We would like to provide an update on how COVID-19 is impacting Luthercare communities and remind you of the importance of remaining diligent in mitigating the spread of the virus.
Luthercare is working with Phoebe Pharmacy to confirm dates of COVID-19 vaccination clinics for our Independent Living residents at St. John’s Herr Estate and Luther Acres. The clinics are expected to be held by the end of the month, pending the reception of the vaccine as scheduled through the federal government. Resident consent forms must be completed and returned.
The combination of getting vaccinated and following the CDC’s recommendations for personal safety offer the best protection from COVID-19. It is important to note that personal mitigation efforts, such as proper hand washing, wearing a mask, and physical distancing, must continue to occur even after getting the vaccine.
As a reminder to our residents, mask wearing is required when leaving apartments or cottages, when picking up meals, when going to the store, or anytime you may come into contact with others. This continues to be a critical time, and we ask you to continue to practice these precautions to keep yourself, your neighbors, your friends, and your loved ones healthy and safe.
Visitation to Luthercare communities remains restricted. 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 also 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 the news portion of our website, www.Luthercare.org, or request a printed copy from your Executive Director or Administrator.
Universal testing of Luther Acres Healthcare Center residents and team members continues, with employee testing occurring twice a week and resident testing once a week. Since our last update, the Healthcare Center has not seen any new positive COVID cases among residents or team members, and it has been 10 days since our last positive case (February 2). We look forward to resuming admissions and compassionate care visits next week. In the meantime, our administrative team will continue to work with our residents, families, and employees in providing information and access to COVID-19 vaccinations. The third of our three scheduled vaccination clinics, run by CVS Pharmacy for Healthcare Center residents and team members, will occur next Friday, February 19.
While most residents and team members have received their two-shot series, those who have had only one dose will receive their second vaccine. After the CVS-operated clinics are completed, Phoebe Pharmacy will continue to vaccinate residents and team members moving forward.
The Healthcare Center’s COVID-19 unit is currently providing care to two residents, and the residents who transitioned off the unit last week continue to rehabilitate and progress in their recovery. This week, we welcomed back two team members who had tested positive, quarantined, and returned to the workplace after meeting CDC guidelines. The Healthcare Center is adhering to the regulatory standards regarding continued universal testing from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).
In Personal Care, there have been no cases among residents or team members. All three floors are in the “Green Phase,” with residents engaged in limited activities, physically distanced dining in the dining rooms, and receiving salon services as permitted by the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services. Weekly testing of team members continues, and residents who have outside contacts are included in the weekly testing as well. The second COVID-19 vaccination clinic for Personal Care residents is scheduled for Friday, February 19. Most will receive the second dose of their two-shot series at that time, with newer residents receiving their first.
There are no known cases of COVID-19 among Independent Living residents. An on-site vaccination clinic for Independent Living residents has been scheduled, and the date of the clinic will be released as soon as Phoebe Pharmacy receives confirmation of the supply ordered. In the meantime, Luther Acres requests that all residents who wish to be vaccinated turn in their consent forms to the Muhlenberg or Luther Townhome reception desks no later than Monday, February 15. The forms are located at the Muhlenberg and Luther Townhome reception desks and available on Luthercare’s website. Those who receive the vaccine must still follow precautions, including proper hand washing, wearing a mask, and physical distancing.
St. John’s Herr Estate
In Personal Care, there have been no new cases of COVID-19 among residents or team members. 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. Currently, team members are tested at least every 30 days for the virus. The second on-campus COVID-19 vaccination clinic, run by CVS Pharmacy for Personal Care residents and team members, is scheduled for Sunday, February 21.
In Independent Living, there are no cases of COVID-19 among residents. A vaccination clinic has been tentatively scheduled for Independent Living residents wishing to be vaccinated, and the date of the clinic will be announced as soon as Phoebe Pharmacy receives confirmation of the supply ordered.
Please continue to keep those who have lost loved ones due to COVID-19 in your thoughts and prayers.
Spang Crest has no cases among residents or team members, and weekly testing was performed today. We are adhering to the regulatory standards regarding continued universal testing from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). All floors have moved to the “Green Phase,” and residents are enjoying hair care services again. Window visits through glass have resumed, with each floor assigned a designated day. If today’s tests return negative, socially-distanced communal dining can begin next week. In addition, if the “Green Phase” continues next week, Spang Crest will initiate in-person visits (wearing masks and socially distanced) the week of February 22.
Our third of three scheduled COVID-19 vaccination clinics, run by CVS Pharmacy, is set for Thursday, February 18. While most residents and team members have received their two-shot series, those who received only one dose will receive their second vaccine. We will schedule future vaccine clinics in March for new residents and staff members who were not yet vaccinated and choose to do so.
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
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.