David Swartley COVID Update #14
TO: Residents and Staff
FROM: David Swartley, President/CEO
DATE: May 22, 2020
RE: Coronavirus (COVID-19) – Update #14
Since my last update, there have been no residents or additional employees who have tested positive for COVID-19.
In my last update, I shared that Moravian Manor Communities was contacted by the Pennsylvania Department of Health (DOH) regarding a visit to discuss infection control protocols. On Saturday, May 16, three employees from the Center for Disease Control (CDC) arrived and spent four hours working with our team to discuss “what has been successful” and “what has not been successful.” The CDC personnel were requested by DOH to assist their team as they figure out how to best support long-term care facilities. Our team was privileged to participate and kudos to them for being selected! Indeed, our team’s efforts deserve accolades; however, we also realize that when dealing with a pandemic, it is best to stay very humble as one is never sure what is “lurking around the corner.”
On Wednesday morning, May 20, our COVID-19 Task Force spent two hours discussing reopening implications. Lancaster County moved to the “Yellow Phase” on Friday, May 15. The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania does not support this act. Moravian Manor Communities will continue to abide by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania’s “Stay At Home” order. We are cautiously optimistic that on Friday, June 5, Lancaster County will move to the yellow phase.
I recognize the restlessness that continues to build as we are in the social isolation orders. The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania issues all of our licensures; it is clear whose guidance we will follow.
Our Task Force reviewed a list of well over 20 items related to our residential living population. Some of the ones on the list that our team has heard most frequently are regarding the woodshop, train room, garden, and many other questions.
While these areas will remain closed in the short-term, they will be open for residents to use once we move to the Yellow Phase.
Lively conversation surrounded some of the services that we complete for our residents. Our team decided that we would begin to offer housekeeping services and non-essential maintenance services to our residential living residents. These service offerings are contingent upon residents wearing masks and practicing social distancing when staff is in your home. Also we will honor and recognize any resident who would rather our team not enter their home for non-essential services. We also decided that flower delivery for residential living residents is permitted to resume. All flower deliveries for Garden Court Residents and Woods Apartment Residents will be at the main entrance of the buildings. Delivery folks will not be permitted to take the flowers directly to your apartments in those areas.
These changes outlined in the above paragraph are effective on Tuesday, May 26. We will address further changes as Lancaster County moves closer to the “Green Phase.”
Our COVID-19 Task Force also has another subcommittee working on the Skilled Care, Assisted Living, and Personal Care areas. Paramount in their discussions is safe visitation. As the weeks continue to build, the social isolation of residents in our care areas is of significant concern and attention.
We are also processing the latest guidance from DOH asking recommending that 20 percent of residents and staff in the skilled nursing area be tested for COVID-19 every week. Our team is supportive of this testing strategy. However, there is much work to be done regarding personnel policies, as well as balancing resident rights with regulatory guidance.
We are planning to implement this testing strategy next week, or the first full week of June.
I shared during our resident ZOOM meeting earlier today that our staff initiated thank you notes and posters. Your appreciation of their efforts, along with the monetary gift, was much appreciated. I extend our Management Team’s appreciation to the Resident Association Leadership for suggesting this idea. Also, thank you to the many residents who were able to support the initiative. I believe it is a sign of a very healthy community.
Be patient, stay well, and hang in there one day at a time.