Update: September 18




We will continue to keep you updated as to what the DOH guidelines require of visitors and our facility after September 24th.

Until then, all visits remain scheduled without the need for our visitor’s test results.

Given the DOH’s whiplash response, we are asking that families contact the Governor’s office to share their frustration and concerns regarding this well-intentioned but disorganized and misguided approach to permitting visitation to our most vulnerable population. More impactful than skilled nursing facilities and advocacy organization, are the voices of our families and communities who are bearing witness to the negative emotional and physical toll this is taking on you and your loved ones. LeadingAge, one of our advocacy groups,  encourages families to call the Governor’s office and explain the situation that you and your loved ones are facing due to the State’s approach to visitation.

Call the Governor’s office TODAY and tomorrow and urge the State to take a more reasonable approach to family visitation in nursing homes.
The Governor’s office can be reached at 1-518-474-8390.


Speak from the heart and explain what your experience and frustrations have been. We also recommend that you use the following talking points to inform your phone calls:

  • Due to your overly strict rules on visitation in nursing homes, I have not seen my loved one since _____.
  • Now in order to visit, I must provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test result repeatedly.
  • These repeated tests are not readily accessible to me and will be cost-prohibitive.
  • Nursing home residents have endured months of isolation from the people they love most and are experiencing emotional distress.
  • I urge you to reconsider this guidance and find a more balanced approach that considers not just the risks of COVID-19, but also the emotional isolation residents are feeling.


NYSDOH Update Regarding Visits
While the requirements appear to be changing on a near-daily basis, the visit format has not. Remember:

  • Visitors may ONLY enter the front entrance to sign in and complete screening information and exit  to wait outside for visit
  • Visitors CANNOT sit in our lobby
  • Visitors CANNOT walk through the facility, wait in common areas or enter residents’ rooms
  • Visitors must maintain a safe social distance and wear a mask AT ALL TIMES.

Virtual Visits
We understand the inconvenience and uncertainty that these constant changes are causing. SJFS will continue to work with you to assist with video chats or phone calls TO THE BEST OF OUR ABILITIES with priority being given to families who live out-of-town.

Please contact your assigned SJFS staff person; if you do not have an assignment, you may contact Ellen Somers, Asst. Director at somerse@sjfs.org

COVID Testing Resources
Here are some testing options in Onondaga County. Each location is different, so call ahead to see if you need an appointment and if testing at that location is no cost to you.:

    1. Visit  https://coronavirus.health.ny.gov/find-test-site-near-you for testing sites in your area.
    2. Syracuse Community Health Center 819 South Salina Street, Syracuse. Visit  https://covid19.ongov.net/  and scroll to “COVID-19 Testing” for more information
    3.  You may be eligible for a drive up test. Visit https://myquest.questdiagnostics.com/web/mycovid19test  for more information

BC/BS members: Weekly tests are covered with no charge to the individual subscriber.

WelllNow Clinic Information


Canceling Your Visit
If you realize that you cannot make a visit, please GO ONLINE as soon as possible and cancel your appointment. You will find the cancellation link in your original appointment confirmation email.

Online Scheduling
We continue to encourage our families to use the online application to schedule family visits.  The link to the online scheduling application is not on our website. It is being provided to the primary contact for each resident.  Our staff are being inundated with calls from both families and individuals who want to visit a resident but do not have access to the scheduling link. We cannot give out primary contact information or link access without permission. It is expected that families will share the links and decide amongst themselves how to rotate the visits.


Case Worker Team
In the early days of the pandemic, the team at SJFS provided an invaluable service to our residents and their families by being the main contact for non-clinical questions/concerns.  Now, as  SJFS staff begin resuming their pre-COVID roles and caseload, families are expected to contact their assigned caseworker for non-clinical questions and concerns. The team as follows:

1st Floor/Terrace
Katie Finn
(315) 446-9111, x125

2nd Floor
Jocelyn Perrault
(315) 446-9111, x118

Short Term Rehab
Jacki O’Brien-Gerace
(315) 446-9111., x124

Posted Under: COVID-19