The San Francisco Campus for Jewish Living. (Photo/Courtesy SFCJL)
The San Francisco Campus for Jewish Living. (Photo/Courtesy SFCJL)

Staff member at SF Jewish senior home tests positive for Covid-19

The San Francisco Campus for Jewish Living has reported a positive case of Covid-19 among its certified nursing assistants.

“We learned today that one of our staff members has tested positive for COVID-19,” said a one-paragraph statement posted April 16 on SFCJL’s website. “We have been preparing for this and have promptly responded to this using our established protocols.”

Facilities like the SFCJL have been ordered by the California Department of Public Health to accept Covid patients to help prevent hospitals from becoming overwhelmed in the coming weeks. The senior home reported on April 17 that a total of five Covid-19 patients have been accepted so far. The first was brought to the campus on April 10.

According to the SFCJL, the staff member who tested positive was not working with Covid-19 patients.

Spokesperson Marcus Young said the SFCJL is determining which other staff members and patients the infected staff member was in contact with. Young said the nursing assistant used personal protective equipment at work.

There has been significant pushback from family members of residents to the SFCJL accepting Covid patients.

Colette Hughes, a San Francisco-based attorney widely known for her work in patient rights, penned an open letter dated April 14 to Gov. Gavin Newsom, urging him to order California nursing homes, including the San Francisco Campus for Jewish Living, to stop accepting Covid-19 patients from hospitals.

“I respectfully request that you immediately order existing facilities to refuse admission to any outside patients with the [Covid-19] infection,” wrote Hughes, who also sent the letter to a number of local officials, including San Francisco Mayor London Breed. “It is too dangerous to do otherwise. When the virus enters nursing homes, it is highly likely to spread and kill residents despite precautions.”

Alongside the attorney’s concern, several family members of residents at the SFCJL expressed to J. their deep worries about the senior home taking in virus-infected patients.

Nursing homes in the United States have borne the brunt of Covid-19 infections and deaths. According to a recent tally by the New York Times, about a fifth of U.S. coronavirus deaths are linked to nursing facilities, or at least 7,000 people. Of the 1,224 nursing homes in California, 261 have reported a positive case by either a resident or health care worker.

Gabriel Greschler

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