Two Weinberg Terrace residents test positive for COVID-19
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COVID-19JAA confronts pandemic

Two Weinberg Terrace residents test positive for COVID-19

Both are receiving treatment at an outside facility

Squirrel Hill Health Center employees helped to test JAA staff for COVID-19 in May. Photo provided by JAA.
Squirrel Hill Health Center employees helped to test JAA staff for COVID-19 in May. Photo provided by JAA.

Two people living in a single residence at Weinberg Terrace, a personal care community on Bartlett Street, tested positive for COVID-19 over the weekend and are now receiving care outside of the facility, according to a July 20 announcement from the Jewish Association on Aging.

No other residents are symptomatic, according to JAA officials.

In response to the positive coronavirus results, the JAA is testing all Weinberg Terrace residents, staff and private duty care staff, performing temperature and symptom checks of each resident every four hours and staff and private duty care staff at the beginning and end of each shift. The common area, the residents’ floor and the residents’ apartment have all been thoroughly cleaned. Additionally, the agency is utilizing air purification equipment and HEPA filters are being changed for added protection throughout the building.

The use of face masks and shields remain mandatory for staff as are face masks for residents when care is given. All hand-washing and social distancing protocols continue to be followed.

Because of the positive test results, Weinberg Terrace residents are being asked to quarantine in their apartment for at least a week. All window visits and other activities have been suspended for the immediate future as the JAA monitors the situation.

To date, four JAA employees also have tested positive for the virus and are recovering at home.

The agency has been following guidelines issued by the Centers for Disease Control and the Allegheny Public Health Department and has received additional guidance from their medical directors and representatives from the Regional Response Health Collaborative. The RRHC includes representatives from UPMC, Allegheny Health Network, The Jewish Healthcare Foundation and the Western Pennsylvania Healthcare Association.

The JAA’s reach extends to 1,420 community members including 400 residents, 500 staff members and an additional 520 clients who receive the agency’s services.

“We share a deep concern for our residents, staff and family throughout JAA,” Deborah Winn-Horvitz, JAA’s president and CEO, said in a statement. “We remain committed to our mission and values, to provide support and compassion for those we serve.”

The agency was already working with outside sources, including the Squirrel Hill Health Center and CVS to test all employees and residents, according to a JAA spokesperson. The Pennsylvania Department of Health has mandated testing at all long-term care facilities in Pennsylvania, requiring all staff and residents at the Charles Morris Nursing and Rehabilitation Center to have tests completed by Friday, July 24.

Testing is required to be completed by the end of August for the remainder of the organization including home health, personal care, assisted living and memory care.

All precautionary procedures to keep residents and staff safe continue at all JAA managed facilities. Window visits between residents and family members, however, have been postponed.

Despite the restriction, the JAA’s activity staff has worked to engage residents and keep them active.

“This is difficult,” the spokesperson said. “Luckily, we have some spaces that are outdoors, that are not public, courtyards, where people can get out and get some fresh air, but we are keeping everyone’s distance and we’re keeping them in masks. It’s ongoing and it’s an adjustment every day.” PJC

This is an ongoing story and will be updated as more information becomes available.
David Rullo can be reached at drullo@pittsburghjewishchronicle.org.

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