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 have been received, and all team members were negative for COVID-19.
Luthercare has also begun universal testing of Personal Care residents and team members. This testing is a requirement of the Department of Health and Department of Human Services and must be completed by August 31, 2020. To date, we have completed all testing on residents and team members at Luther Acres and Spang Crest, and all results are negative. At St. John’s Herr Estate, resident testing was completed on Monday, July 20, and results are pending. Among team members, one additional employee tested positive and is asymptomatic; the individual is quarantining at home.
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.
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; and Spang Crest Executive Director Dan Deitzel, 717.274.1495.
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.