March – The Beginning of the COVID-19 Pandemic


The month of February started ordinary enough.  The Activity Department was still offering group activities in early March, including a special “Friday the Thirteenth Bingo”. 

During the month of February and in early March the residents worked on making crafts for an anticipated “St. Patrick’s Day Party” to be held on March 24th, 2020.

The Activity staff even worked on creating a special mural for the big celebration…


The St. Patrick’s Party never came to fruition.  About as soon as the last piece of tape was used on the mural, the facility learned that due to the global COVID-19 pandemic, with heavy heart the building will be shutting the doors to volunteers, entertainers, and even family members.  Only the essential staff would be able to enter and exit the building.

For St. Patrick’s Day, instead of holding a large party with entertainment, the Activity staff went room-to-room with a Happy Hour cart passing alcohol and non-alcoholic beverages and snacks.

The Activity Department had to quickly restructure it’s operations as residents were now required to stay in their rooms for activities and dining.   Activity staff purchased a new cart to pass out independent leisure materials to residents in their rooms in order to keep them occupied.  This included materials such as novels, adult coloring materials, magazines, puzzle books, music CD’s, et.

Some residents have a tablet or laptop which they have used to play games, check their social media, keep up with the news, and to stream movies and music.

Activity staff and Social Services have assisted families in “visiting” by providing video chats via the facility tablets or laptops.   
Most of our residents have received window visits from family.  Residents have also kept up with their loved ones using their personal phones or being provided with the facility cordless phones

Adapted Activities

In an effort to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic in nursing homes, the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services instructed skilled nursing facilities to cancel all group activities.  The Activity Department had to get “creative” in order to continue to maintain resident participation in their favorite activities, such as Bingo. 
The Activity staff  set up the Bingo projector in centralized locations on each Unit.  Residents have been able to continue to play Bingo from the entrance of their rooms, remaining 6 feet distance apart.  Activity staff sanitize all equipment, tables, and hands before and after each game.


Community Support

The community has shown overwhelming support to it’s healthcare workers!  Signs have been placed in front of our building to keep up morale…

Heart-to-Heart Hospice spent a whole day washing our resident’s wheelchairs  to further help our facility with infection control during the COVID-19 pandemic!
Community members have left thank-you cards on the staff member’s cars in the parking lot!
And we cannot forget the many community members and quilt guilds that worked diligently sewing masks for our staff when we faced a nationwide shortage of protection!


On behalf of Newburgh Healthcare, we thank all of our community for your support and all essential workers in healthcare as we battle this pandemic.


Stay strong 


This entry was posted in 2020 Events, Community Events, COVID-19 Activities. Bookmark the permalink.