Updated: 12/4/2020

Bertrand Chaffee Hospital and Jennie B. Richmond Nursing Home are following guidelines and recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the New York State Department of Health to prevent the spread of this disease and, if necessary, address issues of exposure. As this is an ongoing and developing situation, we will continue to share information to help keep our community members informed.

Bertrand Chaffee Hospital to Postpone Non-Essential Elective Surgeries
Updated: 12/4/2020

Bertrand Chaffee Hospital, in accordance with directive from the New York State Department of Health, is postponing all non-essential elective surgeries until further notice, effective Friday, December 4, 2020. Per the NYS Department of Health, all hospitals in Erie County are required to follow this directive.

The postponement is part of Governor Cuomo’s Winter Plan, announced on Monday, November 30. The surgery postponement directive may be extended to other counties in order to ensure the availability of resources within each hospital needed to treat the increasing volume of COVID-positive patients.

The NYS Department of Health directive outlines specific detail on actions to take based on the type of surgery and health of the patient. Bertrand Chaffee Hospital is in contact with patients scheduled for upcoming scheduled surgical procedures; should patients have additional questions or if further assistance is needed, please contact the Surgical Center at (716) 794-3295 or their respective provider.

Bertrand Chaffee Hospital assures you that we are here for our community to meet your health care needs and encourages community members to continue to practice proper mask wearing, social distancing, handwashing, and limiting your time out in public and in groups of any size. Thank you for working hard to keep our community safe.

Update Regarding Elective Surgeries at Bertrand Chaffee Hospital Updated: 12/2/2020

Bertrand Chaffee Hospital continues to await official written directives from New York State regarding the NYS Governor issued directive around suspension of elective surgery issued on Monday, November 30.

Bertrand Chaffee Hospital, along with other hospitals throughout Erie County, is seeking clarification on this directive. For example, does this only mean elective/planned surgery that requires an overnight stay, does this impact same-day procedures, etc. We are advocating that Erie County, including Bertrand Chaffee Hospital, keep same-day and emergent procedures versus those that require an overnight stay (“inpatient electives”). Presently, Bertrand Chaffee Hospital, following guidance from the NYS Department of Health, pre-screens and tests all surgical patients prior to their scheduled procedure.

Once we receive further direction and information from New York State regarding restriction or resumption of cases, we will communicate appropriately with our providers, staff and patients.

Bertrand Chaffee Hospital has been working with the NYS Department of Health, Erie County Department of Health, and Healthcare Association of New York State (HANYS) to find out more information about how these new requirements will impact our operations and ability to continue to provide care for patients.

A Reminder to Our Community Regarding COVID-19 Testing at Bertrand Chaffee Hospital Updated: 11/24/2020

All COVID-19 screening requires a prescription from the patient’s primary care provider. At this time, outpatient rapid testing is not available.

In order to better serve our patients and continue to provide a safe environment for fellow patients and staff, we are asking patients to call ahead to the Hospital if COVID testing is ordered in order to have a pre-registration process and the opportunity for possible outdoor swabbing or alternative entrances that do not pass through patient care areas. This will allow us to provide a more controlled process for patients to be tested without an increased risk of exposure to our staff and high risk patients.

There is no free testing for asymptomatic patients. This is available at the county health department in county in which the patient resides.

Bertrand Chaffee Hospital appreciates your cooperation with this process to continue to do our part to reduce community spread and decrease potential exposure.

Bertrand Chaffee Hospital Temporarily Suspends Hospital Visitations Beginning November 16 Updated 11/15/2020

In response to the recent rise in COVID-positive cases in our region, Bertrand Chaffee Hospital is suspending all visitation to the Medical/Surgical floor, effective Monday, November 16, 2020. Exceptions to visitor restrictions will be made only at the discretion of the Hospital staff following guidance from the New York State Department of Health. These visitors will be subject to a verbal health screening and temperature scan upon entrance to the Hospital building.

Emergency Room visitation remains unchanged; one visitor per patient at the discretion of the Emergency Room staff and the visitor will undergo the screening process and procedures as outlined above. Additional visitors are encouraged to wait outside of the building in their vehicle.

This decision was made out of an abundance of caution to protect the safety of Bertrand Chaffee Hospital patients and staff.

“Our Emergency Preparedness team has been monitoring the progress of the virus and has been in constant communication with our county and state health departments,” said Vice President of Medical Affairs Dr. Ed Heidelberger. “While we are not required to suspend hospital visitations at this time, we believe it is a decision that is keeping the safety of our patients and the well-being of our community in mind – our number one priority in our efforts to slow the spread of COVID-19.”

Jennie B. Richmond Nursing Home’s visitation policy remains unchanged from the guidance put forth by the New York State Department of Health on September 17.

Bertrand Chaffee Hospital, following guidance from the New York State Department of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, reserves the right to modify these policies and measures at any time.

As a reminder, those in need of COVID testing are asked to consult their primary care provider first or call the Hospital first. All COVID testing at BCH requires a medical professional order. Please do not come directly to the hospital. Bertrand Chaffee Hospital has procedures put in place for COVID testing in order to keep patients and staff safe.

Thank you for continuing to do your part in order to keep our community healthy and safe.

Jennie B. Richmond Nursing Home COVID-19 Update Regarding Visitation Updated 9/17/2020

As of 9/16/2020, new guidelines have been set forth by the New York State Department of Health regarding visitations in nursing homes. Below are the new requirements that will go into effect on Friday, 9/18/2020:

  • Visitations can begin on or after 9/18/2020 as long as our facility remains free of any positive COVID cases for 14 consecutive days.
  • No more than 10% of the residents shall have visitors at any one time. No visitors under the age of 18 are allowed.
  • Family and loved ones can schedule a visit by calling (716) 794-3309.
  • All visitors must show proof of a verified negative COVID test result within the last seven days of visit upon entrance to the facility. All visitors must being wearing a face mask before entering the facility.
  • All visitations will occur primarily in our Main Dining Room, which just had upgrades to the ventilation system. If the weather is deemed appropriate, visits will be held in the outside courtyard.
  • All inside visitation will permit only one visitor per Resident at a time due to NYS regulations allowing only 10 individuals in a room at a time for inside visits. Family and loved ones are encouraged to keep this in mind with the colder weather upon us.
  • If weather permits, we will allow up to two visitors per Resident for outside visitation.
  • Visits can last no more than 30 minutes in order for Nursing Home staff to accommodate more Residents and families under these stricter guidelines.

Residents/Visitors excluded from this policy and criteria include:

  • Hospice Resident
  • Resident in End of Life Care
  • Resident with a significant change in condition

To read the full policy, please click here.

Questions and concerns can be addressed with the following individuals:

Allysa Olsen, Administrator (716) 592-2871 x 1201

Renna Thaine, Director of Nursing (716) 592-2871 x 1285

Jennie B. Richmond Nursing Home COVID-19 Update Regarding Visitation Updated 8/31/2020

Today, August 31, 2020, Jennie B. Richmond Nursing Home received notification of a consultant recently working in our facility who tested positive for COVID-19. As a result, following guidelines set by the NYS Department of Health and exercising caution for our residents and employees, Jennie B. Richmond Nursing Home is suspending all visitations for the next 28 days. Exceptions to this visitation suspension are only if a resident has had a significant change in condition, is on end of life care, or on Hospice. Families and friends are encouraged to communicate with their loved ones residing at Jennie B. Richmond Nursing Home by phone call, Facetime call, or Zoom meeting, which can be facilitated through Nursing Home employees.

“Our staff has and continues to go to great lengths to ensure the health, safety, and well-being of our residents – our number one priority,” said Jennie B. Richmond Nursing Home Administrator Allysa Olsen. “Our thoughts are with the individual who tested positive. We are taking extra precautions to ensure the safety of our residents and staff and taking great strides to maintain communication between our residents and their loved ones during this time.”

Staff members at Jennie B. Richmond Nursing Home continue to work diligently to keep residents and employees safe. Guidelines from the NYS Department of Health have and continue to be strictly implemented and followed. Employees have their temperatures taken and are screened for symptoms before and after every shift and are tested for COVID-19 on a weekly basis. Staff members wear masks and other appropriate personal protective equipment throughout their entire shift. Increased frequency of assessment of residents’ health and well-being is taking place. In addition to routine cleaning, increased sanitization, especially of high-touch areas, is taking place. Residents remain in their rooms except for ambulation and small group activities, in which they remain socially distanced and wear face masks. Family members of our residents are provided daily updates via call or email.

Family members of residents at Jennie B. Richmond Nursing Home may contact the following staff members with any questions:

Allysa Olsen, Administrator (716) 592-2871 x 1201
Renna Thaine, Director of Nursing (716) 592-2871 x 1285

Jennie B. Richmond Nursing Home Resumption of Nursing Home Visitation Updated: 7/15/2020

Jennie B. Richmond Nursing Home is pleased to announce the resumption of visitation at the Nursing Home, effective 7/17/2020. Visitations are able to resume so long as the facility remains free of any COVID-positive cases in either residents or staff for 28 consecutive days and our region is in at least Phase 3, as determined by the Governor of New York State.
Per the guidelines determined by the New York State Department of Health:

  • No more than 10% of Nursing Home residents shall have visitors at any one time and only two visitors will be allowed per resident at one time (one visitor must be over 18 years of age).
  • If there is a COVID-positive diagnosis in either a Nursing Home Resident or Staff Member or our region falls below Phase 3, Nursing Home visitation will be suspended immediately until further notice.
  • Exclusions from this policy and criteria include if a Nursing Home Resident is: under Hospice care, end of life care, or a significant change in condition.
  • Visitation will not be allowed for any Resident who is under isolation precautions including, but not limited to, a new admission or readmission from a hospital.
    Visitations will be limited and must be scheduled in advance by calling (716) 592-2871 x 4776.
    Visitation procedures are as follows:
  • Visitors must call ahead and schedule a time to visit with their loved one. The visitation schedule is as follows: Monday/Wednesday/Friday from 9:30am to 11:30am and 1:00pm to 4:30pm; Sunday from 9:30am to 12:00pm.
  • All visitors must report to the screening area in the front main entrance at Jennie B. Richmond prior to and when leaving the facility for their visit.
  • Visitors must wear a face mask fully covering their nose and mouth upon entering the facility and remain wearing it while in the facility.
  • Visitors will sign in with their contact information, have their temperature taken and recorded, and will answer the following questions:
  1. Have you experienced any shortness of breath or a cough?
  2. Are you currently being treated for a lung infection?
  3. Have you travelled outside of New York State or the U.S. or have you come in contact with someone who has travelled outside of the U.S. in the last 30 days?
  • If the visitor(s) pass the screening process, they will be given a Visitor Badge to wear during their visit which will include their name, room number of the Resident they are visiting, and the date/time.
  • Visits will occur in the outside courtyard area or, in the case of inclement weather, the main dining room. Visiting areas will be spaced appropriately for proper social distancing.

Should family or loved ones have questions regarding visitation policies or procedures, we encourage you to contact Allysa Olsen, Nursing Home Administrator, at (716) 592-2871 x 1201.

New York State Department of Health: COVID-19 Updated Guidance for Hospitals Regarding Visitation
Updated: 6/18/2020
On June 17, 2020, the NYS Department of Health declared that hospital visitation can begin again with strict safeguards that will limit the possibility of the spread of COVID-19 to patients, staff, and visitors.
Bertrand Chaffee Hospital has adopted and is implementing the following measures in order to resume visitation on the Medical Floor:

Visitation hours are from 10:00am to 12:00pm and 5:00pm to 7:00pm, only. Visitors are only to visit the patient’s room and should not walk around other areas of the Hospital building.

Per the NYS Department of Health, visitors must be greater than 18 years old, with the exception of end-of-life visits.

Visitation will be limited to one visitor per patient at a time.

Visitors must wear a mask over their mouth and nose when in the Hospital building. If entering an Isolation Precaution room, visitors will be required to wear all appropriate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). If the visitor does not agree to wear all appropriate PPE, they can be denied visitation.

Visitors must enter Bertrand Chaffee Hospital through the Main Entrance lobby door and must proceed directly to the screening table.

Visitors will be screened for temperature, any COVID symptoms in the last 14 days, and any contact with a COVID positive person in the last 14 days.

Information about the risks of visiting will be given to the visitor at the screening desk and their name, phone number, who they are visiting, and the date and time of the visit will be recorded. Visitors will be given a “Visitor” sticker to wear.
Emergency Room visitation remains unchanged; one visitor per patient at the discretion of the Emergency Room staff and will undergo the screening process and procedures as outlined above.


Ambulatory Surgery patients undergoing same-day procedures may be accompanied by one person, only, and will undergo the screening process and procedures as outlined above.


Bertrand Chaffee Hospital, following guidance from the New York State Department of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, reserves the right to modify these policies and measures at any time.

Erie County Department of Health Standing Order for Individuals Who Have Tested Positive for COVID-19: https://www2.erie.gov/health/sites/www2.erie.gov.health/files/uploads/pdfs/ECDOHCOVID19StandingCommissionersOrderIsolation.pdf

The following are measures BCH and JBR have put into place, following guidelines from the CDC and the NYS DOH to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and how you can help.

Bertrand Chaffee Hospital:

  • Suspending all visitation to the Hospital, unless the visitor is essential to the care of the family member or is a family member or legal representative of a patient in end-of-life situations.
  • All patients and employees upon entrance to the building will be screened for symptoms (cough, shortness of breath, or fever) or potential exposure to someone with COVID-19 and their temperature will be taken.
  • All employees are required to wear face masks.
  • Postponing all elective surgery and Heart Center appointments. Echocardiograms in the X-Ray Department will still occur as scheduled. Providers from the affected departments can still be reached by contacting the Hospital.

Jennie B. Richmond Nursing Home

  • All visitation has been suspended, following directives from the NYS Department of Health.
  • All employees are screened for symptoms at the beginning of their shift (cough, shortness of breath, or fever) or potential exposure to someone with COVID-19 and their temperature will be taken.
  • All employees are required to wear face masks.

As a community member, you can help all of us here at BCH and JBR slow the spread of COVID-19. Please follow these guidelines:

  1. Stay Home, Practice Social Distancing. Even if you feel well, stay at home as much as possible. In public, keep at least 6 feet distance from others. Avoid unnecessary appointments. Consider wearing a face mask when out in public.
  2. Wash your hands, cover your cough.
  3. Take special caution to avoid exposing the elderly and people with underlying health conditions.
  4. If you are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 (cough, fever, trouble breathing, pneumonia), please call your health care provider, DO NOT go directly to the Emergency Room. Your doctor will provide you with guidance and next steps.

Thank you for your help in preventing the spread of this virus and keeping our community as healthy as possible during these unprecedented times.

If you are looking for good, credible sources regarding facts and updates on COVID-19, please consider using the following resources:

Erie County Department of Health:
http://www2.erie.gov/health/index.php?q=coronavirus

NYS Department of Health:
https://www.health.ny.gov/

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:
https://www.cdc.gov/index.htm