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 as necessary and provide updates as more test results are received. We are dedicated to ensuring that our residents can safely welcome visitors and begin to resume more normal routines, while also implementing careful measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
We thank our team members for their continued diligence in providing excellent care and support to our residents. Luthercare is not relaxing its intensive mitigation efforts, and in fact, we are preparing for the potential of another wave of the coronavirus coupled with the approaching flu season. Continued efforts are underway to replenish and build reserve capacity in personal protective equipment (PPE), as well as other infection control related supplies. Our top priority remains the health, safety and well-being of our residents and team members.
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 Centers for Disease Control, Pennsylvania Department of Health and Department of Human Services, and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.
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.
Please read below for our individual community updates.
There are no cases of coronavirus among residents at Luther Acres. However, we received notification today that two Healthcare Center team members tested positive following the most recent round of universal testing on Wednesday, September 16. We will now begin universal testing of all skilled nursing residents. Treatment measures were put in place to minimize risk throughout the building and family visitation has been suspended, per Pennsylvania Department of Health guidelines. We will continue to provide regular communication to all resident responsible parties to provide more personal updates regarding their loved ones and our reopening status. We are grateful to our residents and their families who continue to be patient, supportive and understanding through this challenging time.
As always, we encourage you to communicate regularly with your loved ones through phone calls, Skype or Zoom sessions, FaceTime, and other virtual means. We have team members who can assist you, so please reach out to our Therapeutic Recreaction Department to arrange a virtual visit.
The Healthcare Center staff are adhering to the new regulatory standards regarding continued universal testing. Team members are being tested based on the positivity rate in Lancaster County, and this rate is posted twice a month on the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) website. The current positivity rate is 5.3%, requiring all team members to be tested weekly.
Visitation guidelines for both Personal Care and Independent Living residents remain unchanged.
St. John’s Herr Estate
There are no cases of coronavirus among residents or team members at St. John’s Herr Estate.
Visitation within the Personal Care community continues to go well. All visitors must call ahead to reserve a visitation time by calling 717.684.0678, ext. 118. We thank our families for their patience and understanding, and we ask you to continue to follow all proper precautions when visiting.
Visitation guidelines for Independent Living residents remain unchanged.
There are no cases of coronavirus among residents or team members at Spang Crest.
In recent days, we have had to suspend in-person visitation on several occasions after receiving reports of four team members and a resident with COVID-like symptoms. We are awaiting test results from two team members; the other tests have returned negative. However, out of an abundance of caution and following the guidance of our medical director, measures were put in place to minimize risk throughout the building including suspending visitation as we awaited test results. We know how trying and exhausting these last six months have been, and we hope you will understand that from time to time, in-person visitation will be suspended without warning as we work to reduce the spread of COVID-19. As all visitations are pre-arranged, we will make every effort to contact you if this occurs. We ask for your understanding as we manage this process.
Spang Crest team members are also adhering to the new regulatory standards regarding continued universal testing. Team members will be tested based on the positivity rate in Lebanon County, and this rate is posted twice a month on the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) website. The current positivity rate is 3.8%, requiring all team members to be tested monthly. This month’s testing is scheduled for September 22. Results of the testing will be shared via our One Call phone system and future website and social media updates.
As always, we are happy to help arrange phone calls, Skype or Zoom sessions, FaceTime, and other virtual means so you can communicate regularly with your loved ones. We have team members who can assist you, so please reach out to our Activities Department or your social worker to arrange a virtual visit. Thank you for your understanding and support!
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.