As the coronavirus continues to affect our state and local area, we would like to provide our weekly update on how the virus is impacting Luthercare communities.
We do not have any active cases among residents in our three communities at this time. We will continue to complete regular rounds of testing of both residents and team members in our Healthcare Centers as necessary.
As we previously reported, the Pennsylvania Department of Health has mandated that all skilled nursing centers complete universal testing of residents and staff by July 24, 2020. This testing has been completed.
At Luther Acres in Lititz, a third round of limited employee testing was completed on July 9. Results are not yet complete, but those received have been negative for COVID-19. As previously reported, one asymptomatic positive employee was discovered during the second round of testing; that individual has recovered and is now eligible to return to work following current CDC guidelines.
Luthercare has also begun universal testing of Personal Care residents and team members. This testing began prior to a requirement from the Department of Health to complete a baseline universal test for coronavirus of all residents and staff by August 31, 2020. To date, we have completed all testing on residents and team members at Spang Crest, and all results are negative. At St. John’s Herr Estate, there are no positive cases among residents, and we received two asymptomatic positive cases among team members. The individuals are quarantining at home. At Luther Acres, with nearly 90 percent of the results received for Personal Care team members, all have been negative, and resident results are expected within the next few days.
Luthercare will provide updates as more test results are provided to us.
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, DOH, and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.
Our top priority remains the health, safety and well-being of our residents and team members. Luther Acres and St. John’s Herr Estate are taking careful steps to begin easing restrictions on a number of our Independent Living services, such as hair care and dining options. This information has been shared with residents through virtual town hall presentations, printed material and posted reminders.
In regards to visitation, guidelines for visiting Independent Living residents remain unchanged from the “Yellow Phase.” As a reminder, all visitors must check in at a screening station when they arrive to campus. There are directional signs in place to assist you. To review Luthercare’s Independent Living visitation guidelines, please visit https://bit.ly/3eIePBv.
The restrictions on visitation to our Healthcare and Personal Care Centers remain. To ensure a safe return to activities, visitation and other events for residents, the Pennsylvania Department of Health is implementing a three-step process of reopening so staff and residents can eventually safely welcome visitors and resume more normal routines. Luthercare is currently developing a re-opening plan for our Healthcare and Personal Care Centers, which includes visitation requirements, and those plans will be forthcoming.
As new coronavirus cases have begun to rise in certain parts of Pennsylvania, this week Governor Wolf announced new mitigation orders. They have little impact on the restrictions already in place at our campuses as Luthercare’s “Green Phase” guidelines are more restrictive than those in Pennsylvania’s “Green Phase.”
As the potential for exposure to the virus remains, we urge our residents, families and the greater community to continue to be vigilant. The population we serve are the most vulnerable to viruses such as COVID-19. Please continue to practice social distancing, wash your hands frequently, and wear a mask when you are in public.
Thank you to our team members for their tireless dedication and to the greater community for your ongoing support. We ask you to 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 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.