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David Swartley COVID Update #5

TO: Residents and Staff
FROM: David Swartley, President/CEO
DATE: March 27, 2020
RE: Coronavirus (COVID-19) – Update #5

I am writing once again to bring everyone up-to-date on the most recent developments regarding COVID-19. At the time of this writing, four retirement communities in Lancaster have residents who have tested positive for COVID-19. Moravian Manor Communities does not have any identified cases at this time. Please keep that context in mind as you read the following paragraphs.

Our environment continues to change rapidly, and we receive continued direction from the Center for Disease Control. I encourage you to keep a folder with these updates as well as Jennifer’s updates, which can answer any questions (i.e., dining, etc.). Most of the information in this update is new information about our Residential Living Community. For brevity, I am bulleting the essential points below:

• Governor Wolf has announced a “Stay At Home Order” for Lancaster County. (See the attached documents for guidance). We will be closing both campuses on Friday, March 27 @ 8:00 p.m. to visitors. You may still go outside and walk. Please practice social distancing!
• If you are a resident who benefits from family caregivers, this is still permitted. However, you must contact Jennifer Shutt at 717-625-6106 to plan appropriate screening for the caregiver.
• We will discontinue all routine housekeeping services. Many of our housekeepers wear multiple hats; we do not want to spread any possible virus from one campus to the other. If you have unique needs, please contact Jackie Brendle (717-625-6135) to discuss arrangements.
• We have discontinued all non-emergency maintenance calls. For example, if you have a lightbulb that needs changing or a picture hung, that will not occur. If you have a problem with your heat pump, we will be there to assist!!
• We encourage you to stay out of the public domain as much as you possibly are able. If you need groceries or items from the store, contact Jennifer Shutt, and we can arrange to do this for you! (Please don’t get too used to this 6 STAR service!)

One of the distinguishing features of both of our campuses is that we are in town. Many of our homes are along public streets, so we are not able to shut down access to the campus. However, it is best if you leave your home (other than walking) as few times as possible!

We are offering to supply you with a pendant if you do not have one. The pendant is a nurse call device. Just a reminder, they work on our campus, not in the broader community. If you are interested in a pendent, please email Jackie Brendle at

Next week we will also be instituting a “buddy system.” Jennifer Shutt will arrange for every resident to get a call every day. She will seek resident volunteers to make these calls. The ‘buddy system” will assure us that everyone is okay as well as provide a bit of social contact over the telephone. Perhaps this is a chance to make new contacts within our community. Please keep your glass half full during this time versus half empty. It makes all the difference.

We have received many questions from you as to what to do if you suspect you may be ill. First and foremost, be in contact with your Primary Care Physician (PCP). They will guide your care. Please keep Jennifer Shutt, or Virginia Boyle informed as to your health care needs. I have noted that of the COVID-19 tests given in Pennsylvania, only 10% of them have been positive. Talking through your symptoms with your PCP will guide your care.

What if I test positive for COVID-19? First, relax. Your care will be to self-isolate in your home. Should you begin to experience respiratory distress, that is when more intensive medical care becomes necessary.

In actuality, there is a high probability that this tense time offers more health dangers from stress than the virus. If you find yourself with a high level of anxiety, please reach out to our staff. Jennifer Shutt (, Virginia Boyle (, or Chaplain Rich ( are all available to speak with you and work through some exercises to calm your spirit.

Governor Wolf has issued additional guidance concerning construction with health care facilities (including CCRC’s). Moravian Manor Communities is indeed able to continue construction. In conversation with our contractor, we have decided that we will restart some minimal activity. First, we will complete four homes that are ninety percent complete meeting the demands for our future residents. They are implementing work using our same internal guidelines. They will limit trades to enable social distancing. All workers will be screened before working, even though these workers will not come in contact with our residents. You will see some minimal activity begin on Monday as we balance the need to move folks in with a very restrictive work environment.

Also, PLEASE be aware of FRAUD attempts. I have been inundated at home with attempts to get into my system. Do not respond to emails or calls that you are not expecting. These people feast on panic and fear and they are working overtime.

AND please remember, this too shall pass. Before you know it, this experiment with social isolation will be over, and you will again be subjected to listening to me at the quarterly Resident Association Meetings!

I would like to close with a prayer entitled “Lockdown” that a friend forwarded to me. I found it meaningful. I hope you do as well. It is written by Richard Hendricks, a Franciscan Brother living in Ireland.

Yes there is fear. Yes there is isolation. Yes there is panic buying.
Yes there is sickness.
Yes there is even death.
But, they say that in Wuhan after so many years of noise You can hear the birds again.
They say that after just a few weeks of quiet
The sky is no longer thick with fumes
But blue and grey and clear.
They say that in the streets of Assisi
People are singing to each other across the empty squares,
keeping their windows open
so that those who are alone may hear the sounds of family around them.
They say that a hotel in the West of Ireland
Is offering free meals and delivery to the housebound.
Today a young woman I know
is busy spreading fliers with her number
through the neighbourhood
So that the elders may have someone to call on.
Today Churches, Synagogues, Mosques and Temples
are preparing to welcome
and shelter the homeless, the sick, the weary
All over the world people are slowing down and reflecting
All over the world people are looking at their neighbours in a new way
All over the world people are waking up to a new reality To how big we really are. To how little control we really have. To what really matters. To Love. So we pray and we remember that Yes there is fear.
But there does not have to be hate.
Yes there is isolation.
But there does not have to be loneliness.
Yes there is panic buying.
But there does not have to be meanness.
Yes there is sickness.
But there does not have to be disease of the soul
Yes there is even death.
But there can always be a rebirth of love.
Wake to the choices you make as to how to live now.
Today, breathe.
Listen, behind the factory noises of your panic
The birds are singing again
The sky is clearing,
Spring is coming,
And we are always encompassed by Love.
Open the windows of your soul
And though you may not be able to touch across the empty square,


  • Patricia Barconey
    - March 28, 2020

    I was researching various care centers, as my 101-year-old mother is not doing well at this point, and needs more care than I can give her.
    I read the lovely poem you posted. What made tears come to my eyes, is that the poem includes the houses of worship: synagogues, mosques and temples – as well as churches. As a Jewish person living in Lancaster County, I often feel marginalized in the religious sense, as there are so many churches in Ephrata where I live, but no synagogues, mosques or temples.
    Thank you for posting an inclusive poem, that reminds us all of the precious “others” in our midst, “others” to love and respect as we do our own.

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