As the outbreak of COVID-19 continues to unfold across Pennsylvania and the counties we serve, Lancaster and Lebanon, be assured that our top priority remains the health, safety and well-being of our residents and team members. Luthercare staff are working tirelessly to mitigate the spread of this virus.
We thank our residents and their families for their continued support and patience as we navigate through this challenging time. As Lancaster and Lebanon counties take steps to re-open in coming days, Luthercare will continue to keep all aggressive infection control protocols and social distancing measures in place for the foreseeable future. We will continue to follow guidelines from the state Department of Health, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.
We would like to provide a broader look at the impact COVID-19 is having on nursing homes and personal care homes in our region. According to the state Department of Health, to date, there are 32 nursing homes and personal care homes in Lancaster County with 546 cases among residents, 144 cases among employees, and 147 deaths. In Lebanon County, there are four facilities with 67 cases among residents, 12 cases among employees, and 11 deaths.
At Luthercare, our teams continue to work on the frontlines of this virus.
The impact of COVID-19 at Luther Acres Healthcare Center in Lititz is that 43 residents have tested positive or are presumed positive, 28 have passed away and 9 have recovered. It is important to note that presumed cases are based on consultation with the resident’s physician and our medical director. If we learn, following testing, that any presumed case was in fact negative, our numbers will be revised.
We have had 32 Healthcare Center employees test positive; 16 have been cleared to return to work, following current CDC guidelines.
As we previously reported, one Independent Living resident at Luther Acres was self-quarantining after a positive diagnosis, and that person has since recovered. There are no cases in Personal Care.
At St. John’s Herr Estate in Columbia, five Personal Care residents have tested positive; two have passed away and one has recovered. There are no cases among staff members.
We have no cases of COVID-19 at our Spang Crest community in Lebanon.
The coronavirus affects the elderly and those with pre-existing medical conditions more severely than any other age group. We ask you to pray for recovery for those who have been infected by this virus.
Luthercare will continue to be open and transparent with our residents, team members and the greater community. Doing so is consistent with our mission, To reflect Christ’s love through service to others, and with our core values: integrity, compassion, teamwork, connection and learning. At the same time, our organization will continue to protect our residents’ privacy and personal health information as required under HIPAA regulations.
We continue to adhere to strict protocols and continue taking aggressive measures to protect our communities from exposure to COVID-19. Luthercare is adhering to the CDC’s Infection Prevention and Control Recommendations for Patients with Suspected or Confirmed Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) in Healthcare Settings. We are working closely with our medical director and following the guidelines of the CDC, the Pennsylvania Department of Health, and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. Our Luther Acres Healthcare Center leadership team continues to have regular communications with representatives from the state Department of Health and their infection control consultants, ECRI. Shipments of personal protective equipment, especially gowns, are arriving on a regular basis. We would also like to express our gratitude for volunteers who have created new, washable and reusable isolation gowns for staff use.
As a reminder, visitors continue to be restricted to all campuses, and we have posted signs at entrances to remind the public not to visit or use the communities for recreation. 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. If you need assistance, please reach out to the Executive Director or Administrator at your campus. They can be reached at Luther Acres, 717.626.1171; at St. John’s Herr Estate, 717.684.0678; and at Spang Crest, 717.274.1495.
Once again, we thank you for your support and understanding during this challenging time. Please continue to keep Luthercare in your thoughts and prayers.
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 four PA Keystone Stars-accredited child care and early learning centers in Lancaster, 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.