October 1, 2021, Letter to Family and Friends

As we turn the calendar to October, we enter a time when many had hoped the pandemic would be behind us. However, in the past few weeks, the spread of the COVID-19 Delta variant has risen. We are very thankful that a great percentage of our residents, their families and our staff have received the vaccine. COVID boosters and flu shots are recommended as well for your safety and your loved ones.

On Friday, September 24, 2021, the CDC issued recommendation for Comirnaty Pfizer-BioNTech booster doses for the following populations, at least six months after the second dose of their Pfizer primary series:

  • People age 65 years and older and residents in long-term care settings aged 18 and older should receive a booster of the Pfizer-BioNTech Vaccine
  • People aged 50–64 years with underlying medical conditions should receive a booster of the Pfizer-BioNTech Vaccine
  • People aged 18–49 years with underlying medical conditions may receive a booster of the Pfizer-BioNTech Vaccine, based on their individual benefits and risks, and
  • People aged 18-64 years who are at increased risk for COVID-19 exposure and transmission because of occupational or institutional setting may receive a booster shot of the Pfizer-BioNTech Vaccine, based on their individual benefits and risks.

Following this recommendation, eligible individuals should be able to schedule appointments and receive booster doses. We are working with our pharmacy partners to schedule vaccination clinics to administer booster shots to residents that meet the above criteria. We will keep you informed when clinics are scheduled.

Vaccinations curb the spread of the variant and are a matter of safety as well as compliance with the federal government’s mandated vaccines for health care workers at Medicare and Medicaid facilities. The pandemic has taken a toll on healthcare workers. We are grateful to all who have worked diligently to make our residents’ lives better.

Our tech savvy friends may find vaccination rates at nursing homes near them on CMS’s Care Compare site through Medicare.gov. COVID boosters and flu shots are recommended as well for your safety and your loved ones. Learn about vaccines near you and the CDC’s fact sheet.

As of October 1, 2021, our vaccination rate for our active residents is 94% and staff is 93.1%, for a total of 93.6% of our facility fully vaccinated. We have eleven (11) additional staff who have already have their first series of the vaccine that are not included in our completion stats.

Our non-vaccinated staff were last tested on September 27, 2021, and all are negative. We are awaiting the results of the second weekly test for this group, which were taken on September 30, 2021.

Visitations are being monitored and controlled based on the CDC’s county view data tracker.

We had 1 staff person report having a positive test on 9/30/2021.   There was no exposure that would require our building to stop visitation.

We appreciate your understanding and cooperation with keeping your mask on and staying in the designated spaces for visiting in our facility. Our up to date visitation guidelines are posted on our website at jhep.org in the COVID section.  To schedule a visit please email Gayle MacDonald at gmacdonald@jhep.org or  call her at 570-344-6177 ext. 1103. Gayle is available Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.  We do ask for visits to be scheduled one day in advance.

Please schedule visits occurring on Saturday, Sunday and Monday, no later than the Friday before at 1 p.m. so schedules can be provided to reception staff.

We are following guidance from (CDC), Department of Health (DOH) and CMS as well as the latest COVID-19 infection control guidance with relation to its impact on our residents and visitors. We appreciate your understanding and cooperation with our masking and social distancing protocols for our facility. Our utmost priority is to protect the residents and staff and their families.

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

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

57 – CONFIRMED: Residents with laboratory positive COVID-19

0 – SUSPECTED: Residents with new suspected COVID-19

54 – 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.

As always, we appreciate that you entrust us with the care of your loved ones. We take very seriously our responsibility for your loved one’s safety and well-being. If you have any questions, we are always available for you. Thank you again.

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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