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)

First patient tests positive for coronavirus at S.F. Jewish senior home

The San Francisco Campus for Jewish Living announced on Aug. 1 that a patient has tested positive for the novel coronavirus — the first individual who is not an employee of the facility to contract the virus.

According to a community-wide email from the SFCJL, the person is a “short-term” patient, not a resident, and is asymptomatic.

The SFJCL email said the patient initially tested negative upon entering the facility, but tested positive after a second test was administered. The senior home is conducting contact tracing of any staff members who may have interacted with the patient, and those employees also will be performing “frequent self-monitoring for symptoms.”

New admissions are isolated for 14 days, according to the SFCJL. The email communication did not say what date the patient was admitted, and spokesperson Marcus Young said he was unable to answer additional questions about the matter.

The individual has been moved to the facility’s “Covid wing,” an area set aside on the campus in mid-April to care for patients recovering from the coronavirus as part of a statewide effort to reduce the strain on hospital beds. The area has a dedicated staff that interacts exclusively with the patients on this wing. Other than the short-term person, the facility to date has admitted 14 Covid patients, all of whom have been released.

In its community email, the SFCJL said the city’s health department “has shared with us that they feel the chance of this patient transmitting the virus to others is low given that they have been on isolation precautions at all times and all staff have been masked during all interactions.”

SFCJL’s decision in April to accept recovering patients sparked pushback from family members, who contend that the facility should not risk spreading a virus that is particularly dangerous for older adults. In response, the senior home has held multiple town halls to explain its policy, offering assurances that it has the proper amounts of personal protective equipment to keep people safe and is following strict health protocols.

More than 40 percent of coronavirus deaths nationwide have been linked to senior facilities, according to the New York Times.

Six SFCJL workers have tested positive for coronavirus since April, the facility reported. The most recent case was an employee who worked “directly” with patients and residents, according to a July 20 community-wide email, which did not specify the individual’s position.

Gabriel Greschler

Gabriel Greschler is a staff writer at J. You can reach him at and follow him on Twitter @ggreschler.