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 seeing the success of the vaccination roll-out across our senior living communities, as we currently have no cases among residents or team members. We are also excited to announce that we have received on-campus vaccination clinic dates for our Independent Living residents. UPMC will be on-site at the Luther Acres campus on Tuesday, March 9, from 9:00 a.m. to noon to provide a COVID-19 vaccination clinic for Independent Living residents of Luther Acres and St. John’s Herr Estate. Residents will be offered the Moderna vaccine, and the second of the two clinics will occur four weeks later.
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 the Luther Acres Healthcare Center and at St. John’s Herr Estate’s Personal Care community – provided we continue to receive negative results from our rounds of regular testing. Campus grounds are closed to the outside community; this includes biking and walking on campus. Visitation for Independent Living apartments and cottages 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.
There are currently no cases of COVID-19 among campus residents or team members.
In the Healthcare Center, our reopening plan is underway. 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).
This week marked the return of hair services and safe, small-group activities to our Healthcare Center residents. The Therapeutic Recreation Team began hosting activities in their multi-purpose room, utilizing social distancing and mask protocols for all participants. The salon opened for one day this week, and in the coming week, the salon will have limited hours to provide individualized services to our residents. The Therapeutic Recreation team will be coordinating salon service delivery with residents and family members, and we expect a return to regular salon hours the week of March 15. In addition, the Holder Dining Room will begin hosting communal dining on Monday, March 15. Residents from the Green Zone will be accommodated through two seating sessions for lunch and dinner. Safe dining protocols will include table dividers and table spacing for two residents per table.
Family visitation will resume for Healthcare Center residents located in the Green Zone on Tuesday, March 9. Visitation times will be scheduled for mid-morning and mid-afternoon sessions and will be limited to half-hour sessions with no more than two family members per visit. All visits will take place in a designated indoor visiting area. Visitors will be screened and asked to observe social distancing, mask-wearing, and hand-washing guidelines. Initially, family members will be limited to one in-person visit per week, until all eligible families have been given an opportunity to visit. All visitation will be scheduled by our Therapeutic Recreation Department; please contact Mary Schreiber at 717.626.1171, ext. 1541, or email her at email@example.com.
In Personal Care, the third COVID-19 vaccination clinic, run by CVS Pharmacy, will take place on Sunday, March 14. Visitation in Personal Care has resumed and can be scheduled through Activity Coordinator Alyssa Wojcik at 717-626-1171, ext. 1226, or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Communal dining and activities also have resumed for residents, within the guidelines established by the Department of Human Services and Department of Health.
Visitation guidelines for Independent Living residents remains unchanged.
For Independent Living residents, UPMC will be on campus on Tuesday, March 9, from 9:00 a.m. to noon to provide a COVID-19 vaccination clinic. Residents will be offered the Moderna vaccine, and the second of the two clinics will occur four weeks later.
Lastly, the campus Wellness Center will open to residents next week on a limited basis. In order to use the facility, residents must contact Wellness Program Manager Beth Bucher in advance to schedule their date and time for working out or swimming.
St. John’s Herr Estate
There are no cases of COVID-19 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 and Personal Care residents are tested at least every 30 days for the virus.
We are in process of lifting some restrictions on visitation to our Personal Care community. We want to ensure that residents can safely welcome visitors and resume somewhat more normal routines. Visitation in designated areas can begin on Monday, March 15.
All visitors will be required to go through a pre-screening process, including a temperature check and questionnaire completion. All visitors, who will receive a green visitor sticker, are required to wear protective face masks and sanitize their hands before and after each visit.
Personal Care visiting hours will be held:
Monday-Friday: 10:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.; 1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.; and 6:00 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday: 9:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.
Visitation is not permitted during meal time. Visitors must call ahead and make a time reservation by calling 717.449.5996. No standing appointments. Each visit is to last no more than 30 minutes. Disinfecting and sanitizing the visitor area will occur after each visit.
Visits will be scheduled in the Personal Care Lounge. Visual barriers between visitor(s) and resident will be strategically placed to separate space. No more than two visitors per resident are permitted. The room can accommodate two residents with two visitors at one time for social distancing. No more than two visitors per session are permitted, with a maximum of two sessions per week per resident initially. Window visits are permitted and encouraged. Visits will be prioritized on a first come, first served basis.
Outdoor visitation will be recommended whenever possible, as weather permits. Outdoor visits will be scheduled on the patio opposite the Rotunda. Patio tables and chairs will be set-up in advance of each visit to maintain the six-foot distance between resident and visitor(s). The staff will monitor the visitation areas throughout the visiting hours in order to allow cleaning time in between visits.
For Independent Living residents, a COVID-19 vaccination clinic will occur next week. Provided by UPMC, the clinic will be held on the Luther Acres campus on Tuesday, March 9, from 9:00 a.m. to noon. Transportation will be provided. Residents will be offered the Moderna vaccine, and the second of the two clinics will occur four weeks later.
Spang Crest continues to have no cases among residents or team members. Employees were tested on Monday, with all negative results, and are being tested again today. We will move forward with testing once a week beginning next week, adhering to the regulatory standards regarding continued universal testing from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).
This week, we resumed in-person visitation (wearing masks and socially distanced), which went very well. We continued our socially-distanced communal dining and hair care services. In addition, the Activities Department has initiated small group activities with social distancing and mask-wearing.
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.