COVID-19 Updates

Elizabeth Seton Children’s is responding proactively and with urgency to the COVID-19 pandemic and taking important precautions to ensure the health and safety of our children, their families and our staff.

COVID-19 is a respiratory illness caused by a novel coronavirus first detected in Wuhan, China. On March 11, 2020, The World Health Organization labeled the COVID-19 outbreak a global pandemic.

Infectious disease experts say most cases of COVID-19 are mild to moderate, like the common cold. But it can be more severe in older adults and people with chronic health conditions. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the virus is thought to spread mainly from person to person and mainly through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes. These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs. Spread is more likely when people are in close contact with one another (within about six feet). Symptoms may occur as soon as two days and as long as 14 days after exposure. Symptoms include fever, shortness of breath, and cough. Other symptoms may include nasal congestion, runny nose, sore throat or diarrhea.

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.

Safety is the No. 1 Priority

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 Elizabeth Seton Children’s Center, these include, but are not limited to: implementing a no visitor policy (including parents and guardians), 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. Our building has air exchanges equivalent to operating rooms and the air handlers have three levels of filtration including HEPA air filters and UV lights that kill pathogens. We have maintained constant communication with the Westchester County Department of Health throughout this crisis and have adhered to all CDC guidelines.

We encourage parents and guardians to call the children’s center for updates on the status of your child. We understand that you are concerned about your son/daughter/grandchild and that it’s heartbreaking not to be able to visit, but it is crucial that we restrict visitation right now as per DOH regulations. We also understand that connecting with family members is incredibly important for our residents and their well-being and family members are encouraged to connect with their child via video chat, phone calls, etc.

Elizabeth Seton Children’s School on both campuses is closed as per Governor Cuomo’s Executive Order. In the meantime, we have implemented a robust distance learning program during this closure at our White Plains campus. At Elizabeth Seton Children’s Rehabilitation Center, we are an essential provider and remain open with reduced hours of operation (Monday through Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.). We have launched 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.

Latest Updates from CEO Pat Tursi

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