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GRF providing ‘essential’ services in Rossmoor during shelter in place

Facilities closed but some services available through April 7 lockdown

By Ann Peterson

Managing editor


News photo by Dan Rosenstrauch
Residents of Horsemans Canyon Drive in Mutual 61 come out at noon every day to wave to neighbors during the shelter in place.

Tuesday, March 17 (2:20 p.m.): While the shelter-in-place order has locked down much of the Bay Area through April 7, the Golden Rain Foundation is continuing to provide essential services to residents in Rossmoor.
GRF CEO Tim O’Keefe issued the following statement:

“At 12:01 a.m. on Tuesday March 17, 2020, Contra Costa County joined six other counties in the Bay Area in issuing an emergency public health order requiring all individuals in the county to shelter at their place of residence and not leave home, except to provide or receive certain essential services.

“The county order has provisions that allow GRF to continue to operate certain essential services. According to the order, residential facilities that serve seniors are allowed to operate as an essential business provided that certain protocols are followed, including strict adherence to the social distancing requirement of 6 feet.

“Therefore, much of the maintenance services of MOD are permitted, although it is limited to essential operation of residences. In addition, the GRF Counseling Office, Rossmoor News, Channel 28 and the website are allowed. Limited bus service may be available for 1 to 2 passengers, so expect long delays.

“After consultation with the Walnut Creek City Manager, limited landscape maintenance also may occur strictly to keep plants, trees and grasses from being overgrown. Of course, hazards in or near buildings or in landscaped areas can be immediately addressed. Fire abatement activities may also proceed. Broken irrigation systems may be repaired, but all new plantings and irrigation installations must be suspended.”

The full county order can be viewed by clicking the blue button below.

Read the County Shelter-in-Place Order

O’Keefe continued: “We recognize that the current health crisis and shelter at home order are unsettling, uncomfortable and unprecedented. All of this is uncharted territory for everyone. Thank you for your patience and understanding.”

Here’s a closer look at services still permitted:

Bus service: Dial-A-Bus will be available for residents who need to be transported to essential locations. The service will operate from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. An hour’s notice is required and it is first come, first served. Call 925-988-7676 to schedule the service.

Residents requiring services will answer a brief screening questionnaire. Only 1 to 2 residents are allowed on the bus per trip to support self-distancing requirements.

Bus service will be provided to Safeway and CVS at the Rossmoor Shopping Center, John Muir Medical Center across the street from the shopping center and Kaiser Walnut Creek (direct service only). Other medical necessary services will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

Mutual Operations: This is considered an essential business according to the county order, which allows plumbers, electricians, exterminators and other service providers to provide “services that are necessary to maintaining the safety, sanitation and essential operation of residences, essential activities and essential businesses.”

Therefore, MOD will continue to provide maintenance services as outlined in the management agreement for the safety and wellness of the Mutual properties.
MOD offices are closed to walk-in traffic but are answering phone calls and emails. MOD staff will ask residents about their current health and travel history prior to booking appointments.

Counseling: During the shelter in place, the Counseling Office staff will be checking voice messages and emails during normal business hours from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. The Counseling office is continuing to provide services by phone.

Residents who would like to schedule a phone session or have a question, can leave a message at 925-988-7750 and someone will get back to them. Residents who have a psychiatric emergency or need to speak to someone immediately should call the Contra Costa Crisis Center at 211.

Counseling also has put together a helpful list of resources, including meal-delivery services. Click on the blue button below.

Resources While Sheltered in Place

Rossmoor News and Channel 28: As media are classified as essential, Channel 28 will continue broadcasting and the Rossmoor News will continue Wednesday delivery of the paper.
The News also is updating information about the coronavirus and its impact on Rossmoor here on the page.

While the office is closed to walk-in visitors, the phones and emails will be monitored during business hours Monday through Friday. Call 925-988-7800 or email Send notices about cancelations to

Because of impacts to staff and the newspaper printer, some deadlines have been adjusted. All ads, obituaries and letters to the editor are due at 3 p.m. Thursday the week before publication until the shelter in place is lifted.

To permit high-risk individuals to shelter in place, some regular news carriers will not be delivering during the next three weeks. Other Rossmoor staff will step in to help with deliveries. We ask for residents’ patience as they might not receive their paper at the usual time.

Golf: Both golf courses are closed, as is the Golf Shop, until April 7. The golf maintenance crew will continue to maintain the courses during the closure. Staff also will patrol the courses to ensure no one is playing, to protect those who are walking on the courses. (Outdoor walks are permitted during the shelter in place but the 6-foot social distancing will be strictly enforced.)

Front gate: The front gate will remain open and authorized visitors admitted. GRF cannot deny access to residents’ visitors and are not authorized to screen visitors for the coronavirus symptoms.

The gatehouse is only open for staff and closed to everyone else. If you need assistance from the gate, call 925-988-7899. No one is permitted to stop by.

Patrol and EMT response: Securitas will continue to respond to all medical calls for service and other emergency calls, but will only take non-emergency reports via phone. EMTs are on-duty 24/7 and will respond to all medical calls. However, if you have traveled out of the country and are experiencing flu like symptoms and need medical assistance, call 9-1-1.

Public Safety Office: Staff will be available from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., Monday to Saturday, to answer calls and handle appointments; walk-ins are not allowed during the shelter in place. Staff will issue resident/lessee RFID tags only; other sponsored tags will not be issued. Residents should call 925-988-7841 to schedule an appointment and obtain information about what is needed to get the RIFD tag. At this time only checks will be accepted for payment, no credit cards.

Only one person at a time will be admitted into the Public Safety Office; two people will be permitted if a resident needs assistance from a family member or caregiver.

ID cards will not be issued as the social distancing required by the county order cannot be maintained.

Residents should call 925-988-7641 or 925-988-7899 to add guests to their guest list.

More information: For basic information, residents should call 925-988-7700. The phone line is staffed Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
For a list of closures and cancelations, click the blue buttons below.

Facility Closures as of March 17

Cancelations as of March 17

Meantime, the GRF Human Resources team has been trying to assist affected employees, too.

“In response to recent County’s health directives, we have taken measures to balance essential services for Rossmoor residents, while ensuring the safety of our employees who are impacted by a reduction in their normal course of work,” said Human Resources Manager Eric Wong. “We will continue to monitor any new instructions from public health officials or government authorities to maintain compliance while being supportive of employee health and well-being and the needs of our community.”

O’Keefe also reminded residents to take preventive measures during the coronavirus scare: “Until this health crisis is over, residents are encouraged to rigorously wash hands frequently with soap and water, maintain a minimum of a 6-foot social distance from others, and limit the time away from your home to only the grocery store and for medical necessities.

Coronavirus Prevention Tips

“In the meantime, residents are encouraged to learn about the disease from reputable sources and refer often to the websites of the public health officials. You will find links to these and other reputable resources below:”

  • Contra Costa County Health Services: or call the Advice Nurses at 1-877-661-6230
  • California Dept of Public Health:
  • U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:
  • World Health Organization:
  • National Geographic explains what happens to your body if attacked by coronavirus:
  • Johns Hopkins University and Medical Center Coronavirus Tracker: