As the coronavirus continues to affect our state and local area, we would like to provide our weekly update on how the virus is impacting Luthercare communities.
We will continue to complete regular rounds of testing of both residents and team members as necessary and provide updates as more test results are received. We are dedicated to ensuring that our residents can safely welcome visitors and begin to resume more normal routines, while also implementing careful measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
Last week, a Luthercare administrative team member tested positive for COVID-19. Due to potential exposure, Luthercare made the decision to temporarily close The Welcome Center and Administrative Offices located on the Luther Acres campus. The offices were deep cleaned and sanitized, and administrative team members were tested based on contact tracing and have been quarantining at home this week. All test results have been received, with two testing positive and all others negative. The positive individuals will continue to quarantine. The Welcome Center and the Administrative Offices will re-open on Monday, October 5.
This past Saturday, several residents at St. John’s Herr Estate and Luther Acres joined Team Luthercare for the Lancaster Walk to End Alzheimer’s. This year, the walk had a new format, with the large in-person gathering being replaced with individual or small group walks while social distancing and following proper precautions. Residents walked around their campuses, and Luthercare team members were encouraged to walk on their own with family that day. It was wonderful to support the Alzheimer’s Association’s annual event, which raises awareness and funds to fight Alzheimer’s disease.
We thank our team members for their continued diligence in providing excellent care and support to our residents. Luthercare is not relaxing its intensive mitigation efforts, and in fact, we are preparing for the potential of another wave of the coronavirus coupled with the approaching flu season. Continued efforts are underway to replenish and build reserve capacity in personal protective equipment (PPE), as well as other infection control related supplies. Our top priority remains the health, safety and well-being of our residents and team members.
Luthercare is adhering to the CDC’s Infection Prevention and Control Recommendations for Patients with Suspected or Confirmed Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) in Healthcare Settings. We are working closely with our medical director and following the guidelines of the Centers for Disease Control, Pennsylvania Department of Health and Department of Human Services, and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.
We encourage families and residents to communicate regularly through phone calls, texts, video chat, and other virtual means. We have team members who can help walk you through the process. If you need assistance, please reach out to the Executive Director at your campus. They are: Luther Acres Executive Director Craig Shelly, 717.626.1171; St. John’s Herr Estate Executive Director Anita Martin, 717.684.0678; and Spang Crest Executive Director Dan Deitzel, 717.274.1495.
As the potential for exposure to the virus remains, we urge our residents, families and the greater community to continue to be vigilant. The population we serve are the most vulnerable to viruses such as COVID-19. Please continue to practice social distancing, wash your hands frequently, and wear a mask when you are in public.
Thank you to our team members for their tireless dedication and to the greater community for your ongoing support. We ask you to continue to keep Luthercare in your thoughts and prayers.
Please read below for our individual community updates.
At this time, we have one Healthcare Center resident who tested positive for COVID-19; the individual is asymptomatic and doing well. Healthcare Center staff are adhering to the regulatory standards regarding continued universal testing from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS). Weekly universal testing of residents and team members continues, and our reopening remains on hold. Treatment measures have been put into place to minimize risk throughout the building, and family visitation has been suspended, per Pennsylvania Department of Health guidelines. We will continue to provide regular communication to all resident responsible parties to provide more personal updates regarding their loved ones and our reopening status. We are grateful to our residents and their families who continue to be patient, supportive and understanding through this challenging time.
As always, we encourage you to communicate regularly with your loved ones through phone calls, Skype or Zoom sessions, FaceTime, and other virtual means. We have team members who can assist you, so please reach out to our Therapeutic Recreation Department to arrange a virtual visit.
Visitation guidelines for both Personal Care and Independent Living residents remain unchanged.
St. John’s Herr Estate
There are no cases of coronavirus among residents or team members at St. John’s Herr Estate.
St. John’s Herr Estate team members are also adhering to the new regulatory standards (9/18/20) from the Department of Human Services regarding continued universal testing. All team members were tested on Monday, September 28. A few results are still pending, but those received have been negative.
Monitored visitation within the Personal Care community continues to go well. All visitors must call ahead to reserve a visitation time by calling 717.684.0678, ext. 118. We thank our families for their patience and understanding, and we ask you to continue to follow all proper precautions when visiting. As always, we are happy to help arrange virtual means so you can communicate regularly with your loved ones. We have team members who can assist you, so please reach out to our Chaplain to arrange a virtual visit. Thank you for your understanding and support!
Visitation guidelines for Independent Living residents remain unchanged. We continue to encourage everyone to be cautious when outside of our community. Continue with social distancing and practice good handwashing.
There are no cases of coronavirus among residents or team members at Spang Crest.
This week, five team members were tested after displaying COVID-like symptoms. We are awaiting test results from two team members; the other three returned negative. We have no cases among residents; however, out of an abundance of caution and following the guidance of our medical director, measures remain in place to minimize risk throughout the building, including suspending visitation as we await test results. We ask for your patience and understanding as we manage this process.
Spang Crest team members are adhering to the regulatory standards regarding continued universal testing from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) and underwent a round of testing today.
As always, we are happy to help arrange phone calls, Skype or Zoom sessions, FaceTime, and other virtual means so you can communicate regularly with your loved ones. We have team members who can assist you, so please reach out to our Activities Department or your social worker to arrange a virtual visit. Thank you for your understanding and support!
Founded in 1949, Luthercare, a social ministry organization affiliated with the Lower Susquehanna Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and a member of Lutheran Services in America, is a leading provider of independent, personal care and skilled care residences in Lancaster and Lebanon counties. Luthercare operates Luther Acres, a Continuing Care Retirement Community in Lititz, Pa.; Spang Crest, a rehabilitation center, skilled nursing and memory support personal care community in Lebanon, Pa.; and St. John’s Herr Estate, an independent living and personal care community in Columbia, Pa. Additionally, Luthercare operates PA Keystone Stars-accredited child care and early learning centers in Marietta, Reamstown and Annville. Luthercare, a pioneer in Child Care Programs, also offers a Mentoring Program, which aids home-based child care providers in Lebanon and Lancaster counties.