COVID-19 Updates

Elizabeth Seton Children’s continues to respond proactively and with urgency to the COVID-19 pandemic by taking important precautions to ensure the health and safety of our children, their families and our staff. Thanks to the extraordinary efforts of our health heroes, no child at Elizabeth Seton Children’s Center has tested positive for COVID-19 during the entirety of this pandemic.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), most cases of COVID-19 are mild to moderate, but can be more severe in older adults and people with chronic or underlying health conditions. Please click here to learn about COVID-19 transmission, symptoms, prevention, treatment and more important information from the CDC.

Please click here for current guidelines and helpful information about COVID-19 from the New York State Department of Health (DOH). If you have questions regarding COVID-19 for the DOH, please email your questions to: icp@health.ny.gov, covidadultcareinfo@health.ny.gov or covidnursinghomeinfo@health.ny.gov. If you have questions regarding COVID-19 for Elizabeth Seton Children’s Administration, please email COVID19questions@setonchildrens.org

Updates & Important Information

October 12, 2020 

Elizabeth Seton Children’s Center has updated its visitation policy. Please see below. As of October 12, 2020, visitation at the children’s center is on pause until further notice.

Visitation Guidelines

Elizabeth Seton Children’s Center’s visitation guidelines have been developed to help protect our residents, their families and staff members from coronavirus.

Please note that visitation is limited to parents, legal guardians or authorized representatives ages 18 or older. Only two visitors are allowed to visit at the same time. Only 17 children can have visitors at the same time, so please schedule in advance by calling (914) 294-6299 or emailing visiting@setonchildrens.org. In order to visit, visitors must provide a verified negative COVID-19 test result within seven days of the scheduled visit with no exceptions.

In the event we have a new positive staff or resident COVID case, visitation will be suspended and will not resume until there are no COVID-19 cases for 14 days, unless for end-of-life care. Please see below for complete visitor guidance and expectations:

Safety is the No. 1 Priority

Elizabeth Seton Children’s Center

Elizabeth Seton Children’s Center’s strict regimen of precautions since early March has kept all of our 169 residents COVID-free for the entirety of this pandemic. As per the New York State Department of Health, please click here for our Pandemic Emergency Plan checklist. This plan is to ensure the health and safety of our entire Elizabeth Seton Children’s Center community. Please click for our NY Forward Safety Plan for additional information about how we are preventing the spread of COVID-19 within our facility.

Elizabeth Seton Children’s School

Elizabeth Seton Children’s School in Yonkers has resumed school as per Governor Cuomo’s Executive Order 202.37 allowing special education services and instruction to be provided in-person. In White Plains, a hybrid model of in-person and remote instruction and services is in place with an entirely distance learning option still available to all students. In compliance with all State and regulatory guidelines, please refer to our reopening documents below:

Elizabeth Seton Children’s Rehabilitation Center

At Elizabeth Seton Children’s Rehabilitation Center, we are an essential provider and have remained open throughout the pandemic. Our hours are Monday through Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and Saturday from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. In addition to in-person services, we launched a telemedicine program so rehabilitative and medical visits, as well as equipment/brace orders, can be fulfilled from the comfort of home. For more information, including details on our safety protocols and infection prevention procedures, please reference our NY Forward Safety Plan.

Latest Updates from CEO Pat Tursi

Dear friends, supporters and partners in care,

I am so happy to share that, thanks in part to your advocacy, Governor Cuomo and the New York State Department of Health have loosened the visitation rules for pediatric nursing homes like Elizabeth Seton Children’s Center. The Wall Street Journal, which shined a spotlight on this issue on August 27th, again covered this great news yesterday. Please click here to read the article online.

These new regulations will greatly improve the ability of our parents to reunite with their children and give them the hugs and kisses they have been longing for since March. Today, all of our 169 children have remained COVID-free for 195 days.

We are grateful to Governor Cuomo and to the Department of Health for hearing our voices and balancing the need to reunite families with keeping everyone in our children’s center safe. They have been true leaders for our State and steadfast partners of Elizabeth Seton Children’s.

And, of course, this change would not have been possible without your advocacy. Every phone call, letter, email, conversation and social media post over these last several weeks made a difference. I am so thankful for all you have done and for all the support you show our precious children, their families and the staff of Elizabeth Seton Children’s every day.

We will never stop advocating for our children. The power of our collective voices was able to influence the highest levels of government in our State and that is something in which we can take tremendous pride.

Sincerely,

Pat Tursi
CEO

Dear friends, supporters and partners in care,

This morning’s Wall Street Journal shined a spotlight on Elizabeth Seton Children’s Center’s fight to change State rules that prevent parents from visiting children at centers like ours. Click here to read the powerful article online.

Today marks the 180th day our children’s center has gone without a single child testing positive for coronavirus. Yet, amidst this tremendous success - born out of the hard work, commitment and fortitude of our staff - is the pain many of our families feel because they cannot hug or kiss their kids. Executive Orders have prevented nursing home visitation since March and, since we are classified as a nursing home, most of our 169 children have not been able to visit their parents for over five months.

It’s heartbreaking to see the toll this has taken on our families and we must change this now.

Safety always remains our top priority and we understand the rules are aimed at preventing the spread of coronavirus to those most vulnerable; however, the time has come to allow families to reunite with their children in pediatric long-term care, just like they have been allowed to do at children’s hospitals.

I am doing everything in my power to advocate. I have gone to the press, testified before the State legislature and remain in regular contact with the Department of Health and the Governor’s office. Now, I need your help.

Please join us in advocacy. Contact Governor Cuomo at ‪(518) 474-8390 or by using this online form. Ask him to allow visitation at pediatric long-term care centers because our children need to hear, feel, see and touch their parents once again. The Governor has been an incredible leader in stopping the spread of COVID-19 and now we need him to take this step.

Let’s not let another day go by where a child cannot receive the love they need from their parents. As the Wall Street Journal pointed out, this isn’t just about the emotional needs of our kids; it’s a necessity for their health and well-being. With your help, we can make a difference and convince the State that it’s time to reunite our families.

Sincerely,

Pat Tursi
CEO

Dear friends, supporters and partners in care,

Elizabeth Seton Children’s is continuing to respond proactively and with urgency to the COVID-19 pandemic. Today, it is with deep gratitude that I applaud our staff and share the miraculous achievement that no child at Elizabeth Seton Children’s Center has tested positive for the novel coronavirus.

We remain one of the very few nursing facilities in the area to be able to state this claim. Our visitor restrictions, combined with our efforts at self-limiting symptomatic employees, screening temperatures, properly using personal protective equipment (PPE), social distancing and enhancing our cleaning/disinfecting procedures, have successfully achieved a safe environment for our children. To further reduce exposures to COVID-19 in the community, all outside clinic consultations have been eliminated and we have expanded our telemedicine capabilities.

To date, 22 employees of our more than 1,000 staff have tested positive for COVID-19. Our employees’ vigilance in monitoring for signs of the virus ensured that no employee ever came to work symptomatic and, in turn, protected our children. We have a long road ahead of us to get through this crisis, but it’s important to recognize that our staff’s extraordinary work to keep themselves and our children safe is making a difference. I am very happy to report that our direct care staffing levels at the children’s center have remained stable during this crisis and 10 of these staff members who did test positive previously have fully recovered and returned to work per the CDC guidelines for health workers.

Currently, Elizabeth Seton Children’s School on both campuses is closed as per the extension of Governor Cuomo’s mandate. The robust, remote distance learning program that was implemented for students at our school in White Plains has been met with wonderful feedback from appreciative and highly engaged families. With distance learning not an option for our children with severe medical complexity in Yonkers, we submitted a request to the Office of the Governor to re-open our school with essential school staff to meet the needs of our children and are awaiting a response. At Elizabeth Seton Children’s Rehabilitation Center, we are an essential provider and continue to operate with reduced hours while also working to meet the needs of our patients through telemedicine.

Last week, Governor Andrew Cuomo shared during one of his daily briefings that it is when the pressure is on that you see what people are really made of and I couldn’t agree more. During this crisis, I have seen tenderness, sacrifice and empathy in the way our children are being cared for. And I have seen an outpouring of support from our families and you, our community of supporters, with your messages of hope and gratitude to our staff. It is inspiring and it’s why I know that when we are on the other side of this crisis, we will be stronger and we will love deeper because of it. In the meantime, if you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to write info@setonchildrens.org.

Please continue to pray for us and all those afflicted by this pandemic as we enter into Holy Week. I wish you and your family a Happy Passover and a blessed Easter.

Sincerely,

Pat Tursi
CEO

Dear friends, supporters and partners in care,

I am writing to inform you of some important information regarding the situation at Elizabeth Seton Children’s with respect to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Of our more than 1,000 staff members, three employees at Elizabeth Seton Children’s Center have tested positive for COVID-19. One of these employees was only notified of the positive test result on March 18th. This employee came into contact with 12 of our children on March 10th – 24 hours before exhibiting symptoms. None of the three employees have been in the building since March 10th.

None of our children have shown signs or symptoms of COVID-19, including the 12 who came into contact with the employee who tested positive. Out of an abundance of caution, the 12 children were tested for the virus yesterday, March 20th. We will have results within 36 hours.

Elizabeth Seton Children’s has implemented a strict regimen of precautions since early March to prevent the spread of this virus among our children. At the children’s center, these include, but are not limited to: implementing a no visitor policy, having all nonessential staff work from home, requiring any essential employee to take his/her temperature before entering the building, requiring six feet of social distancing on the premises, requiring all employees to wear masks and change into scrubs once on the premises, not allowing any large groups of children or staff to congregate and utilizing enhanced cleaning materials and processes. We have also maintained constant communication with the Westchester County Department of Health throughout this crisis and have adhered to all CDC guidelines.

Elizabeth Seton Children’s School on both campuses is closed as per Governor Cuomo’s mandate with a return date of April 2nd. In the meantime, we have begun a distance learning program during this closure. At Elizabeth Seton Children’s Rehabilitation Center, we are an essential provider and will remain open with reduced hours of operation (Monday through Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.). We are preparing to launch a telemedicine program so rehabilitative and medical visits, as well as equipment/brace orders, can be fulfilled safely from the comfort of home. In addition, we are: screening all our patients and their families for symptoms upon arrival for their appointments, requiring employees to take his/her temperature before entering the building and wear masks and gowns/scrubs on premises and providing services on a one-to-one basis.

This is truly the most challenging time in our organization’s history – as it is for everyone in our community. Please know that our commitment to our work and love for these children are as strong today as ever and we will continue working day and night to keep them safe for whatever length of time is required. Our commitment also extends to you to be transparent about what is happening here. If you have any questions or concerns, please write info@setonchildrens.org.

I thank you for your support, understanding and patience during this unprecedented crisis. We will get through this as we always do: together.

Stay healthy and be well. You are all in our thoughts and prayers.

Sincerely,

Pat Tursi
CEO

Do you have any questions?
Please contact us at 1 (833) 63-SETON