Luthercare continues to see success from COVID-19 vaccinations in our communities, with fewer cases among our residents and team members. We currently have no cases of COVID-19 at our campuses. Spang Crest reopened its third floor today, following a quarantine period. Outdoor visitation at Spang Crest will resume next week, and Personal Care will begin regular in-room visitation next week.
Luthercare would also like to announce a new policy on mask-wearing that will go into effect next week for Independent Living residents at Luther Acres and St. John’s Herr Estate.
On May 13, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released the following announcement:
“Fully vaccinated people can resume activities without wearing a mask or physically distancing, except where required by federal, state, local, tribal, or territorial laws, rules, and regulations, including local businesses and workplace guidance.”
Shortly after the CDC released their announcement, the Pennsylvania Department of Health (DOH) followed with an announcement recognizing and adopting the new CDC guidelines. While guidelines from Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services and the PA DOH pertaining to Personal Care and Skilled Nursing residents have not changed to reflect the new guidelines, Luther Acres and St. John’s Herr Estate will be adopting the CDC guidelines for cottage and apartment residents and their visitors. Beginning Monday, May 24, it will no longer be necessary for fully vaccinated Independent Living residents or their visitors to mask or physically distance when in common areas, on-campus restaurants, or wellness/fitness centers. Residents and visitors need to wear masks while in licensed areas of campuses (Personal Care, Healthcare Center, and Salons). Luthercare team members, regardless of the area in which they are working, will remain masked, unless in a team meeting where all members are fully vaccinated.
Please remember that “fully vaccinated” is defined as two-weeks after a person’s second dose in a two-dose series or two-weeks after a single dose vaccine. Any cottage or apartment resident or their visitor(s) who does not meet the definition of being “fully vaccinated” is required to continue to mask and physically distance. When outdoors, neither vaccinated nor unvaccinated residents are required to mask. Staff members do not need to mask when outdoors but will continue to wear masks indoors.
Luthercare encourages residents to adopt safety practices based on their level of comfort with current guidelines, and we expect residents and visitors to be respectful of one another’s personal choices in deciding when and where to wear a mask. This new guidance will go into effect at Luthercare communities on Monday, May 24.
Luthercare continues to urge our residents, team members, and the greater community to receive the vaccine when possible and to remain diligent in mitigating the spread of the virus by following COVID-19 health and safety protocols. The combination of getting vaccinated and following the CDC’s recommendations for personal safety offer the best protection from COVID-19.
Luthercare, in partnership with Phoebe Pharmacy, is continuing to hold regular on-site vaccination clinics for new residents and newly hired team members, as well as current residents and staff now wishing to be inoculated. Our next scheduled clinic at Luther Acres is set for Thursday, June 3.
If you have questions about vaccination schedules, visitation or the reopening status of your loved one’s community, please contact the Executive Director of that 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.