amid the coronavirus pandemic. Please dispose of these items in the trash. Read more at 

Yard-waste collection resumes April 13: Please have your yard waste on the curb no earlier than 6:00 p.m. the day before your collection, and no later than 7:00 a.m. the day of your collection. Because of early spring weather, and a lot of “stay-at-home” yard activity, there is likely to be a heavy amount of yard waste placed out the first few weeks of collection. JRM may experience delays in yard waste collection. If delays are significant, and for public health reasons, trash is prioritized over yard waste collection. Resident patience is appreciated as JRM trucks take the first few weeks to get up to speed and get the first heavy loads collected. Read more at 

Street sweeping resumes April 6Rate of sweeping will be slower due to minimal staff plan.
The Public Works Department plans to resume the town-wide spring street sweeping schedule on Monday, April 6th starting with Route 2. Please note, according to the Town bylaw, Prohibition Against Obstructing Public Ways, it is forbidden to deposit debris in public ways. To help us perform the best possible job, please park your cars off-street during your scheduled week. Parked cars prevent a clean sweep.

Public works is not able to return to sweep streets due to cars parked during the initial visit. The Town posts the street sweeping schedule online and will be updating it weekly (Mondays) until the spring sweep is completed. DPW is working under a minimal staffing plan and the Town-wide sweep will take longer to perform. DPW thanks residents for their continued patience as we all work together to reduce the spread of Covid-19 and continue to deliver municipal services. You can view this schedule and find out what route your street is on at

Items will be collected by Arlington Health Department with assistance from Arlington Police and Fire and allocated to hospitals, clinics and first responders that are on the front lines treating Covid-19 patients. Items sought should be in unopened packaging and include N95 respirators, surgical/procedural masks, face shield masks, disposable gowns, goggles/eye protection, wipes, nitrile gloves, and hand sanitizer.  More information on the How You Can Help page.

Small-business tax relief – kate-file, late-pay penalties waived: The Baker-Polito administration recently announced administrative tax relief measures for small local businesses which have been impacted by the ongoing Covid-19 outbreak, especially in the restaurant and hospitality sectors. This tax relief includes postponing the collection of regular sales tax, meals tax, and room occupancy taxes that would be due in March, April, and May so that they will instead be due on June 20. The Department of Revenue announced March 20 that it will waive any late-file or late-pay penalties for returns and payment due for meals and room occupancy taxes between March 20 and May 31, 2020.

Unemployment assistance: Commonwealth of Massachusetts Updated Unemployment Resources has guides on how to file, to register for a virtual information session on how to file, and information on how to contact the MA Department of Unemployment Assistance. Recent legislation allows new claims to be paid more quickly by waiving the one waiting period for unemployment benefits. 

List of businesses currently open in Arlington: The listings will be updated at least once daily. Please contact businesses directly before placing and order or going to their establishment to confirm that they are open, as the information on this list is subject to change.  See the list here >>

Additional resources for businesses and nonprofits may be found on the Business & Nonprofit Resourcepage. but should not comngregate in groups. 

Tracking Covid-19 via Johns Hopkins site

April 17-21, 2020: Cases drop by 1, as death total remains; Baker extends school closings
April 13-17, 2020: Cases in town rise to 105, from 99 Wednesday; 3rd death identified
April 2-10, 2020: Cases in town rise to 67, from 45 Wednesday
March 30-April 1, 2020: Arlington Covid-19 deaths stand at 2, as cases rise to 23
March 23-27, 2020:12 positive town cases of Covid-19 remain firm; Baker announces travel restrictions
March 20-23, 2020: Presumptive Covid-19 cases rise to 7; public urged to stay at home; testing in Heights
March 15, 2020: Playgrounds closed, Town Hall restricted after 4 Covid-19 cases cited
March 13-15, 2020: Possible postponement of town election pushes candidates to go virtual
March 12, 2020: Town's public schools among 6 districts closing for two weeks
March 11, 2020: In face of threat, town suspends Senior Center programs, postpones library events
March 8, 2012: 2nd resident tests negative for Covid-19
Feb. 28-March 6, 2020: Coronavirus risk remains low in town, health office says in 2nd update

This news announcement was published Wednesday, April 22, 2020. The orginal copy was written by Joan Roman, town webmaster, with editing and additions by Bob Sprague.  It was updated April 26, to add a link to an obituary, and April 27, to add a Sunrise report.

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