FAQs about 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)
from the Gurwin Healthcare System UPDATE: COVID-19 VACCINE INFORMATION FOR RESIDENTS
The first COVID-19 vaccine became available to Gurwin residents and staff on Monday, December 21. Our pharmacy partner, Walgreens, administered the first dose of the two-dose Pfizer vaccine to residents and staff who consented and met all health criteria. The second dose was administered on Monday, January 11. A third clinic was held on February 1st to those who received their initial dose at the January 11th clinic. As of April 1, 2021, Gurwin’s in-house pharmacy team is now able to vaccinate our residents, staff and family members via
Q: How is Gurwin Healthcare System handling COVID-19?
A: Gurwin strictly follows the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and New York State Department of Health (DOH) guidance to best protect our residents. Our clinicians and leadership team meet regularly to stay abreast of developments and share best practices.
At the onset of the pandemic outbreak, and in compliance with NYS DOH’s March 13, 2020 mandate, Gurwin restricted all visitors, including family members/friends, companions and volunteers to the Gurwin Jewish Nursing & Rehabilitation Center, with exception of those providing support in imminent end-of-life situations, as well as Gurwin’s Fay J. Lindner Residences assisted living community. Visitation recently has been reinstated (see below).
MARCH 2021 VISITATION UPDATE Governor Cuomo announced new guidance on nursing home visitation. This guidance includes specific caveats requiring structured, supervised visits to keep our residents and staff safe. Please click here to read the new guidance. (Click here for background info on the NYS Department Of Health No Visitation Mandate Issued March 13, 2020) Q: What precautions is Gurwin taking to protect its residents?
A: As part of the intake process for new residents, 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 staff must don a mask before entering the Gurwin facility. A healthcare team situated at Gurwin’s main front entrance screens each employee. After appropriately answering a series of health and travel related-questions, they undergo a temperature check; anyone with a temperature of 100 degrees or more will be barred from entering the facility. To protect our residents, all staff must wear their protective masks and proper PPE when providing care and when in close proximity. Q: Is my parents’ Home Health aide permitted to enter Gurwin Jewish ~ Fay J. Lindner Residences?
A: Home Health Aides who provide care to our residents in our assisted living community 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: 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 continue to be suspended, per the NYS DOH “No Visitation” mandate. Recreational activities are guided by Gurwin’s Therapeutic Recreation team on a one-to-one basis, or on each unit where appropriate. We are awaiting further guidance regarding outside vendors and volunteers. 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 dedicated COVID-19 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 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 COVID-19 isolation wing. Roommates of these COVID+ residents will be tested and closely monitored to determine status. 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 is 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.
Per NYS DOH orders, all Gurwin employees, contract, per diem and medical staff, operators and administrators are tested on-site twice weekly.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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 email@example.com. For residents at our Assisted Living facility, set up your email chat at firstname.lastname@example.org. 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. Q: How can I schedule a visit at Gurwin Jewish ~ Fay J. Lindner Residences?
A: Please email our team at email@example.com to check about visitation and arrange a date and time for a visit with your loved one.
Q: How did the NYS DOH COVID-19 mandate on March 25, 2020 affect nursing homes in NY state?
A. On March 25, 2020 the DOH mandated that all nursing homes admit COVID-19 (+) patients who were stable and otherwise qualified for admission (see advisory posted below). To comply with the 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 who tested positive. On May 10, 2020, the DOH reversed its mandate, and Gurwin is no longer accepting COVID-19+ patients from the hospital.
This unit is currently used for any residents who are found to be positive through surveillance testing. It is accessible via a separate entrance that does not require passing through any other resident care area. Staff dedicated to this unit include nursing, rehabilitation and housekeeping personnel, properly outfitted and trained in the use of appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE). Infection prevention measures have been implemented throughout entire facility — masks must be worn when entering the building and at all times throughout the facility; hand washing stations are conveniently located throughout the building; and staff are screened daily, including a temperature check, and undergo twice weekly nasal testing.
“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.