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Phoebe Ministries Coronavirus Preparedness Plan

Published on March 12, 2020

*UPDATED ON 1.15.2021 at 4:52 PM

COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Precautions at Phoebe Ministries Communities

The following precautions apply to all Phoebe Ministries’ Independent Living, Personal Care, and Health Care Center communities. 

The well-being and comfort of our residents and staff is Phoebe’s top priority, and we maintain strict policies and procedures to help prevent the spread of illness throughout our communities. Our employees are trained in best practices to help prevent the spread of communicable illnesses, including COVID-19. We are following our infection-control policies, and will monitor this evolving situation. In response to the recent spread of COVID-19, Phoebe is taking proactive precautions to mitigate exposure among our communities.

Phoebe’s COVID-19 Update phone line is 610-794-6049

Sept. 17, 2020- Click here for a message from Phoebe’s President & CEO on COVID-19
April 20, 2020– Click here for a message from Phoebe’s President & CEO on COVID-19. 

Campus Letter Updates

Letter to Residents and Families– National Guard at Phoebe Allentown 1.7.2021

Weekly Update for Phoebe Allentown as of 1.15
Weekly Update for Phoebe Berks as of 1.15
Weekly Update for Phoebe Richland as of 1.15
Weekly Update for Phoebe Wyncote as of 1.11

The Campus update letters are posted at least weekly, and more often if cases are reported.

Vaccination Information for Residents and Staff

We are currently working with CVS, who will be administering the COVID vaccine to our Health Care Center and Personal Care residents and frontline staff.

HERE ARE OUR TENTATIVE DATES FOR OUR SKILLED NURSING AND PERSONAL CARE COMMUNITIES:

Allentown-
Vaccine Clinic #1- December 29, January 5, January 12; all from 10a-4p
Vaccine Clinic #2- January 19, 26, 31; all from 10a-4p
Vaccine Clinic #3 (for staff/residents due for dose #2)- February 9; 10a-4p

Berks-
Vaccine Clinic #1- January 2; 11a-5p
Vaccine Clinic #2- January 21; 11a-5p
Vaccine Clinic #3 (for staff/residents due for dose #2)- February 11; 11a-5p

Richland-
Vaccine Clinic #1- January 11; 10a-4p
Vaccine Clinic #2- February 1; 10a-4p
Vaccine Clinic #3 (for staff/residents due for dose #2)- February 20; 10a-4p

Wyncote-
Vaccine Clinic #1- December 28; 11a-5p
Vaccine Clinic #2- January 18; 11a-5p
Vaccine Clinic #3 (for staff/residents due for does #2)- February 8; 11a-5p

We will be reaching out to you in order to get consent for vaccination of your loved one. Vaccination is strongly encouraged in order to protect all of the residents we care for. Please note that even if your loved one has already had COVID-19, a vaccination is still recommended. Vaccines will be available for our Independent Living and Retirement Housing residents and staff in the future, but they are not included in the first phase of the state’s vaccination plan.

For more information about the benefits of receiving this vaccine, please follow this link to the CDC website: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/vaccine-benefits.html 

Please also download this guide from the CDC with Frequently-Asked Questions about the vaccine: Long-Term Care Residents and Loved Ones: Answering Common Questions About COVID-19 Vaccines

Visitor Policy and Details

The health and wellbeing of our residents and employees is of the utmost importance to Phoebe. Due to the heavy resurgence of COVID-19 in our counties and surrounding areas, we have made the difficult but necessary decision to close ALL of our Personal Care and Skilled Nursing Communities to in-person visitation. At this time, we are not sure when our communities will reopen for in-person visits, but when we are ready to do this, we will share this information with you along with our revised reopening plans. We assure our families that we are continuing socially-distanced, safe activities in each of our communities to keep residents engaged and fulfilled.

Additionally, we will not be permitting personal care or skilled nursing residents to be able to leave our communities for the Christmas or New Year holiday.

We WILL be allowing “Compassionate Care Visits.” Residents who qualify for compassionate care visits may include:

  • A resident at an end-of-life situation
  • A resident who was living with their family before recently being admitted to our community who is struggling with the change in environment and lack of physical family support
  • A resident who is grieving after a friend or family member recently passed away
  • A resident who needs cueing and encouragement with eating or drinking, previously provided by family and/or caregiver(s), is experiencing weight loss or dehydration
  • A resident, who used to talk and interact with others, is experiencing emotional distress, seldom speaking, or crying more frequently (when the resident had rarely cried in the past).

If you feel your loved one meets the criteria for a compassionate care visit, please call the administrator or nurse manager at your loved one’s community. Through a person-centered approach, we will work with residents and their families/caregivers to identify the need for compassionate care visits.

For ALL compassionate care visitation, we require family members to be tested WEEKLY and provide proof of negative COVID tests and dates they were conducted before visiting. All compassionate care visits will be conducted using social distancing and while following other infection control practices.

Connecting Hearts Virtual Visits using Zoom:

During the time our campuses are closed to in-person visitation, we encourage families to utilize Connecting Hearts virtual visits using Zoom.

Physician Appointments and Outings:

Due to the resurgence of COVID-19 in Eastern Pennsylvania and surrounding areas, family members of residents in our Health Care Centers and Personal Care Communities may not take residents to doctors’ appointments or on other outings, or come in for in-person family training. Phoebe staff and local medical transportation services will facilitate safe transports for these appointments.

For All Independent Living Communities:

Residents who live at Phoebe independently have been provided with facts related to coronavirus, along with preventive resources and information on protecting themselves and others from respiratory illness. At this time, we are not having on campus visitation at our independent living communities. We have communicated visitation guidelines to these residents.

For Senior Affordable Housing Communities:

Residents who reside in any of Phoebe’s senior affordable housing communities are required to wear masks and socially distance from others anytime they are in common areas of the building. Additionally, any senior affordable housing communities with active Covid-19 cases recommend residents halt incoming visitors unless caregiving is provided. If we are informed of a positive case in a community, residents will be notified with a letter, and the Department of Health will also notify anyone who was in direct contact with the affected individual to instruct them to quarantine for 14 days. Questions can be directed to the building manager or to the Phoebe COVID phone line.

Testing Protocols

Phoebe will test the following residents:

  • Residents who are symptomatic
  • Residents on a neighborhood where another resident tests positive, at physician direction
  • Residents who regularly leave the facility (dialysis, chemo, radiation, etc.); retest weekly
  • All other Skilled Nursing and Personal Care residents regularly as required by the PA Dept. of Health (can be monthly, weekly, or more often if resident meets any of the bullets above)

Phoebe will test the following staff:

  • Symptomatic staff, if not tested in community under physician direction
  • Staff with known exposure without PPE (at work or in the community)
  • Any other staff, as indicated by Occupational Health
  • All other Skilled Nursing and Personal Care staff as regularly required by the PA Dept. of Health (can be monthly, weekly, or more often if employee meets any of the bullets above)

We continue to complete universal testing for our employees and residents in our Health Care Centers and Personal Care Communities, in line with the PA Department of Health and PA Department of Human Services mandates.

Admissions and Tours

At this time, we are conducting mostly virtual tours of our communities. In-person tours can only be accommodated for those needing immediate moves and are limited to the prospect and one guest. All individuals touring must meet specific screening protocols before being allowed in the building. Independent living, personal care, and skilled admissions/move-ins to our communities are only happening when certain pre-determined conditions are met. We will not accept any respite stays at any of our campuses at this time.

Resident Property Drop-off from Family and Representatives

At this time Phoebe Allentown is not allowing for the drop off of items for residents.

Please reach out to Phoebe Berks, Phoebe Richland, or Phoebe Wyncote directly for their drop-off procedure, or call the COVID line at 610-794-6049.

Laundry

Effective April 1, 2020, no laundry is to be done by families. This is related to containing possible spread of infection through clothing, and is a temporary measure. On your next bill, please note that there will be no invoicing for laundry temporarily until further notice.

If you have any questions or concerns, please call our COVID-19 contact line at 610-794-6049.

 

 

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