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Our COVID-19 Response

The latest and news and data related to the Austen Riggs Center's response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Austen Riggs Center Medical Office Building

Update from the Medical Director/CEO

Updated 05/09/22
Dear Members of the Austen Riggs Community:
I am writing to let you know that recent COVID tests were positive in two patients and four staff members. Upon learning of these outcomes, we initiated our protocols. The two patients who are residents of the Inn entered isolation, while infected staff members will isolate off-site. Potentially exposed patients and staff are being closely monitored. 
We have communicated this information to patients and staff and added increased precautions to maximize protection for members of our community.
Those changes include: 
  • Pivoting from group COVID testing to individual testing once a week for all patients and staff. 
  • Revising mask-wearing policies to reinstate the requirement to wear medical-grade masks in group meetings.
    • In individual one-to-one clinical meetings, with adequate ventilation, masks may be removed if both parties consent, per the current Department of Public Health guidance.
  • Re-emphasizing attention to ventilation, social distancing, handwashing, and other precautions.
Also, we are reiterating our visitor policy, which includes:
  • All visitors must be vaccinated.
  • No visitors will be allowed with any symptoms or recent exposure to COVID-19.
  • Visitors must complete a COVID screening form that has been provided by their host.
  • All visitors, including family members and staff visitors, must wear masks indoors.
  • The host must remain with the visitor at all times.
While we do not have reason to believe that there has been community spread on campus, the increased numbers are unwelcome news. Having been at this for over two years now, however, I have confidence that we have the protocols, the skills, and the supplies to get through this.
With best wishes,
Eric M. Plakun, MD
Medical Director/CEO

Contact Information

Family members: Your social worker is your primary contact person. If that person is not available, please call the social work administrative assistant, Liz Sample, at 413.931.5202.
Referring clinicians: Please call 800.517.4447
Media inquiries: Please call our Communications Office at 413.931.5245.

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