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 happy to announce that we have partnered with Phoebe Pharmacy to offer a COVID-19 vaccination clinic to 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. Please read campus updates below for more detailed information regarding this process.
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 is 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, one resident tested positive and was moved to our COVID-19 unit for care and treatment under transmission-based precautions. We are saddened to report that one resident who was receiving care in our COVID-19 unit passed away this week, and our thoughts and prayers go out to the resident’s family members and friends. Late this week, 10 residents who had been receiving care on our COVID-19 unit successfully transferred off the unit and have returned to their previous levels of care, where they will continue their rehabilitation and recovery. The unit is currently providing care to two residents. In regards to staff testing, we had two team members test positive since our last update. They are in quarantine and will return to work after meeting CDC guidelines. In addition, we welcomed back three team members who have recovered and returned to the workplace. The Healthcare Center is adhering to the regulatory standards regarding continued universal testing from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). The Lancaster County positivity rate remains at a level Red, or high community spread. We will continue regular communication to all resident responsible parties to provide personal updates regarding their loved ones.
In Personal Care, there are no cases among residents or team members. All three floors are now 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.
There are no known cases of COVID-19 among Independent Living residents. In vaccination news, Luther Acres is partnering with Phoebe Pharmacy to provide an on-site vaccination clinic for Independent Living residents by the end of February. As soon as the pharmacy confirms it has the vaccine, the date will be communicated to residents. Residents will be receiving the Moderna vaccine. Those who wish to receive the vaccine must complete and return resident consent forms by Monday, February 15. The forms are located at the Muhlenberg and Luther Townhome reception desks and available on Luthercare’s website. Once the forms are completed, please return them to our Support Service Staff, and they will assist you with making copies of your insurance cards. You will then be added to our waiting list, and we will notify you once the clinic date and time is confirmed. Those who receive the vaccine must still follow precautions, including proper hand washing, wearing a mask, and physical distancing.
St. John’s Herr Estate
This past Sunday, 28 Personal Care residents and 21 team members participated in the first COVID-19 vaccination clinic on campus. Thank you to all team members, residents and family members for your support in choosing to participate in this round of vaccinations. The second COVID-19 vaccination clinic for Personal Care residents is scheduled for Sunday, February 21.
St. John’s Herr Estate Independent Living residents will be eligible to participate in an on-site vaccination clinic by the end of February. Phoebe Pharmacy will be providing the clinic, and the date will be communicated to residents once the pharmacy confirms it has the vaccine. Residents will be receiving the Moderna vaccine. Those who wish to receive the vaccine must complete and return resident consent forms by Friday, February 12. The forms have been distributed, and are also available on Luthercare’s website. Once the forms are completed, please return them to Becky Stauffer, and she will assist you with making copies of your insurance cards. You will then be added to our waiting list and receive a time, and we will notify you once the clinic date is confirmed. Those who receive the vaccine must still follow precautions, including proper hand washing, wearing a mask, and physical distancing.
There are no cases of coronavirus among Personal Care residents, Independent Living residents, or team members. Personal Care residents and campus staff continue to undergo universal testing, with staff receiving weekly tests and residents receiving monthly tests unless otherwise recommended. 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.
Among Independent Living residents, we are saddened to report that one resident has passed away from COVID-19 complications, and we ask you to keep the individual’s family members and friends in your thoughts and prayers. One resident continues to receive rehabilitation services
Following routine testing last week and rapid testing on Monday, Spang Crest currently has no cases among residents or team members. The two residents who had been in our COVID-19 isolation unit last week have been discharged to their previous level of care, and the unit has been closed. All residents and staff are being tested again today, and if those tests are negative, all floors will move to the “Green Phase” on Monday. Currently, first floor and Personal Care are in that phase, enabling window visits through glass and receiving beautician services. If the second and third floors are able to enter the “Green Phase” next week, beautician services will be initiated, and we will begin discussion of resuming visitation and communal dining.
Treatment measures remain 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). Testing is taking place twice a week due to the Lebanon County positivity rate, which is at a level Red, or high community spread. 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
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.