Executive Director: Weekly COVID-19 Update June 5, 2020

Dear Residents, Families and Employees:

As you know, the southeastern region of Pennsylvania should be in the “yellow” phase effective June 5, 2020, although we are not clear if the city of Philadelphia is proceeding to yellow and are awaiting the mayor’s final comment.    The yellow phase does not have the same meaning for our Health Center and Personal Care unit, however.  In fact, the Pennsylvania Department of Health posted a memo on June 2, entitled Restrictions to Protect Residents in Skilled Nursing Care Facilities Temporarily Remain in Place in Counties in the Green Phase of the Governor’s Process to Reopen Pennsylvania.  In this memo we are advised that as counties enter the “green phase” of the Governor’s plan “congregate care restrictions remain in place”.  It goes on to say that those restrictions will remain in effect for at least 28 more days after the beginning of the green phase in those counties.  They promise to “issue” guidance that amends the restrictions currently in place, but offer no timeline as to when that will occur. 

At this time, we continue to have no COVID-19 positive residents being treated, or new cases that tested positive since my May 22 memo.  We have had one new employee case that has tested positive, and they are home recuperating.  We continue to be vigilant and thoughtful about the precautionary process.  On June 8 we will introduce a new screening tool for all who enter that will ask questions related to targeted symptoms. 

I am happy to share that there is some good news for all of our residents, and that is we are going to begin some small group activities beginning Monday, June 15.  Groups will be limited to a maximum of six (6) residents, will be held in lounges, the game room, Wesley Hall, etc.  We will also begin to utilize the courtyard, weather permitting, for activities.  To date, we have been escorting personal care and health center residents, individually, to the courtyard.  With the change to small group programs, we will be able to share that time with more groups.   FaceTime and Zoom visits will continue to keep residents and families connected.

Residents must wear a face mask or some face covering that will cover the nose and mouth area, at all times in public, and practice social distancing of six feet (6’) distance from each other.  Staff will begin marking areas for group programs to designate the social distancing space.

For independent living residents, ONLY, the following ease on restrictions will take effect Monday, June 15:

  • Sunday Services will resume (June 14), no communion
    • Wednesday evening services are anticipated to resume in the Fall
  • Exercise groups with Lisa; the Fitness Room will not be open yet
  • Transportation will resume for appointments
  • Activities will have limited trips for food shopping and the Dollar Store (limited seating on the vehicles)
    • Banks will be included when more information is available regarding opening and hours
  • Residents may leave the community to run errands
    • All residents must enter through the main entrance and be screened on return to the community
    • The entrances to M and P buildings will remained locked; keys will not work in these doors so entrance must be through the main entrance
  • No social group visits/congregating in the main lobby
  • Home Health, Physician Specialists, and similar healthcare providers will be permitted to come to the community, as well (effective June 8)

The Fireside Dining Room, as well as Health Center and Personal Care dining rooms will not re-open until the Governor allows indoor dining in all restaurants. 

While I wish I had all positive news, there are little signs of brightness, hope and moving forward.  We need to be thoughtful about our process and remain very thankful to all of you for your support, your patience and your thoughtfulness.  Feel secure in knowing that our staff is here each day, and they continue to care for and support everyone here.  As we move through the yellow phase, we hope you will stay safe and well. 

Please do not hesitate to contact us with your questions or concerns. 

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