Letter to Families and Friends, December 31, 2020

Dear friends and families,

We thank you for your continued support throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.  Our goal is to provide high-quality care for your loved ones.

Testing News:

We are pleased to report that all of our residents have continued to test negative for COVID-19 from last week’s test on December 23, 2020.  Our staff group was tested at the beginning of this week.   Two staff members tested positive in this week’s testing.   One of the positive staff members had direct contact with residents on our 4th floor; therefore we will be testing the residents on this unit on January 2nd, 2021 and this unit has changed to a yellow zone.

The positivity rate for Lackawanna County was checked this week in accordance with our protocols.   It is now at 11.8% which is considered a red level.   Our staff group will change to twice a week testing starting on Monday, January 4, 2020 with a second test taken on Thursday January 7, 2020. The 4th floor residents will be tested again on January 9, 2021, with the goal of no new positives for 14 days

Our Facility’s Resident Impact (Since March 30, 2020, through December 31, 2020)

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

39 – 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.  Due to the staff positive results from this week’s testing as well as the community being at red status we will remain closed to in person visits with the exception of compassionate and end of life visits.

COVID 19 Vaccine Campaign at the Jewish Home of Eastern PA

We have worn masks, sanitized, cleaned and kept social distance. Those steps have helped to reduce the spread. Now, the COVID vaccine is an important step toward suppressing the pandemic. The research, testing and approvals are in place.  On December 18, we distributed educational materials, consents to our resident’s primary representative and residents who are able to provide their own consent to take the vaccine.  An educational session via Zoom was held yesterday for our families on our vaccine campaign.  Dr. Ken Sebastianelli, one of our Medical Directors, made a short informational video on the COVID 19 vaccine which we shared at this session.   This video can be viewed from our website at jhep.org if you were not able to attend.

Walgreens is our pharmacy partner for resident and staff COVID 19 vaccinations.  Our group is designated to receive the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine.  We have been able to schedule three rounds of dates for clinic days one and two.  This will provide the opportunity to split our residents and staff groups receiving the first dose over two days which is optimal.  Our first clinic Day 1 dates are January 15 and 21.  The primary contact will be notified of the scheduled date for residents who have consented to receive the vaccine.

We encourage you to reach out to us if you have any questions about our COVID-19 vaccine campaign. We are confident that the worldwide, unprecedented scientific achievement of these COVID-19 vaccines will eventually enable to us enjoy life with our loved ones again.  We look forward to doing our part in this effort by getting the COVID-19 vaccine, and hope you will join us.

Please return consent forms which went to you on December 18, 2020, to Denise Skrzysowski at dskrzysowski@jhep.org. COVID 19 Vaccine consent forms must be returned no later than January 5, 2020. 

Voluntary Serology Study conducted by the PA Department of Health:

We have accepted the opportunity to participate in a voluntary research serology study which is beneficial to support research efforts to help fight the COVID 19 pandemic.  The attached documents include an invitation from the PA Department of Health to participate in this study, information sheet, and consent form.

Please note there two different consent forms which must be returned to us, one is for the vaccine which you previously received, and second one attached to this letter which you need to review if you want your resident to participate in the voluntary serology study.

Thank you for entrusting us to care for your loved ones and your patience and support of us during these trying times.   If you have any questions, we are always available for you.

Please accept our wishes for a safe and healthy New Year!

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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