The Reutlinger Community in Danville.
The Reutlinger Community in Danville.

Coronavirus updates: Jewish senior homes, others prep for possible outbreak

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Older people with the coronavirus are at much higher risk for death. So far, six people have died in the U.S., four of them at a nursing home in Kirkland, Washington, a suburb of Seattle.

Jay Zimmer, CEO of the Reutlinger Community, a senior living center in Danville, said visitors are being discouraged until March 4. In addition, the facility is not allowing anyone to enter who has traveled to China, South Korea, Italy or Iran in the last 14 days. All four countries are dealing with their own serious coronavirus outbreaks.

Since last week, five Reutlinger seniors have been diagnosed with an unrelated flu virus, Zimmer said. So far, no one in the facility has been tested for the coronavirus.

Peggy Cmiel, director of nursing and clinical operations at the San Francisco Campus for Jewish Living, said in an email that the skilled nursing and assisted-living facility is following health protocols from the CDC.

Congregation Emanu-El said in an email sent yesterday that in the case of a “major event,” schedules may be changed and the temple may close briefly, and that in an “extended closure” it would be prepared to communicate with congregants by alternative means and work with other Jewish agencies to meet people’s needs.

Michael Pappas, executive director of the San Francisco Interfaith Council, said city officials asked him to clear the itinerary of a monthly breakfast his organization will host on March 12 at St. Mark’s Lutheran Church in order for congregational leaders to receive a coronavirus briefing from the Department of Emergency Management and the Department of Public Health. The meeting usually attracts 70 to 100 faith leaders from around the city, but Pappas said he expects more to show up.

See previous information on what other local Jewish organizations (including schools and synagogues) are doing to prep for coronavirus here.

Gabriel Greschler

Gabriel Greschler was a staff writer at J. from 2019 to 2021.