The Rhoda Goldman Plaza reported new cases of coronavirus among its staff and residents this week. (Photo/Gabriel Greschler)
The Rhoda Goldman Plaza reported new cases of coronavirus among its staff and residents this week. (Photo/Gabriel Greschler)

New coronavirus cases reported at two S.F. Jewish senior homes

Updated Sept. 21, 1:30 p.m.: On Sept. 18 the San Francisco Campus for Jewish Living reported two additional coronavirus cases among its staff, and on Sept. 21 it confirmed another worker had tested positive over the weekend.

Two San Francisco Jewish senior facilities in the past week have reported a total of 14 new novel coronavirus cases among residents and employees — eight at Rhoda Goldman Plaza and six at the S.F. Campus for Jewish Living, including its first patient case.

Rhoda Goldman, an assisted-living residence with a memory care unit, reported in a Sept. 15 email communication to its community members that six memory-care residents and two staff members had received positive results after a round of testing the previous weekend.

The testing was spurred by an earlier positive result in the same unit on Sept. 11, according to a person directly familiar with the matter, bringing the total number of cases to nine.

On Sept. 18 and 19, the person said, the city’s health department would be conducting mass testing of the entire community, which has a total of 195 beds. The senior residence, located in the Western Addition, is “built on a foundation of not-for-profit values and Jewish principles,” according to its website.

Rhoda Goldman Plaza said in the email, signed by assistant executive director Adrienne Fair and director of resident services Elizabeth Wyma-Hughes, that the coronavirus-positive patients were being isolated, along with all other residents in the memory care unit. In response to the test results, all in-person activities, salon services and group dining have been canceled in both the memory care unit and assisted-living residences. In-person visits to the facility are also closed.

A representative for Rhoda Goldman Plaza did not respond to J. in time for publication.

At the San Francisco Campus for Jewish Living, located in the Excelsior District, one patient and five employees have tested positive in the past week.

The facility sent an email correspondence on Sept. 17 notifying community members that a patient in the skilled nursing facility had tested positive the night before. The patient was exposed to a caregiver who tested positive for coronavirus two days prior, the communication said.

The San Francisco Campus for Jewish Living in the Excelsior neighborhood of San Francisco. (Photo/David A.M. Wilensky)
The San Francisco Campus for Jewish Living in the Excelsior neighborhood of San Francisco. (Photo/David A.M. Wilensky)

The positive patient was discovered through contact tracing, according to SFCJL spokesperson Marcus Young. The caregiver last worked at the facility on Sept. 9.

On the night of Sept. 18, the SFCJL sent another communication to its community, reporting that two more employees had tested positive. On Sept. 21, Young confirmed another new case among the facility’s employees, bringing the number of new staff cases to five.

So far, 13 employees total have tested positive for the virus at the SFCJL since March.

In response to the positive patient, the facility said in its Sept. 17 communication that it would be implementing a series of “enhanced protocols” to mitigate the spread of the virus.

First, the facility will test approximately 900 employees, residents and patients each week for two consecutive weeks until no new cases are identified.

Second, all patients located in the 378-bed skilled-nursing unit where the infected caregiver worked have been placed in quarantine. This unit also will temporarily stop in-person, socially distanced activities.

It is also putting a hold on admissions and transfers to its long-term care buildings. Its short-term care buildings, where rehab patients stay, are not affected.

The city started allowing visitors at residential facilities on Sept. 5.

“It’s important to acknowledge that for the past six months, our dedicated clinicians, nurses and staff, working in concert with local health agencies including [San Francisco Department of Public Health] and [California Department of Public Health], have successfully managed to keep over 350 residents and patients safe and COVID-free,” Young said in a statement. “This has been a monumental task and we appreciate all of their hard work and their continued dedication to our patients and residents.”

The Reutlinger Community in Danville reported two cases of coronavirus among its residents on Sept. 4. According to Eskaton CEO Todd Murch, the senior residence, which has a 60-bed skilled nursing facility, hasn’t identified any new cases since then. A total of four residents and two staff members have tested positive for coronavirus since March.

Despite the reported cases at the two San Francisco Jewish senior facilities, the city’s coronavirus cases are on a downward trend, although deaths appear to have spiked recently. As of Sept. 18, the S.F. health department reported a total of 10,640 coronavirus cases and 96 deaths.

Gabriel Greschler

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