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 continues to work 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 pending the reception of the vaccine as scheduled through the federal government.
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, or request a printed copy from your Executive Director or Administrator.
Today, COVID-19 vaccination clinics, run by CVS Pharmacy, were occurring for team members and residents of the Healthcare Center and our Personal Care community – another step forward in the battle against COVID-19. This marks the third vaccination clinic at the Healthcare Center and the second clinic in Personal Care. Special thanks to our residents, their families, and our staff for supporting this vital vaccination program.
In regards to testing, we are happy to report that, so far this week, all testing has returned negative. Currently, we have no COVID-positive residents in the Healthcare Center. Isolation barriers on the COVID-19 unit were removed, allowing displaced residents to return to their previous rooms. Admissions and compassionate caregiver visits have resumed. This past week, a Dining Services team member tested positive, was removed from the workplace, and will quarantine at home, in accordance with CDC guidelines.
Universal testing of Luther Acres Healthcare Center residents and team members continues. Beginning next week, employee and resident testing will occur once a week, adhering to the regulatory standards regarding continued universal testing from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).
In Personal Care, there are no cases among residents or team members. Today marks the second vaccination clinic for Personal Care, with most receiving their second dose of their two-shot series and newer residents receiving their first. The third clinic will take place on Sunday, March 14.
There are no known cases of COVID-19 among Independent Living residents. The date of the on-campus vaccination clinic for Independent Living residents will be shared as soon as Luther Acres receives confirmation from Phoebe Pharmacy that the pharmacy has received the supply ordered.
St. John’s Herr Estate
Personal Care residents and team members are scheduled to have their second on-campus COVID-19 vaccination clinic, run by CVS Pharmacy, on Sunday. The third vaccination clinic is scheduled for Sunday, March 14. Meanwhile, the date of the on-campus vaccination clinic for Independent Living residents will be shared as soon as St. John’s Herr Estate receives confirmation from Phoebe Pharmacy that the pharmacy has received the supply ordered.
There are no COVID-19 cases among campus 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.
On Thursday, Spang Crest held its third of three scheduled on-campus COVID-19 vaccination clinics, run by CVS Pharmacy. We are grateful to our team members and residents who chose to receive the immunization. We plan to schedule future vaccine clinics in March for new residents and staff who were not yet vaccinated and choose to do so.
Spang Crest currently has no cases among residents. Last week’s testing revealed one positive team member, but because the employee has no resident contact, the community is able to remain in the “Green Phase” on all floors. We continue testing twice a week for all employees and once a week for residents, adhering to the regulatory standards regarding continued universal testing from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). Hair care services and window visits continue. We anticipate being able to resume socially-distanced communal dining next week. In addition, if the “Green Phase” continues with all negative test results, Spang Crest is planning to initiate in-person visits (wearing masks and socially distanced) beginning March 5.
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.