As the greater community grapples with a fall surge in coronavirus cases, we would like to provide our weekly update on how the coronavirus is impacting Luthercare communities. We urge our residents, families and team members to continue to be diligent in mitigating the spread of the virus. The next few months of the pandemic will be difficult, and we need to continue to practice prevention.
In response to this critical time, visitation to Luthercare communities has been restricted – effective today, November 20. Visitors are not permitted in Healthcare or Personal Care, with the exception of compassionate care visits. Campus grounds are closed to the outside community; this includes biking and walking on campus. Visitation for Independent Living apartments and cottages is restricted at this time. If you are an essential adult (age 18+) caregiver, please contact a campus director to arrange a visit. To learn more and review our updated visitation guidelines, please visit https://bit.ly/36PfOy2.
There are no cases of coronavirus among residents and team members at the Luther Acres Healthcare Center. We are adhering to the regulatory standards regarding continued universal testing from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). We will continue regular communication to all resident responsible parties to provide more personal updates regarding their loved ones.
In Personal Care, there are no cases of coronavirus among residents or team members. There are no additional cases among dining team members in the Muhlenberg Building.
Since our last update, two additional Independent Living residents have tested positive; one each in the Luther Townhome apartments and Muhlenberg Apartments. They are currently receiving treatment in the hospital. With deep sadness, we report that a third independent living resident who was receiving hospital treatment passed away this morning. Please join us in prayer for the resident’s loved ones as they grieve during this difficult time.
St. John’s Herr Estate
There are no cases of coronavirus among residents or team members at St. John’s Herr Estate. We are adhering to the regulatory standards from the Department of Human Services regarding continued universal testing based on the positivity rate within the county.
There are no cases of coronavirus among residents. One team member tested positive following last week’s round of universal testing; a second team member had tested positive the previous week. Treatment measures were put in place to minimize risk throughout the building. We are adhering to the regulatory standards regarding continued universal testing from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). We will continue regular communication to all resident responsible parties to provide more personal updates regarding their loved ones.
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
Spang Crest Executive Director Dan Deitzel, 717.274.1495
With the increased number of positive cases of COVID-19 in the greater community, Luthercare has made the decision to once again tighten our COVID-19 protocols, limit the use of amenities and delay re-openings until after the holiday season. We are taking these actions to help ensure the health and safety of our residents, team members and families.
This week, the Pennsylvania Department of Health this week issued new targeted efforts to slow the spread of COVID-19. The new guidance includes a strengthened mask mandate and a new order for those traveling to Pennsylvania from other states. Details are below.
A Strengthened Mask Order – The highlights of the order, provided by the state are:
• Masks are required to be worn indoors and outdoors if you are away from your home.
• When outdoors, a mask must be worn if you are not able to remain physically distant (at least 6 feet away) from someone not in your household the entire time you are outdoors.
• When indoors, masks will now be required even if you are physically distant from members not in your household. This means that even if you are able to be 6 feet apart, you will need to wear a mask while inside if with people other than members of your household.
• This order applies to every indoor facility, including homes, retail establishments, gyms, doctors’ offices, public transportation, and anywhere food is prepared, packaged or served.
Traveling to Pennsylvania – Previously, guidelines called for a 14-day quarantine after traveling from “hot spot” states. They have been replaced with a new order, “requiring anyone who visits from another state to have a negative COVID-19 test within 72 hours prior to entering the commonwealth. If someone cannot get a test or chooses not to, they must quarantine for 14 days upon arrival in Pennsylvania. Pennsylvanians visiting other states are required to have a negative COVID-19 test within 72 hours prior to their return to the commonwealth or to quarantine for 14 days upon return to Pennsylvania. This order takes effect today, November 20, and does not apply to people who commute to and from another state for work or medical treatment.”
Thank you for your understanding and support as we navigate these changes and new guidelines. We realize that this will be challenging and a source of frustration during the holidays. Please remember this is only temporary, and we will get through this together by keeping each other safe and protecting the most vulnerable.
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.