FAQs about 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)
from the Gurwin Healthcare System
Q: How is Gurwin Healthcare System handling COVID-19?
A: Gurwin is following the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and New York State Department of Health (DOH) guidance and closely monitoring this evolving situation. Our clinicians and leadership team are meeting regularly to stay on top of developments and share best practices. For the protection of our residents, Gurwin has restricted all visitors, including family members/friends, companions and volunteers to the Gurwin Jewish Nursing & Rehabilitation Center as per NYS DOH-mandated regulations until further notice. This “No Visitation Policy” extends to our Fay J. Lindner Residences assisted living community as well.
The NYS DOH To comply with this mandate, Gurwin dedicated space in a closed, isolated wing for recovering COVID-19 patients who were discharged from the hospital, as well as for residents from our own facility who have tested positive. This unit is accessible via a separate entrance in the back of the building that does not require passing through any other resident care area. The unit staff is dedicated to this newly designated unit and includes nursing, rehabilitation and housekeeping personnel who are outfitted and have been trained in the use of appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE). Infection prevention measures have been taken throughout entire facility – staff is wearing masks at all times when in the vicinity of residents. mandated on March 25th that all nursing homes admit COVID-19 (+) patients who are stable and otherwise qualified for admission.
*Note: On May 10th, the DOH reversed its decision, and Gurwin is no longer accepting COVID-19+ patients from the hospital.
Q: What precautions is Gurwin taking to protect its residents?
A: As part of the intake process, we have added travel questions for incoming residents, in addition to health-related queries regarding symptoms, diagnoses and exposure to others with respiratory illness. We ask the same of all staff entering the facility, and will restrict entry to anyone who presents with fever or illness, or has traveled to CDC identified level 1,2 or 3 countries. All healthcare workers must enter through Gurwin’s front entrance door where they are met by a healthcare team. A separate employee entrance is available during specific times in the day which is also staffed by a healthcare team. After appropriately answering a series of health and travel related-questions, they undergo a temperature check; anyone with a temperature of more than 100 degrees or more will be barred from entering the facility. To protect our residents, all staff must wear protective masks and proper ppe.
Q: Are there any exceptions to the “No Visitation” Policy at Gurwin?
A: Our exception to the “No Visitation Policy” is being made for families who are providing support in imminent end-of-life situations. Please stop at the front desk and our receptionist will call the unit to inform them you are here. Be prepared for a health screening, which will include a temperature check, upon arrival. If you are cleared by our health screening, a mask will be provided which must be worn during your entire visit. Please note that visitors will be limited to ONE at a time and will only be permitted to visit in the resident’s room. No visiting other areas of the unit or facility are permitted at this time.
Q: Is my parents’ Home Health aide permitted to enter Gurwin Jewish ~ Fay J. Lindner Residences?
A: While we are following a strict “No Visitation Policy” at this time, Home Health Aides who provide care to our residents will be permitted to enter our facility unless advised otherwise. All aides will be screened, be subjected to temperature checks, and must wear protective masks.
Q: Am I able take my mom out of Gurwin’s assisted living facility for a visit or appointment? We are not permitting our assisted living residents to leave the building unless absolutely necessary during this time. This includes routine/non-urgent medical appointments. Please consult with our wellness staff if you have questions.
Q: Am I able take my father out on pass from Gurwin’s nursing and rehabilitation center? To protect the safety of all our residents and staff, we are not permitting our nursing and rehabilitation residents to leave the building for social activities, non-urgent appointments or overnight visits at this time.
Q: What is Gurwin doing in terms of sanitizing its facilities?
A: Gurwin’s housekeeping staff is continuing to sanitize our communities throughout the day and night with hospital-grade disinfectants. Special emphasis is made for all common areas and high-touch surfaces, as well as shared resident care equipment.
Q: Is Gurwin still permitting vendors/entertainers to enter the building?
A: Programs involving outside groups, clubs, organizations and entertainers also have been suspended until further notice. Recreational activities guided by Gurwin’s Therapeutic Recreation team will be held on each unit.
Q: What happens if a resident shows symptoms of possible COVID-19?
A: If a resident is displaying signs of possible COVID-19 infection, he or she will be evaluated by our onsite physicians who have the ability to test residents in-house, and will be moved immediately to our observation unit. We will work with our partner Northwell Laboratories for processing, and will strictly follow NYS DOH guidance. In the event a COVID-19 diagnosis is positive, the resident will be moved to the isolation wing. Gurwin’s onsite pharmacy is prepared to immediately commence treatment for COVID-19 symptoms. If a patient’s condition warrants hospitalization, we will notify our hospital partners for transport.
Q: What happens to the roommate of a resident who tests positive and is on a non-COVID unit?
A: As previously stated, any resident who tests positive is moved to our isolation wing. Roommates of these COVID+ residents will be tested to determine status and moved to the observation unit while test results are pending. Residents undergo temperature checks every shift and are checked for any respiratory symptoms. Should the test come back negative, they will remain in the observation unit for 14 days as per NYS DOH guidelines. If the results are positive, they will be moved to the isolation wing.
Q: How is Gurwin monitoring its staff?
A: Staff are checked for COVID-19 symptoms (i.e. fever, cough, difficulty breathing, or other respiratory symptoms), including temperature checks upon the start of each shift and every 12 hours while on duty.
In addition, per NYS Executive Order 202.30, as of 5/19/20, all Gurwin employees, contract staff, per diem staff, medical staff, operators and administrators undergo diagnostic testing twice weekly, at least two days apart; staff who work at Gurwin three days per week or less are tested once a week.
Q: Is Gurwin accepting new residents to its facility for rehabilitation and long-term care?
A: We are welcoming new residents every day. All incoming residents must test negative for COVID-19.
Q: How is Gurwin handling resident laundry?
A: In an effort to reduce exposure to COVID-19 at our facility as in the community, no laundry may be done by family until further notice. As a reminder, our laundry vendor uses high temperatures to wash clothing for infection control purposes; therefore, please be sure your family member has at least 2 weeks worth of clothing that can withstand this washing method.
Q: Can I send a video message to my loved one?
A: We are encouraging family members and friends to send a “Gurwin Gram Gram” to our residents via our Facebook pages. For residents at Gurwin Jewish Nursing & Rehabilitation Center, upload your video gram to @GurwinNursingRehab; for residents living at our assisted living facility, upload your video gram to @GurwinAssistedLiving. Our recreation staff will deliver you video gram on newly-purchased iPads. For those family members who do not have a Facebook account, simply record your video and send via or other file transfer service (We Transfer is free and no account sign up is necessary) to email@example.com. We Transfer
Q: Can I schedule a video chat with my loved one?
A: Our recreation staff can coordinate weekly 1/2 hour chats between you and your loved one. To schedule your video chat time slot with a resident at Gurwin Jewish Nursing & Rehabilitation Center, email firstname.lastname@example.org. For residents at our Assisted Living facility, set up your email chat at email@example.com. Please be sure to indicate your name, your loved one’s name and room number. Our staff will get back to you to set up your virtual visit.
“Thank you to the extraordinary staff for the excellent level of care that our mother/wife received at Gurwin. As constant visitors, we observed and were recipients of a high level of compassion, respect and kindness. The staff always made themselves available to answer our never-ending questions; they were incredibly helpful, responsive, professional and pleasant. Overall, we found Gurwin to be a cheerful environment, always bustling with lovely events and pleasant activities—and staffed by people ready to assist with a smile.”
Victor S., Robin B. & Marc S.