A Letter to Residents, Families and Caregivers

August 14, 2020

Dear Residents, Families and Caregivers,

The Jewish Home of Eastern Pennsylvania is keeping our residents safe as we continue the transition to the new normal. As always, we at the Jewish Home of Eastern Pennsylvania thank you for entrusting us with caring for your loved ones. We strive daily to provide the very best in care.

This week, we have met the criteria to begin our reopening plan in accordance with PA Department of Health guidance for all nursing homes.  For details, please check our website: https://jhep.org and https://jhep.org/covid-19-updates.

Patio Visits

We were very happy to start patio visits this week, which were very much enjoyed by our residents and families.  It was so heartwarming to once again have in person visits and see the reunions!

The primary location for our visits will be on our front patio. We did use alternate locations in our main dining room on some of the days due to the high afternoon temperatures. If you have a visit scheduled and we change to an indoor location due to weather conditions, we will call you ahead of time.

A few reminders:

The best location for parking for patio visits is on Vine Street in front of our building. We are keeping spots open in front of our building for those visits.

If we need to move the visit indoors due to weather, we will call you to let you know ahead of time to alert you of the location change. In that case, please park in lot behind the building accessed via Clay Avenue.  Once you are called to come into the building, you may enter the rear lobby directly from that lot to our screening, temperature location.

Patio visits will be scheduled for residents in green zones on the following days:

  • Monday – 3rd floor
  • Tuesday – 5th floor
  • Wednesday – 2nd floor
  • Thursday – 4th floor

Visiting times are from 9:30 a.m. – 11:15 a.m. (concluding at 11:30 a.m.) and 2:30 p.m. – 4:15 p.m. (concluding at 4:35 p.m.)

Visits are limited to 20 minutes.

  • Visitors will be screened upon arrival before entering the patio area and educated to wear a mask, complete hand hygiene upon arrival and departure and are required to maintain social distancing of at least 6 feet for the duration of the visit.
  • Masks must be worn by residents and family/ friends during visits
  • Social Distancing of 6 feet or more is to be maintained.
  • During the visits, Jewish Home staff will assure the next resident is ready to enter the Patio area visiting area after prior visit.
  • We are limiting visits to adults and children over 12 at this time.
  • No pets please

For more information, visit our website: https://jhep.org/patio-visits/

We can only accommodate visits that are scheduled by calling Lee Rutkowski at 570-344-6177 ext. 1175. Lee is available Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. or by email: lrutkowski@jhep.org.

In addition to regular activity programs, we are continuing to provide FaceTime/Zoom visits along with in-person patio visits.  This upcoming week we will be expand our visit times. There will be two time slots open on Saturdays and Sundays, 10:30 a.m. and 2 p.m. Because these weekend time slots are very limited, we ask your understanding. We will provide this on a rotational basis and give priority to family members who have had limited opportunities to participate in our weekly visits.


The Pennsylvania Department of Health used some of the COVID relief funding from the Care’s Act to establish the REGIONAL RESPONSE HEALTH COLLABORATION PROGRAM (RRHCP) to provide operational support to protect residents in nursing homes, personal care and assisted living facilities from COVID 19.  The purpose of these groups is to provide collaborate support to facilities to implement best practices in infection control, implement contact tracing programs, provide consultation and support enhanced testing capability.

The RRCHP’s are contacted to schedule to visits per facility across the state by December 1, 2020 to look at our plans.  This past Tuesday August 11, 2020, a few leaders of our internal emergency response team and myself met with two members of the Emergency Education division of the Northeast group to complete our facility checklist and conduct a walk through our facility.

I am proud to say the Jewish Home team received very positive compliments from the two team members related to observation of 100% compliance by staff wearing masks as well and for implementation of best practices in the setup of our infection control program in response to COVID 19.  To learn more about the RRHCP, visit: https://paautism.org/regional-response-health-collaboration-program-rrhcp/.

Thank you again for your ongoing support, and stay safe,


Mary Rose Applegate, MBA, RD, NHA


Visit us:
1101 Vine St.
Scranton, PA 18510

Call us:
(570) 344-6177