Los Angeles Mayor Recognizes Jewish Home for Leadership Role during COVID-19 Crisis

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Los Angeles Mayor Recognizes Jewish Home for Leadership Role during COVID-19 Crisis

May 26, 2020

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti conducted his daily COVID-19 media briefing for the community at the Los Angeles Jewish Home's Grancell Village campus on May 19.

In his briefing, held on the Harry & Jeanette Weinberg Foundation Courtyard in front of the Joyce Eisenberg-Keefer Medical Center, Mayor Garcetti highlighted the city's monthly COVID-19 testing requirement for skilled nursing facilities. In addition, he invited the Home's Chief Medical Officer Dr. Noah Marco to share the podium to emphasize the importance of testing.

Garcetti described the Jewish Home as "one of the pillars of our community, which for so many years has brought health, hope and well-being into the lives of Angelenos."

The Mayor detailed the immense challenges facing skilled nursing facilities during the pandemic. He outlined how the Home met these challenges by being the first to test its residents and staff, serving as a model for other institutions to follow.

During his comments, Dr. Marco explained the importance of testing. "Our focus for these tests was to identify staff and residents who were not displaying symptoms of the disease," he said. "Like many others, we knew that the virus is brought into nursing homes by asymptomatic staff and spread by asymptomatic residents. The tests provided to us by Mayor Garcetti found 12 asymptomatic staff and four asymptomatic residents. Because of our testing efforts and our focus on infection prevention, we have had a total of only 19 confirmed infections in our 1200 residents."

"Our experience proves that nursing homes do not have to be death pits," Dr. Marco continued. "We encourage all facilities to follow Mayor Garcetti's orders, and test their staff and residents. If test kits are available, not testing is medically unethical and just plain wrong."

In late March, State Senator Henry Stern alerted Garcetti that Dr. Marco recommended testing be expanded to seniors living in congregant housing. Garcetti's office responded by asking the Home to pilot testing staff and residents of skilled nursing facilities. The Mayor's office provided the test kits and testing began on April 2. The program was later expanded to include Los Angeles Fire Department's Rapid Response Team and its mobile testing program.

Further recognizing Dr. Marco's leadership and medical expertise -- Garcetti described how Dr. Marco partnered with city officials to help identify additional facilities in Los Angeles also in need of COVID-19 testing, and thanked him for his invaluable advice he has provided to his office. An emergency order from the mayor on April 24, required all skilled nursing homes in Los Angeles to conduct testing on a monthly basis.

To schedule COVID-19 testing, visit https://lacovidprod.service-now.com/rrs

Watch Mayor Garcetti's entire May 19 briefing here: https://youtu.be/3EHPjqYnQDQ?t=235

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