Rhoda Goldman Plaza in San Francisco. (Photo/Gabriel Greschler)
Rhoda Goldman Plaza in San Francisco. (Photo/Gabriel Greschler)

Steep rise in coronavirus cases at S.F.’s Rhoda Goldman Plaza

Rhoda Goldman Plaza in San Francisco is facing a surge in coronavirus cases in its memory care unit after another eight residents and six staff members tested positive, bringing the total number of reported cases to 23.

According to a Sept. 23 email communication that the Jewish senior facility sent to community members, a new round of testing by the city’s health department took place on Sept. 18-19. It was spurred by the discovery of cases in the memory unit the previous weekend.

The facility has 195 beds total in its memory care unit and assisted living apartments.

The email said “some” of the six newly positive staff members work in the assisted-living wing. All six are asymptomatic and are not direct caregivers, “but may have some indirect contact with residents,” said the email, signed by assistant executive director Adrienne Fair and director of resident services Elizabeth Wyma-Hughes.

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

On Sept. 24, SFDPH returned to retest memory care residents and staff who had tested negative during the previous round. The SFDPH also tested all of the assisted-living residents.

One family member of a memory care resident said they are “fearful” that their elderly mother will contract the virus.

“My mom’s a sitting duck for Covid,” said the family member, who chose not to be identified.

While the mother received a negative result during the previous round of testing, the family member is “anxious” about the upcoming results from the Sept. 24 tests. They said they’ve had difficulty reaching Rhoda Goldman for more information about the situation, while recognizing that staff members are particularly busy during this time.

However, this individual still wants to understand why the number of cases is increasing.

“You’ve got a massive infection,” they said. “Why is that happening?”

The California Department of Social Services oversees the state’s residential community care facilities. Rhoda Goldman is one of five such facilities in San Francisco to report coronavirus cases.

In California, 352 facilities have reported cases. (Skilled-nursing facilities such as the San Francisco Campus for Jewish Living are licensed by the state’s health department, a different entity.)

“The tremendous grace and support that has been shown in the face of difficult news is deeply moving,” the email said. “We would also like to acknowledge the incredible work of our staff who continue to deliver care in these challenging circumstances.”

Gabriel Greschler

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