March 17, 2020
Dear CJE Clients, Family Members, Caregivers and Guests:
Here is the latest information, as of today, on what CJE is doing to keep our communities as safe as possible during the evolving situation with the Coronavirus.
We are following guidelines put forth by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), as well as the Illinois Department of Public Health. Based upon their most recent guidance, CJE continues to put into place the recommended health measures to protect our elderly residents, staff and community members.
- The Bernard Horwich Building on Touhy, which is the home of CJE’s Main Office, is temporarily locked and closed to the public. CJE clients will not have access to the building so people will need to call the main number at 773.508.1000 to either make or change a future face-to-face appointment. That said, we are still offering phone consultations which can also be arranged by calling our main number. A few essential staff members will be working at the Horwich building, but most will be working remotely. In advance, and for this reason, we apologize if we are taking a little longer to respond to your questions or concerns. Please know that our goal is to serve our clients to the best of our ability during this time.
- Lieberman Center in Skokie and Weinberg Community in Deerfield are continuing to limit people in these buildings to only essential medical personnel and staff. This means that individuals (family members, volunteers, students, selected vendors, etc.) are not allowed to come into these facilities except for special circumstances such as end-of-life situations or when it’s medically necessary. Anyone allowed to enter these buildings or any other CJE building will answer a few simple screening questions and undergo a temperature check. In lieu of visits, we will be facilitating alternative means of communication for people who would otherwise visit such as SKYPE, FaceTime, Zoom, and will have this process in place as soon as possible.
- Private care companions are not allowed to be at Lieberman. At Weinberg, private caregivers who are officially registered to be at the facility can enter the building. They will be subject to the same CJE screening process and agree to abide by all CJE policies and procedures to mitigate spread of infectious diseases. Any private companion/caregiver who does not comply with CJE’s policies will be escorted out of the building and will not be allowed to return.
- In accordance with regulations we received yesterday from IDOA, our Adult Day Services in Evanston and Deerfield (at the Friend Center) are closed.
- Home-delivered meals will continue to be delivered, although recipients may receive letters explaining new procedures and restrictions.
- CJE Counseling and Care Management staff will call clients on the phone as needed.
- Holocaust Community Services will also continue to serve their clients by phone as well.
- In addition, all group activities have been stopped at all of our buildings in order to practice “social distancing.” This includes the way we serve meals at Lieberman and Weinberg. However, we are also being creative in trying to bring activities into the residents’ rooms or apartments. This is a work in progress.
- Religious services will be streamed to residents’ rooms at Lieberman. We are still evaluating how—or if—we can provide face-to-face pastoral care. Passover celebrations that begin April 8 have been cancelled at Lieberman. We are still deciding if we can have a more limited celebration at Weinberg, but we will let you know as soon as possible.
- We are discouraging residents from leaving all our communities, including our independent living buildings, except for medical appointments or other essential business such as grocery shopping. Residents who do leave our buildings will be subject to screening upon their return.
- We continue to check the temperatures of residents as well as employees on a daily basis.
- CJE has stopped all non-essential business travel for employees. Employees who must travel for business, or who travel for personal reasons, will be subject to various policies and procedures as suggested by the CDC, including limitations on their return to work for up to 14 days depending upon the location to which they traveled.
- CJE staff will not be allowed to travel between CJE locations, but will work only at the facility they are assigned to. Exceptions will be granted for specific members of our staff based on their job responsibilities.
Once again, for residents and their loved ones, we are recommending precautions to avoid exposure to the virus which are similar to those you would take to avoid the flu:
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue and then throw the tissue in the trash. If tissues aren’t available, cough or sneeze into the inside of your elbow.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
- If you feel sick with a fever, 100.4 degrees or higher, have a dry cough or experience difficulty breathing or have shortness of breath, seek immediate medical advice.
- It is wise to call ahead before going to a doctor’s office or ER and let them know you are coming in—they may have a different protocol for you.
- STAY HOME WHEN YOU ARE SICK UNTIL YOU HAVE BEEN FEVER-FREE WITHOUT THE USE OF FEVER REDUCING MEDICINE FOR AT LEAST 72 HOURS.
All the above restrictions and precautions are effective at 6 pm on March 17, but we continue to evaluate the situation daily and will implement further recommendations by public health officials as needed. Check our website (www. cje.net) for the latest information regarding steps we are taking to protect our residents and staff from potential exposure to the coronavirus, which could be updated at any time. Please know that our primary goal is to keep our residents, your loved ones, and our communities safe.
We know how these fast-changing restrictions can exacerbate anxiety for our clients, residents and loved ones. That is why CJE will not close and we will continue to provide services, albeit differently, as best we can.
For more information, please check the Centers for Disease Control website:
We appreciate your understanding during this difficult time.
President & CEO, CJE SeniorLife