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David Swartley COVID Update #31

From: David Swartley, President/CEO 
Date: November 30, 2020 
RE: Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update #31

I trust that you had a lovely Thanksgiving; albeit, for many of us, the day was much quieter than most years!

I am writing to give an update on our COVID-19 situation at Moravian Manor Communities (MMC). Since my last update, we are experiencing numerous positive COVID-19 results in our skilled nursing area. Currently, eleven residents have tested positive; all reside in our Herrnhut (memory care) neighborhood. Most of the residents have mild symptoms; however, three are currently in the hospital.

We also learned of our sixth residential living resident on the Founders Campus who has tested positive. The resident is experiencing some symptoms; at this point, they are resting at home.

The Lancaster County positivity rate of over ten percent requires us to continue testing all staff. An additional challenge is staff that has tested positive or have been directly exposed to someone who tested positive; causes more staff absences as they quarantine at home.

As I have shared with our team, while this is disappointing news, we should not be surprised. We have been preparing for this time and feel confident that we are doing all we can to keep our residents physically safe. Keep our residents and caregivers in your thoughts and prayers as we face this challenge and the upcoming winter months.

Due to this outbreak, we will also be making changes to enhance the safety of our residents. Over the weekend, our clinical team has been in constant contact with LGH’s Regional / RHCP (Regional Response Health Collaboration Program). I liken the RHCP to a COVID-19 SWAT team. They have been accommodating in assisting with additional PPE needs and picking up the cost of our testing in December. Per their work this weekend and our recent experience, we will be implementing the following restrictions:

  • Garden Court dining area will be closed to sit down dining. We will continue to provide take-out meals. If you need your meal delivered to your Garden Court home, we will use our wait staff for this task.
  • Owl’s Nest dining area is also closed to sit-down dining, but you can order take-out meals and have curbside pickup.
  • The Smart-Fit studio will be closed. Please continue to enjoy Jennifer’s ZOOM fitness programming as well as enjoy the great outdoors.
  • Group resident programming/meetings are postponed.
  • Woodshop and other ancillary areas are closed.
  • A la carte housekeeping services and non-essential maintenance services remain on hold.
  • No external housekeeping services are permitted.
  • Beauty shop/salon closed to residential living residents.
  • Transportation services for residential living residents will continue for essential medical appointments. Masks and eye protection will be required for the transport and visit.

While this is not the news I want to share, our goal is to do whatever we can to slow the spread. You will note that in Update #30, I stated that LGH had sixty-six patients with COVID-19. As of this morning, that number has risen to ninety-five. While not all ninety-five are in the hospital due to COVID-19, the rapid growth is concerning as we need to keep our hospital treatment protocols in mind as we make our personal decisions. The good news is that if you become ill, the treatments available are markedly better than eight or nine months ago. With improved medicines and vaccines on the way (as noted below*), I am quite optimistic about a much better 2021; however, the next couple of months will likely be hard work for all of us.

One of our managers passed on a quotation from their pastor. Erma Bombeck’s one book is entitled, “If Life is a Bowl of Cherries, What am I doing in the Pits?” Perhaps a better perspective is, “Instead of looking at the bowl of pits, think about the pie baking in the oven.”

While it is challenging to be optimistic in this environment, remember that this is a season. It will pass, and life will regain a sense of normalcy.

Resources:

 Pennsylvania Department of Health: www.health.pa.gov

 Centers for Disease Control: www.cdc.gov

You can also email specific questions to:

 Dr. Lynn Swisher, NHA, Vice President of Health Services, lynns@moravianmanor.org

 Donna Gerofsky, RN, ICP, donnag@moravianmanor.org

*Moderna is working with the U.S. CDC, Operation Warp Speed, and McKesson, a COVID-19 vaccine distributor, contracted by the U.S. government, as well as global stakeholders to be prepared for the distribution of mRNA-1273 in the event that it receives an EUA and similar global authorizations and approvals,” according to a news release posted Monday. “By the end of 2020, the Company expects to have approximately 20 million doses of mRNA-1273 available in the U.S. The Company remains on track to manufacture 500 million to 1 billion doses globally in 2021.


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