Family Calls, February 23, 2021
Update on Infection Control Procedures, Letter from January 4, 2021
January 4, 2021
Dear Jewish Home Family Member,
Throughout the COVID-19 Pandemic crisis, it has been the Jewish Home of Rochester’s commitment to
provide our staff, residents and family members with accurate and timely information
regarding operations and provision of services. We know transparency is critical during these
We are now over 300 days into the battle with COVID-19, Monroe County has seen a significant uptick
this fall in the rate of infections. Currently, the county positivity rate is averaging close to
10%, one of the highest in New York State. We are very disappointed after ten (10) months of
fighting this virus, it has infiltrated our community and touched our residents and staff much more
than we experienced in the first wave this past spring.
We thought it might be helpful to remind you of the infection control practices we utilize at the
Jewish Home, along with information on how positive cases with staff and residents are handled. We
continue to follow the CDC and NYS Department of Health guidelines for infection control. For
example, all staff are required to wear face mask, face shield and gloves when in close contact
with a resident or each other. We have enhanced cleaning/disinfecting procedures including use of
specialized equipment such as our Sterimist system and ultraviolet machines which eradicate
the virus on surfaces. This is in addition to the cleaning procedures we do every day–in
resident rooms, common areas, dining rooms and lobby areas. Additionally, the final air filters
located in our HVAC units have the MERV 13 filters, which have been shown effective in filtering
out the virus.
Our newly renovated facility has all private rooms which allows us to isolate residents as needed
and avoids residents having to cohort with someone else. Other measures taken include:
• Regular COVID drills with staff to prepare them if their area experiences an
outbreak with residents needing isolation and full PPE
• Weekly testing of our staff
• Ongoing infection control audits and
• Screening of staff, every shift, as they enter our buildings
When there has been potential resident exposure to a COVID positive staff we conduct
a thorough investigation including a review of whether staff wore PPE at all times, whether the
staff member was in close contact with the resident (defined as several feet) and if contact was
longer than 15 minutes. We also monitor the residents for any symptoms and put them on isolation
For any staff member COVID positive, we follow the same criteria as above, but also have a
mandatory 14-day quarantine at home, with a return to work only after a negative COVID test.
Michele L. Schirano RN, Administrator
Michael King, President & CEO
As of November 24, 2020, we share this communication from the New York State Department of Health (NYS DOH) regarding Holiday Guidelines for the Jewish Home. The guidelines for Wolk Manor and Lodge can be found here.
As of November 19, 2020 and based on guidelines imposed by the New York State Department of Health, visitation for the Jewish Home of Rochester, Lodge at Wolk Manor and Wolk Manor is paused. We will continue to offer window visitations and video chats. These visits can be arranged through our recreational therapy team.
Information for Families – September 18, 2020
Dear Jewish Home Residents and Families,
You may be aware of the releases in the last few days of new guidelines by the New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) that are in effect. The directive is requiring nursing homes to have no positive COVID cases, in either a resident or staff member, for at least 14 days before any outside visitation can resume. While changes to the guidelines have been advocated for by many stakeholders, including our staff here at the Jewish Home, the release of these changes have left many, including our state advocacy association and our peers, with unanswered questions.
There are currently inquiries in process to receive more comprehensive guidance from the NYSDOH to help support our families and staff members who are understandably frustrated with new concerns the guidelines have created. In a best effort attempt to provide some assistance in answering questions you may have, we have created a Frequently Asked Questions document (see attached below). You should note that some of these details may change as new guidance comes from NYSDOH based on the ongoing advocacy.
We are also joining with our member agencies from our state advocacy association to encourage our staff members and families to contact New York State Governor Cuomo’s Office at 1-518-474-8390 to explain the personal hardship they are facing due to the current approach to visitation as explained in the new guidelines.
Some specific talking points you may consider in speaking with the Governor’s Office are recommended below:
- Due to your overly strict rules on visitation in nursing homes, I have not seen my loved one since _______.
- Now in order to visit, I must provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test result
- These repeated tests are not readily accessible to me and will be cost-prohibitive.
- Nursing home residents have endured months of isolation from the people they love most and are experiencing emotional
- I urge you to reconsider this guidance and find a more balanced approach that considers not just the risks of COVID-19, but also the emotional isolation residents are
We are in this fight with you and remain equally concerned at the unending strain the current situation in nursing homes has placed on our residents, their families, and our staff members.
Michele L. Schirano RN, Administrator
Michael King, President & CEO
Frequently Asked Questions
Re: New York State Department of Health Guidelines Released September 16 & 17 2020
What can The Jewish Home of Rochester tell me about the new guidelines?
There have been some new guidelines issued by the New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) that go into effect today, Friday September 18, 2020. However, NYSDOH has already told our state association that they made some mistakes in their guidance and will be issuing further directions soon. Further, the answers outlined below are what we know right now, but we expect that there will be changes.
What does the 14-day change mean?
A nursing home may move from window visits to outdoor visits if there have been no positive coronavirus tests among staff members and residents for 14 days. This is a change from the previous requirement of 28 days. On day 15, a home may start in-person visits outside. The Jewish Home of Rochester is planning to have our outdoor visits take place inside Helen’s Garden and inside the Cottage Courtyards.
How do I sign up for a visit?
We are using the same process to sign up for outside visits as we are for window visits. Any person who has a previously scheduled window visit when we hit Day 15, and beyond, will be able to have an in-person outside visit.
I heard that I need to be tested for COVID, is this true?
Yes. All visitors now need to produce proof of valid, negative COVID-19 test results. Negative results must be provided 7 days from the time test was collected.
Where can I get tested?
We are looking to provide different lists of testing options. Monroe County has provided this link to find a testing site: https://coronavirus.health.ny.gov/find-test-site-near-you. Additional information on testing sites can be found at: https://www.leadingageny.org/topics/coronavirus/testing-location-resources/
*Please be aware that different testing sites have different sign up process and may have different requirements about insurance, as well as who is eligible for testing and how long it takes to get results.
Can The Jewish Home of Rochester provide my COVID-19 results?
The Jewish Home can only test our own employees and our residents. Unfortunately, we cannot test visitors.
Who can attend an in-person visit?
Visitation is strictly limited to two (2) people at one time per resident for no longer than 30 minutes, once per week. The current directive states that one of the two visitors must be over the age of 18.
What can we expect at an in-person visit?
When you arrive for the in-person visit you will need to register in an electronic system. The registration log will include name, address, telephone number, e-mail address, date, time of visit and visitor signature indicating that they cleared the screening questions and do not have a fever. You will be screened for any signs and symptoms of COVID-19 and your temperature will be taken. We ask that you pleaser not attend if you have any of the following symptoms:
- Shortness of breath
- Any cold symptoms
You will also be required to clean your hands with sanitizer. You are required to wear a facemask upon arrival and The Jewish Home will provide you with a face shield — both need to be worn throughout the visit. The face shield can be returned to the Jewish Home Farash Tower after the visit. The directive indicates 6 FT social distancing must be maintained at all times. You will not be able to have physical contact with your loved ones. You also will not be able to share any food or drink with your loved one.
I live out of state. Can I schedule my visit in advance?
Please be aware that the New York Travel Advisory List changes every Tuesday. If your state is in the clear at the time of your visit, you may come. If your state has an advisory for New York, you must quarantine for two weeks in New York before you can come to the campus. We realize that this makes it very difficult for families to coordinate schedules for visits. End-of-life emergency visits are an exception that can be petitioned for with NYSDOH.
Our Response to Coronavirus (COVID-19)
Jewish Senior Life is committed to the care and safety of our residents and employees during this challenging time. We continue to follow the guidance and directives from federal, state and local agencies, and will keep residents and their families informed and updated. Family conference calls continue with Michele Schirano RN, Senior Vice President & Administrator of the Jewish Home; Susan Bussey, Senior Vice President of Housing; and Marie Aydelotte MD, Medical Director.
Any questions, please email our COVID-19 dedicated email at: email@example.com.
A number of measures have been put in place to protect our residents and staff:
- Visitations continue to be restricted across our campus.
- All employees are screened upon arrival every day, for every shift. This includes taking temperatures and screening for signs of respiratory illness.
- All employees must wear masks and any employee within 6 feet of residents must also wear protective face shields.
- Infection prevention and control procedures are in place. This includes handwashing and wearing of gloves and other personal protective equipment (PPE), of which there is sufficient inventory. Social distancing of at least six feet is monitored and strictly enforced.
- Help on Demand (HOD) training for non-clinical staff has been conducted. In anticipation any of potential clinical staffing challenges, they will be able to assist with meals, cleaning, stocking supplies, transport, and other duties.
Our JSLAdvantage enhanced sanitation is a unique, comprehensive 360-degree approach to protect from the spread of COVID-19 through extensive sanitization protocols. JSLAdvantage best-practice health and safety standards exceed guidelines from the CDC and Department of Health. The highly-trained Environmental Services staff at Jewish Senior Life conducts frequent, rigorous decontamination procedures supplemented by the use of innovative technology including the SteraMistTM Surface Unit and the UV Rapid Disinfection Unit, as well as the iCleanse Swift XL® for Mobile Devices.
Jewish Senior Life’s Recreational Therapy team is incredibly dedicated to keeping residents active, engaged and connected with loved ones. Activities include:
- One-on-one staff visits including playing cards, games and reading stories
- Hallway Bingo
- Travelling “Art Cart”
- Travelling Happy Hour and snack carts
- Virtual events including Passover Seder
- Entertainment programming on internal TVs including religious services, live music, exercise and more
- Family window visits
- Family video visits
- We encourage families to send pictures or videos to their loved ones:
We encourage you to follow us on our Facebook page to see photos and videos of what’s happening here on campus. The Jewish Senior Life family greatly appreciates your support as work together to keep our residents safe, comfortable, and engaged. Thank you.
You can access our 2020 Pandemic Disaster Plan here.