A Letter to Families and Friends of The Jewish Home of Eastern Pennsylvania

Dear Friends and families,

We thank you for your continued support through the COVID-19 pandemic. Our main goal remains to provide high-quality care and to keep your loved ones safe.

Our guidance from state and federal governing bodies continues to change rapidly. We are continuing to follow the Centers for Disease Control and Department of Health guidelines with regard to infection control policies and procedures for prevention and mitigation of COVID-19.

As indicated in our last letter on October 8, 2020, we closed inside visits related to a positive test in an asymptotic relief staff member and initiated weekly routine testing for our staff and residents.   We continue to have no positive or residents with symptoms in our facility as of today.   The COVID 19 test results for all routine residents tested last week on October 8, 2020 came back negative.

We completed routine staff testing on Monday October 12 and October 13, 2020.   We unfortunately did receive positive test results back on October 14, two staff members.   These individuals are in quarantine.   We have received the majority of test results back but are still waiting for some staff tests which were taken on Tuesday October 13, 2020.

As a precaution due to potential contact with these positive staff members, we placed our 5th, 4th and 3rd floor nursing units on yellow status to monitor and rule out COVID in this group.    Since these units are designated as yellow status, we are not able to take residents from these units to other areas in the building therefor window visits for these units are on hold.   Staff going onto these units will be in full PPE.   Compassionate visits will be held in accordance with our reopening plan.

We will continue have window visits for our residents in the green zone (second floor), next week on Wednesday October 21, 2020.  Please refer to our reopening plan on our website for scheduling window visits.  Email Lee Rutkowski at lrutkowski@jhep.org or call her 570-344-6177 ext. 1175.

Facetime or Skype visits can be scheduled for residents on all zones.  Sherri Collins, Life Enrichment Director, will make appointments for video chats.  Sherri can be reached at 570-344-6177 ext. 1113 or scollins@jhep.org.

All residents and staff will continue to be tested weekly until we go for a fourteen period without a positive in either group, then we will be able to reopen again for in facility visits and communal activities in accordance with our reopening plan.

On September 29, 2020, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services announced updated methodology to determine the rate of COVID-19 positivity in counties.

  • Green Zone counties are now those with 20 or fewer tests for more than 14 days.
  • Some Red Zone counties will move to Yellow Zone due to the policy changes. These are counties with both fewer than 500 tests and fewer than 2,000 tests per 100,000 residents, and a greater-than 10 percent positivity for 14 days.

We will be checking our county positivity rating on Monday Oct 19, 2020, to know what impact that will have on our routine testing procures.

Our Facility’s Resident Impact (Since March 30, 2020 through October 14, 2020)

Number of cases

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

54          Total CONFIRMED: Residents with laboratory positive COVID-19

0            SUSPECTED: Residents with new suspected COVID-19

30          Confirmed Staff Total: with a positive COVID -19

We encourage staff to maintain social distancing, use caution when attending gatherings, wear a mask and practice hand hygiene while at work and home.    Test results are reported on our daily call in line at 570-207-6711.  Specific details on our reopening plan is listed on https://jhep.org.

Thank you for entrusting us to care for your loved ones.  If you have any questions we are always available for you.


Mary Rose Applegate, MBA, RD, NHA


Visit us:
1101 Vine St.
Scranton, PA 18510

Call us:
(570) 344-6177