April 30, 2021, Letter to Family and Friends

We are monitoring the latest Centers for Disease Control (CDC) COVID-19 infection control guidance that impacts our residents and visitors. At this time, we are maintaining our current policies and procedures until our licensing bodies release an updated position statement.

We follow guidance from (CDC), Department of Health (DOH) and Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). Updates will be shared once it is received. Meanwhile, we encourage all to get vaccinated, make sure to wear a mask, practice surface and hand hygiene, and use social distancing.

Please refer to our attached visitation guidelines.

When a new case of COVID-19 among residents or staff is identified, a facility must immediately begin outbreak testing and suspend all visitation (except for visitation required under federal disability rights law), until at least one round of facility-wide testing is completed. We are monitoring the county’s positivity rates and, in the event of any new positive results, modified visitation restrictions will be implemented and there will be immediate notifications of changes to visitation schedules.

Our vaccination rate is among the best for health facilities in our area and continue to encourage vaccinations by the general population in a quest for overall herd immunity, which experts place at 70-to-80 percent of the United States population. As of April 29, 2021, 84% of our staff and 93% of our residents are vaccinated for a building total of 88%.

For information about vaccination information, please check the CDC’s fact sheet.

Staff Testing completed on Monday April 26, 2021 continued to be negative.   Our county positivity rate continues to be yellow at 8.4%

Our Facility’s Resident Impact (Since March 30, 2020, through April 30, 2021)

0 – Residents currently in our building with a confirmed active case of COVID 19

56 – CONFIRMED: Residents with laboratory positive COVID-19

0 – SUSPECTED: Residents with new suspected COVID-19

53 – Confirmed Staff Total: with a positive COVID-19

  • Please note that test results are reported on our daily call-in line at 570-207-6711.  Family members and all others impacted by the virus will be contacted directly and provided with results and updates.

Vaccine News

We are able to obtain the Moderna and J &J/Janssen vaccines through our Pharmacy provider moving forward. This will allow us to schedule vaccine clinics for new residents and staff, and any residents or staff who change their mind and want to take the vaccine.  PharMerica offered us the option of opening our vaccine clinic to immediate family members of both our staff and residents who are in need of a vaccine.  The Moderna and J&J/Janssen vaccines are available for person 18 years of age or older and is given in two doses for Moderna and 1 dose for J&J/Janssen.   If you are interested in joining our next available vaccine clinic please contact Denise Skrzysowski, RN our Infection Control Preventionist at dskrzysowski@jhep.org  or 570-344-6177 extension 1173.  We are pleased to be able to offer this service to help control the spread of COVID 19.

Mother’s Day Weekend Visits:   For the weekend of Mother’s Day (Friday May 7 through Sunday May 9) we are planning to have  a special visitation schedule.   This is in addition to the general outdoor patio or indoor visits in a neurtral area that is already in place.   

In conjunction with our Life Enrichment Department,  we will have shortened mother’s day weekend visits of 20 minutes,  to be able to accommodate as many visits as safely possible using multiple areas on our first floor, and weather permitting some patio slots.  Staff members will be available to take the picture using your camera or cell phone or ours if you prefer, (we will be using a special sanitizing cloth for electronics to wipe down your phone).  Life Enrichment staff will have a  Mother’s Day backdrop and flowers set up so you can take a memorable picture if you desire and then enjoy a short visit in one of first floor locations.

We respectfully ask that you adhere to the 20 minute time frame and core safety guidelines. We are making this a Mother’s Day three-day weekend, as we could not safely accommodate all on Sunday.  Time slots will be scheduled on these three days will be mornings 10:00 am and ending at by 11: and afternoon 1:30 pm ending by 3:30 pm.  We do ask your help in working with us with the following parameters specific to this weekend:   In order to give all of our residents who reside in a green zone,  an opportunity for a  visit on this weekend, we are limiting to one resident time slot in this weekend period with no more than 2 visitors per resident.  Since some of our residents do like to get up early, we are encouraging morning slots for those residents. Our scheduler will have information on that to help with the schedule.  Please park in our rear lot and wait for your phone call to come into the building and check in at our screening area.

Please call Mary Ryan at  570-344-6177 ext. 1104. Mary is available Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. or by email: mryan@jhep.org  to schedule your visit.

Following this event we are going to continue to gradually advance our visiting guidelines over the next few weeks.  Hopefully, we will also have improvement in our county’s positivity rates at the same time and will be able to incorporate some new guidance referenced at the beginning of this letter.  Our goal is to open up more visit times and less location restrictions.  So, more to come.

Thank you again for entrusting us with the care of your loved ones. If you have any questions, we are always available for you.

Sincerely,

Mary Rose Applegate, MBA, RD, NHA

Administrator

Jewish Home of Eastern Pennsylvania
1101 Vine St.
Scranton, PA 18510
570-344-6177

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