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 as it awaits the arrival of their vaccine allotment, and we are also exploring other organizations with whom we could partner for an Independent Living COVID-19 vaccination clinic. Additionally, Luthercare discussed the challenges associated with vaccinating Independent Living residents at our communities with Sen. Ryan Aument, who serves on Pennsylvania’s COVID-19 Vaccine Joint Task Force, in the hopes the state will come up with a plan to assist us.
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.
Luthercare is in the process of lifting some restrictions on visitation at Spang Crest and at the Personal Care community at Luther Acres – provided the communities continue to receive negative results from our rounds of regular testing. Visitation to all other locations and levels of care, with the exception of compassionate care visits, remains restricted. Campus grounds are closed to the outside community; this includes biking and walking on campus. Visitation for Independent Living apartments and cottages is remains restricted. If you are an essential adult (age 18+) caregiver, please contact a campus director to arrange a visit. To learn more and review our visitation guidelines, please visit the news portion of our website, www.Luthercare.org, or request a printed copy from your Executive Director or Administrator.
In the Healthcare Center, we currently have no COVID-19 cases among residents or team members. Universal testing of residents and team members continues. Employee and resident testing is occurring once a week, adhering to the regulatory standards regarding continued universal testing from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). The last positive case at the Healthcare Center occurred with a Dining Services team member, and that individual is now eligible to return to work, in accordance with CDC guidelines. As of yesterday (February 25), “Green Zones” have returned to the Healthcare Center, which will allow for the eventual return of visitation, communal dining, hair care services, and activities. Please stay tuned for additional communication on when they will resume.
In Personal Care, there are no cases among residents or team members. The third COVID-19 vaccination clinic, run by CVS Pharmacy, will take place on Sunday, March 14. Personal Care will begin welcoming visitors beginning Monday, March 1. Except for those approved for Compassionate Care visits, all visits will be limited to 30 minutes once weekly, and will take place in a designated visiting area. We ask that there be no more than two visitors and that social distancing, masking and hand-washing guidelines be followed. To schedule your visitation, please contact Alyssa Wojcik at 717-626-1171, ext. 1226, or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org
Visitation guidelines for Independent Living residents remains unchanged.
There are no known cases of COVID-19 among Independent Living residents. The date of an 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. We are also exploring other organizations with whom we could partner for an Independent Living COVID-19 vaccination clinic.
St. John’s Herr Estate
In Personal Care, there are no 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 and residents 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, was completed on Sunday, February 21. Small, socially-distanced activities have resumed for our Personal Care residents, and we anticipate being able to resume socially-distanced communal dining next week. Visitation remains restricted; however, we continue to encourage window visits when weather permits and video chats via Zoom.
In Independent Living, there are no cases of COVID-19 among residents. A vaccination clinic by Phoebe Pharmacy will be scheduled for Independent Living residents wishing to be vaccinated. The date of the clinic will be announced as soon as Phoebe Pharmacy receives confirmation of the supply ordered. We are also exploring other organizations with whom we could partner for an Independent Living COVID-19 vaccination clinic.
Thank you for your understanding and support. We ask you to continue to keep those who have lost loved ones due to COVID-19 in your thoughts and prayers.
Spang Crest currently has no cases among residents or team members. We will test all employees twice next week and then move to testing once per week, adhering to the regulatory standards regarding continued universal testing from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). We have had no new cases for the past two weeks, so residents will not be tested unless there is another positive case. The community remains in the “Green Phase” on all floors, and we resumed socially-distanced communal dining this week and will resume in-person visitation (wearing masks and socially distanced) next week.
For visitation, family members will receive a phone call from a Spang Crest team member to reserve a visitation time. Please do not call the building as we will schedule everyone in a timely fashion. Each visit is to last no more than 30 minutes, and no more than two visitors per resident are permitted, with a maximum of one session per week per resident initially. At this time, there will be no children under age 18 and no pets.
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.