Responding to COVID-19

Updates

Find the Latest News on COVID-19 Here
May 14, 2020 | 3:17 PM

Update on Testing and Reporting

We continue to publish COVID-19 data on our website. The data is updated daily and reflects positive and negative test results for residents, the number who have recovered from their illness and the number of deaths. We are also sharing positive and negative test results for our team members, as well as how many have returned to work after quarantining and recovering.

We continue to prioritize testing based on guidelines and recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Maryland Department of Health. Over the past few days we increased testing at Hebrew Home of Greater Washington (HHGW), and additional residents and team members have tested positive for COVID-19. Unfortunately, until on-site rapid testing is available, we must rely on the limited information provided by current test technology.

Recently, Maryland Governor Larry Hogan ordered all Maryland nursing home residents and staff to be tested for the coronavirus regardless of whether or not they have exhibited any symptoms of the virus. In his statement, the Governor said that this universal testing will likely lead to a significant increase in the number of nursing home residents and staff who test positive for the virus.

We are currently awaiting delivery of additional testing kits from the State of Maryland and we will be testing all residents and team members at HHGW as well as Landow House and Cohen-Rosen House in the next two weeks. Again, as our testing increases, we expect to identify more individuals who test positive for the virus even though they are asymptomatic. These new numbers will be reflected in the data on our website.

If you have questions about residents of HHGW, please call the unit where your loved one lives. For questions about other residents, please speak with the administrator of the specific residence.

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May 7, 2020 | 9:50 AM

COVID-19 Update

As we continue to manage the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, we remain committed to providing important updates and useful information. We are pleased to share that seven residents have recovered from the illness and moved from the COVID-19 Recovery Unit at Hebrew Home of Greater Washington (HHGW) back to their respective home units.

We also want to remind you that even as states begin to lift their individual stay-at-home orders, we continue to follow guidance from the CDC, the Maryland Department of Health and the Office of Health Care Quality to significantly restrict all visitors and non-essential personnel on our campus with limited exceptions for certain situations such as end-of-life care.

To safeguard the well-being of your loved ones, it is important that you continue to refrain from visiting our campus at this time. We will continue to provide you with regular updates, including changes to the visiting restrictions.

These precautions have been implemented in the best interest and for the safety of those we serve and our dedicated team members. We know that this crisis has been very challenging to Charles E. Smith Life Communities residents and their families, who have been separated for several weeks. We encourage you to continue to communicate through virtual visits that you can schedule here.

If you have questions about residents of HHGW, please call the unit where your loved one lives. For questions about other residents, please speak with the administrator of the specific residence.

Our visitation restrictions are critical safeguards to help protect against the spread of COVID-19 on our campus. Thank you for your continued support and partnership. We look forward to brighter days ahead.

April 28, 2020 | 3:18 PM

COVID-19 Data Reporting

As we address the ongoing challenges of COVID-19, we remain committed to protecting the health and well-being of the older adults we serve as well as our team members.

In order to help family members stay informed, COVID-19 data is now published on our website. The data will be updated daily and reflects positive and negative test results for residents, the number who have recovered from their illness and the number of deaths. We will also share positive and negative test results for our team members, as well as how many have returned to work after quarantining and recovering. Testing will continue to be prioritized following guidelines and recommendations of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Maryland Department of Health.

The COVID-19 data reflects residents and team members with confirmed positive tests as of the date indicated on the dashboard and is the latest information available as of the date noted. The data is being shared with public health officials and, in combination with other resources, is being used to inform public health decisions.

We understand how stressful the current circumstances are for families who are unable to be with their loved ones residing at Charles E. Smith Life Communities and we hope that sharing this information will provide a snapshot of the status of COVID-19 on our campus.

If you have questions about residents of Hebrew Home of Greater Washington, please call the unit where your loved one lives. For questions about other residents, please speak with the administrator of the specific residence.

April 19, 2020 | 9:50 AM

COVID-19 Scams

ElderSAFE™ Center, a program of Charles E. Smith Life Communities (CESLC), is committed to safeguarding older adults from financial exploitation.

During these unprecedented times, as cases of the coronavirus (COVID-19) spread across our region, we are also seeing a surge in scams capitalizing on fears surrounding this pandemic. Scammers are offering COVID-19 testing, promises of a vaccine or cure, or ways to obtain hard to locate products. Please consider the following five tips to protect yourself and loved ones:

  • Avoid telemarketing calls or email solicitations. Scammers may call or email pretending to represent the government, charities, airlines or healthcare agencies. They take advantage of the fear surrounding the crisis of this pandemic to collect personal information that can be used to steal or defraud.
  • Take extra precaution about the information you share over the phone and online. Never provide your date of birth, social security number, financial data or other personal information without verifying the authenticity of the request.
  • Look out for scams that claim to have a product that will prevent, treat, diagnose or cure COVID-19. Scammers offering products that are difficult to find may charge above market value and never send the product after receiving your payment.
  • Be cautious of COVID-19 tracking apps. These apps may be used to steal your sensitive information or control your phone.
  • Do not open your door to someone you do not know, and keep your neighbors informed when door-to-door services like home repair, sanitation or COVID-19 home testing representatives are in your neighborhood.

As we face the steep challenges ahead, rest assured we remain committed to protecting the safety and well-being of the older adults we serve in our residential and broader CESLC community.

April 14, 2020 | 2:15 PM

Telehealth at CESLC

We are excited to announce the launch of new telehealth capabilities to extend the medical care provided by our team of physicians during the current pandemic. Whether the patient is receiving post-acute care at Hebrew Home of Greater Washington, or remaining in their apartment at Ring House, telehealth will allow them to access their CESLC physician (or other healthcare provider), without the risk associated with direct contact.

“Telehealth is an important strategy to protect our older adults,” said Dr. Elisa Gil-Pires, Vice President of Medical Affairs. “It facilitates consultations with medical providers and assures continuity of care especially at a time when social distancing is such an important safety consideration.”

In addition to our own medical team, the telehealth initiative also includes healthcare from consultants such as psychiatrists, wound care specialists, psychologists and hospice teams providing specialty services to patients.

Earlier this week, we began contacting patients (or their healthcare surrogates) to obtain the requisite consent. If you have any questions about the telehealth services, please contact the nursing unit where the patient resides at Hebrew Home of Greater Washington or the Hirsh Health Center for patients who receive care from that practice.

At CESLC, the health and well-being of our patients and our team is our first priority and we thank you for your support during this global health emergency.

April 8, 2020 | 12:16 PM

Passover at CESLC

During these challenging times, we remain steadfastly committed to safeguarding the health and well-being of the older adults living at Charles E. Smith Life Communities as well as our team members.

At the same time, we recognize that this unique moment in history affords many opportunities to innovate. We are working to overcome barriers and to proactively identify new ways to ensure the health and well-being of our residents while remaining responsive to their social and emotional needs. One example is our planning for Pesach.

We are grateful to the dynamic teams across campus working on alternatives to the traditional family and communal Seders. This year, residents will observe Passover in their apartments. Hebrew Home of Greater Washington residents will participate in livestreamed Seders hosted by Director of Pastoral Care Rabbi Daniel Braune-Friedman and Rabbi James Michaels. A model Seder video will also be available to residents across campus and accessible via closed circuit television and YouTube. We want to share this video with everyone celebrating the holiday at home while social distancing. Please enjoy these meaningful traditions even though you may not physically be with family and friends.

It is customary to end a Passover Seder with an invocation: L’Shana Haba’ah B’Yerushalayim (Next Year in Jerusalem). For all of us this week, that statement takes on a greater meaning. Next year, may we all be healthy and rejoice once again in each other’s company.

Pesach Sameach!

April 2, 2020 | 3:08 PM

Stay at Home Order follow up

At Charles E. Smith Life Communities (CESLC), the health, safety and well-being of our patients, residents and team members is our top priority.

Maryland Governor Hogan issued a stay at home order, directing Maryland residents not to leave their homes beginning March 30, at 8 p.m.  For their own safety and the safety of others, it is critical that everyone living at CESLC stay home in their residences until this order is lifted.

What this means to CESLC residents:

Hebrew Home of Greater Washington, Landow House and Cohen-Rosen House:

  • Meal/food deliveries to the Wasserman Residence or Smith-Kogod Residence are no longer permitted. Although this is a difficult decision to make, we believe it is essential to reduce travel within each residence.
  • We continue to enforce the no-visitation policy.
  • Please do not drop off laundry for Hebrew Home of Greater Washington residents. Contact the laundry manager, Cheri at 301-770-8411, if we need to tag your loved ones laundry.

Revitz House and Ring House:

  • Please do not visit our campus unless you must deliver food or medicine to your loved ones. These deliveries will continue to be dropped off at the front door for staff to deliver to apartments.
  • Except for medical reasons, residents are not permitted off-campus. Any resident leaving campus should be prepared to stay off campus for the duration of the stay at home order. We are not making this decision lightly, but with the spread of COVID-19 in Montgomery County continuing to grow, we believe this is necessary to protect our most vulnerable population.

We understand the importance of connecting our residents with their friends and family and we continue to encourage you to call your loved ones frequently or schedule a virtual visit on this page under Resources.

If you have questions about residents of Hebrew Home of Greater Washington, please call the unit nurse manager. For questions about residents at all other residences, please speak with the administrators.

April 2, 2020 | 12:20 PM

Updated Media Statement

We remain committed in our efforts to protect the health and well-being of the older adults we serve at Charles E. Smith Life Communities (CESLC).

CESLC continues to follow the guidance from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) as we respond to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) and the unique threat it presents to our vulnerable population. Even with these proactive measures and procedures in place, we learned on March 31 that a resident from Smith-Kogod Residence and on April 2 that a resident from Wasserman Residence tested positive for COVID-19 while in the hospital. Both patients remain hospitalized, and our hearts and prayers go out to the patients and the families. We are actively monitoring our residents and team members for signs and symptoms of COVID-19 and are working with the Montgomery County and State of Maryland health departments.

As we address the ongoing challenges of the coronavirus, we will continue to work with local, state and CDC health officials to determine next steps. The safety, health and well-being of our residents and team members remains our highest priority.

 

March 15, 2020 | 5:03 PM

Message from our President/CEO

Dear CESLC community,

These are unprecedented times for our nation and the world as we address the challenges of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). The health and well-being of our residents and team members is our highest priority. We are following guidance from the CDC and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and are working closely with local, state and federal public health agencies.

CMS has announced new measures to promote social distancing in nursing homes and assisted living facilities. Therefore, effective Monday evening, March 16, we are eliminating communal dining throughout CESLC as well as group activities.  Residents of Ring House, Revitz House and Landow House will receive nutritious meals delivered to their apartments. The cafés for Revitz House and Ring House were closed on Sunday afternoon. Residents of Cohen-Rosen House will dine in small groups in community rooms throughout the residence. We have also modified the dining experience for Hebrew Home residents to be consistent with social distancing guidelines.

Our responses to COVID-19 encompass intensified efforts on infection control, including more frequent disinfection of high-touch surfaces and reemphasizing proper hand sanitation. Additionally, inventories of supplies, food and other items are being monitored and replenished.

Here are a few additional responses we implemented to protect our community:

  • We closed all residences to visitors. There are limited exceptions for entry to residences for family members and guardians in certain situations, such as end-of-life care.
  • Medical and allied health professionals are permitted entry after they complete both a health/travel screen and a temperature check for fever.
  • Residents are able to attend outpatient medical appointments, but transportation personnel may not enter the residence. We are encouraging telemedicine appointments to replace office visits, when possible.
  • We are strongly discouraging residents from all non-essential travel outside of the campus, including shopping trips. Personal care attendants can bring items to residents when necessary. Also, we will accept deliveries at the front desks of all residences.

As much as possible, we are focused on maintaining a sense of normalcy. We encourage you to call your loved ones frequently or schedule a virtual visit by emailing virtualvisit@ceslc.org.

As we face these unprecedented challenges, we rely on the extensive training, skill and experience of our dedicated team members to care for and support our residents. We will continue to do what we do best – deliver a safe, supportive and life-affirming environment for our residents. The situation is fluid and we will remain agile and vigilant, making adjustments as necessary and informed by the guidance of health officials.

If you have not already done so, please visit our website’s COVID-19 page at smithlifecommunities.org and provide your email and mobile number.  Our goal is to update this page twice a week, and more frequently should the need arise. If you have questions about residents of Hebrew Home, please call the unit nurse manager. For questions about residents at all other residences, please call the administrators.

In closing, I want you to know that we feel privileged to care for our community of older adults and humbled by the trust you have placed in us. Thank you for your continued support.

Bruce J. Lederman
President/CEO

March 11, 2020 | 3:56 PM

Visitation Update – COVID-19

As cases of the COVID-19 coronavirus continue to spread across our region and pose an increased threat to our older population, it remains our responsibility to protect the well-being and safety of our residents and team members. Therefore, as a preventative measure we will close all residences on campus to all visitors as of today, March 11 at 5 p.m. There will be limited exceptions for family members and guardians in certain situations such as end-of-life care.

We ask that you please refrain from attempting to visit our campus or any residences at this time. We know that this may be very difficult for residents and their families, but these precautions are being implemented with the best interest and utmost safety of those we serve, and our team, in mind.

We understand that being able to communicate with your loved one is very important. If you would like to schedule a virtual visit, please email virtualvisit@ceslc.org

If you have any questions about residents of Hebrew Home of Greater Washington, please call the unit nurse manager. For questions about residents at all other residences, please call the administrators.

We will continue to provide you with regular updates as this situation continues to evolve.

March 7, 2020 | 2:50 PM

New Access Rules in Effect

Please note the updated policy regarding visitation to all residences on campus.

Only ADULT family members, responsible parties, and personal aides who do not exhibit flu-like symptoms may enter any of the residences on our campus until further notice.

  • Residents are limited to two visitors per day
  • All outside events being held on campus are cancelled
  • All visitors must complete and pass a health/travel screen
  • No one will be permitted with a temperature of 100 or above
  • Visiting hours are limited to 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

These precautions are being implemented with the best interest and safety of our patients, residents and team members in mind and they may change as conditions evolve.

March 6, 2020 | 6:40 PM

COVID-19 Precautionary Measures

At CESLC, the health, safety and well-being of our patients, residents and team members is always our top priority. As health officials in Maryland recently confirmed the first three cases of the novel coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) in Montgomery County, we are initiating additional precautionary measures.

Beginning tomorrow (March 7) morning:

  • Only adult family members, responsible parties and personal aides who do not exhibit any flu-like symptoms may visit any of the residences on our campus.
  • Those who are permitted to visit will be required to complete a health/travel attestation prior to entry. If any answer on the attestation is “yes,” they will not be permitted entry.

In addition to the above, tomorrow afternoon we will begin to take the temperature of all visitors. Those with a temperature of 100 and above will not be permitted entry.

Additionally, in an effort to minimize and control any potential exposure to the novel coronavirus, we are implementing the following changes in procedures:

  • Please consider limiting the number of visitors and frequency of any visits.
  • All outside events being held on campus are cancelled.
  • Visiting hours are now limited from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

These precautions are being implemented with the best interest and safety of our patients, residents and team members in mind and will be updated as the need for precautions change.

March 3, 2020 | 12:10 PM

Update from CESLC on coronavirus outbreak

We continue to monitor the situation surrounding the coronavirus (COVID-19). It is our priority to take steps to protect our residents, visitors and our team members.

At this time, CESLC continues to follow recommended sanitizing and infection control practices to prevent the spread of flu and other viruses.

We ask individuals who are exhibiting cold or flu-like symptoms not to visit residents at this time. Our team members are following the same guidance.

We are making Skype available to residents who want to remain in touch with friends and family members who are unable to visit our campus.

As previously requested, if you have traveled to a country where a travel advisory is in effect, or to an area in the U.S. that is known to have experienced an outbreak of the coronavirus, be sure to monitor your health for symptoms.

Upon entering a residence, please apply hand sanitizer available at all entrances throughout our campus. Additionally please follow these precautions:

  • Avoid close contact with those who are sick.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing. If soap and water are not available, use alcohol-based hand sanitizers.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in a covered trash receptacle.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
March 1, 2020 | 12:12 PM

Message to the CESLC community

CESLC is closely monitoring the incidence of the coronavirus (COVID-19) and we are in close contact with the Maryland Office of Health Care Quality. CESLC is committed to the health and safety of our residents, visitors and team members on our campus and we are prepared to implement public health recommendations as required.

Updated information will be shared with the community and posted on this webpage as it becomes available.

We also encourage you to sign up for email alerts on the form on this webpage.