COVID-19 (Coronavirus)

Messages from our Chief Executive Officer

Memo dated March 31, 2020

Our journey has led us to this – – we must treat every person as if they are COVID positive.  In collaboration with our Medical Director and the Chief of Infectious Control at Main Line Health and other medical institutions throughout the Delaware Valley, it is projected that we are days away from experiencing the same trajectory as New York City.

Effective March 31st, here are the following new procedures:

  • The Main Community Center is closed.
    • Shelter in place; do not congregate in groups outside or in your home.
  • Quarantine: Any Resident coming back from a hospital stay or travel, will be quarantined for up to 14 days.
  • U.S. and Open Box mail will not be available at the center.
    • Leadership Team is developing (this week) a mail system addressing both incoming and outgoing.
  • Resident Care visits will be via telemedicine.
    • Should you need assistance, contact them by phone. Pharmacy refills continue to be through the drop box located outside the main centers.
  • Coniston/Cartmel:
    • Shelter in place; we will partner with you for grocery pick up and Resident Care will be via telemedicine.

Public Places

Unless it is absolutely necessary, no person should be in public places.  If you must go to the grocery store, please take a very high cautious approach and remember: stay at least 6 feet from others, make sure you bring sanitizer or wipes, wipe down shopping carts, wipe the touch points in your vehicle, if you have a mask (maybe homemade, a bandana, etc.) wear it; when you arrive home, wipe down your store purchases with sanitizer; make sure you wash produce, and again wash your hands and wipe your phone. Gloves are not recommended as they provide a false sense of security.

We are at a critical juncture and we are implementing these very serious steps to protect our entire community.

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Memo dated March 25, 2020

Effective Thursday, March 26, 2020, Kendal~Crosslands Communities will implement a hard closure of the community.  This decision is not made lightly but rather it is necessary to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 and its infiltration into our community.

Based on Governor Wolf’s mandate to self-isolate and that only life essential businesses to remain open, after consultations with Dr. Thomas Lawrence, our Medical Director, realizing the spread is in our nearby townships, we must take this decisive action immediately.  Review the local Chester County COVID-19 map of cases periodically for updates (see link here https://www.chesco.org/4376/Coronavirus-COVID-19).

So, what does this mean for all of us and how will it work?  Below, by operation unit, are the logistics we will follow until further notice:

Closure Of All Main Community Center Spaces

In addition to the main center spaces that have been closed, the remainder of the center will be closed including the: Main Dining Rooms and Cafés, Pools, Libraries, Art Studios, Computer Rooms, Banks, Gift Shops, Salons, Woodshops, Weaving, and any other gathering rooms in the center.

 Door Closures

The main center doors to the front lobbies at both Kendal at Longwood and Crosslands will be open from 7:30 am – 6:00 pm.

Culinary Services – Meal Delivery Only

All Independent Living residents will receive one meal per day delivered to your home during the mid-day period.  Traditional evening menu selections will be delivered with a choice of entrée (selected at the time of delivery).  This does not apply to residents who have opted out of meals by way of the meal credit program.  The grocery shopping/delivery service does not impact this program and will continue.

Resident Care

Resident Care at both Kendal at Longwood and Crosslands will remain open, by appointment only.  If you need to see someone in person, call first. For prescription refills either call Resident Care directly or soon, a new secure drop box will be constructed outside the main lobby doors. Medications will be delivered to your homes.

Visitors

Our community will be closed to visitors, including those to all independent living residences.  Please alert your families and friends that visits are no longer permitted on our campus.  Staff will be stationed at the roadway entrances at both Kendal at Longwood and Crosslands, stopping each vehicle to determine the nature of their presence on the campus and caution, vehicles may be denied access.

Health Centers

With no visitors on our campus, we need to suspend the ‘window visits’ with families and our health center residents. Technology capabilities are available to connect with your loved one.

Resident Screening

When you enter the Main Center to collect your mail or if you need to visit Resident Care, you will be screened for virus symptoms before proceeding.  A wrist band will be issued for once-a-day screening ease.  Please practice social distancing during your time in the center.

Self-Isolate – Consider Others – Social Distancing

You are encouraged to use the perimeter paved pathways and hiking trails as well as enjoy our wonderful campus but please, even with Governor Wolf’s mandate, there are restrictions in keeping a safe space of 6 feet from others.  Your travel outside our campuses must be minimized. If it is not an emergency, please do not venture to stores. If you must go, please make sure you practice social distancing, use hand sanitizers, wash your hands when you come home, clean off the touch points in your car.  During this time, you should not gather indoors or outside with groups.  Please utilize technology to stay in touch with your neighbors and families.

I would like to thank the Resident Association Presidents for their ongoing support as we implement these new procedures.  Please contact them as another resource to answer your questions.

I would also like to thank all residents as I am incredibly grateful for your understanding, patience, and grace as we navigate these unprecedented times.  I am confident that with your cooperation and the continued hard work, together we can make this happen and remain safe.

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Memo dated March 23, 2020

Today, every continent, every country, time zone, and zip code has blended into one cohesive community amidst this world-wide pandemic.  We are experiencing a critical moment in our nation’s history as well as within our community – a disruption in our current way of life and it is altering how, when, where, and with whom we gather.  We’ve been through challenges before that, at the time, seemed insurmountable.  Rest assured residents and staff, along with our cherished values, together we will emerge stronger.

Below is an update as a result of our hard-working staff as well as new information to share:

Some Positive Information We Are Thrilled To Implement

  • The Early Learning Center has re-opened as of March 23rd. A waiver was achieved, and this will certainly help our staff.
  • Grocery shopping and deliveries are now made easy – thank you John Platt and the entire Culinary Services team.
  • You may have seen in the news ‘window visits with family’ and nursing home residents. KCC has also conducted almost a dozen of these similar visits and more will be happening soon.
  • iPads have been set up for virtual visits and Skype, Zoom, and technologies are being utilized in the Health Center.
  • Some staff have been reallocated to spend one-on-one time (keeping our social distancing) with residents in the Health Center.

What Does “Community Spread” Mean

According to The Centers For Disease Control And Prevention (CDC), community spread means spread of an illness for which the source of infection is unknown and is likely contracted from person to person.  This is why Governor Wolf has taken unprecedented, aggressive efforts to contain the spread and mitigate the impact of this virus.  If you navigate to Chester County Health Department’s website (link here https://www.chesco.org/4376/Coronavirus-COVID-19) you can see a map of the county.  The virus is getting closer to our community.  To slow down the spread, you must self-isolate as much as possible.  On March 7th, the first confirmed case was reported in Pennsylvania and as of today, there are 479 cases reported.  As you know, all non-essential businesses and now all non-life sustaining businesses are to close their physical locations.  Again, I cannot stress it enough that everyone must:

  • Self-isolate (which means do not make unnecessary trips to stores).
  • Do not gather in groups (inside or outside).
  • Keep distance from one another, in food take out.
  • Wash your hands, cover a cough, use the hand sanitizers when you enter the building.

We must do everything we can to keep our community safe.

New Procedures

The Department of Health has provided the following new guidelines:

  • Screen staff before and after their shift. We will begin that new process this week.
  • Soon, we will be implementing a process for temperature checks and screening for our residents.

I know these are unsettling times.  No one likes to feel as though they have no control.  We are far more resilient than this virus.  Take time to distract yourself, protect your heart and mind, and know we are going to get through this together.

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Memo dated March 17, 2020

Dear Valued Contractor, Vendor, Partner of Kendal~Crosslands Communities,

To ensure the health and safety of residents and staff, until further notice, Kendal~Crosslands Communities will screen all visitors in accordance with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) guidelines, considering the recent worldwide spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19).

All members of your organization who need to conduct business on our campus, or interact with residents or staff, or need to come into the main community center or any living unit, must be actively screened daily and depending on the results be advised, business may be restricted.

Our screening activities will include:

  • Determine if you have traveled to affected areas and/or exposed to someone who has traveled to affected areas as defined by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC)
  • Determine if you have respiratory infection symptoms such: cough, sore throat, or shortness of breath
  • We will check temporal temperature of every visitor

Screening locations include the following and please contact your staff person to determine which location is most convenient for you:

  • Kendal at Longwood main entrance receptionist desk
  • Crosslands main entrance receptionist desk
  • Maintenance building

Thank you in advance for your cooperation and helping us to keep our community safe as we work through this season of COVID-19.

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Memo dated March 16, 2020

Choosing words that accurately reflect my deep appreciation for the work we have been doing together right now feels almost impossible.  This is an unprecedented time for most of us, but I believe we are better together in community than apart.  Please, take the time to read this information and I apologize for the length of the message, however, there is a tremendous amount of information to share.

Communication

I am dedicated to regular, accurate, and timely communications with you and moving forward, our communications will be:

  • Letters, such as this, with reflective and informative data.
  • Our FAQ document will be distributed weekly should questions continue.
  • Additional memos with urgent information that must be distributed fast based on changes we receive rapidly from various regulatory agencies.

New Temporary Operational Changes – effective March 17th

  • The Office of Child Development and Early Learning has confirmed that our Early Learning Center is considered a center that is operated in a commercial building and is required to cease operation for at least 14 days.
  • The Beauty Salons at both Kendal at Longwood and Crosslands will close.
  • The Fitness Centers at both Kendal at Longwood and Crosslands will close; pool will remain open.

Guidelines Received From The Centers For Disease Control (CDC), Centers For Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), Pennsylvania Department Of Health (DOH), and Chester County Department Of Health:

  • Created a repository of international travel information on staff, residents, and visitors should investigations need to be conducted on any potential infectious individuals to prevent and mitigate any unnecessary exposures.
  • Reviewed and revised our interactions with vendors, contractors, and other non-health care providers.
  • Essential visitations only in our Health Centers and those visitors are screened for symptoms of a respiratory infection and provided with PPE.
  • Cancelled communal dining.
  • Cancelled all group activities.
  • Leveraged technology and provided alternative means of communication such as an electronic message via Single Wire.
  • Implemented active screening of Health Center residents and staff for fever and respiratory symptoms.
  • Continuous education and reminders to practice social distancing and perform frequent hand hygiene and other infectious disease control methods.
  • Communicate through signs, letters, emails, phone calls, website postings.
  • Identified and actively screen staff that work in multiple healthcare facilities for tracking purposes.
  • Stopped intergenerational activities with the children from our Early Learning Center.

Procedures All KCC Departments Have Established (above and beyond what is required by regulatory agencies):

  • Reviewed the Pandemic Plan with Department Directors and Emergency Preparedness Committee.
  • Reviewed the Pandemic Plan with residents and staff.
  • Inventoried our Pandemic Supplies; placed additional orders for supplies of paper products, cleaning supplies, PPE, and food.
  • Participate in Leading Age, Penn Medicine, and Mainline Health global teleconferences, regular consultations with Dr. Thomas Lawrence our Medical Director, consult with The Kendal Corporation.
  • Provided additional sanitizing equipment and stations.
  • Additional cleaning and sanitizing efforts in addition to usual and customary cleaning services.
  • Conducted discussions with all health care providers (KCC doctors, Nurse Practioners, and Health Services leadership) to prepare for evaluating and managing if COVID-19 cases occur.
  • Transportation for medical appointments only.
  • Reviewing and adjusting staff patterns and schedules to ensure we can adapt quickly to any operational changes.
  • Reached out to our hospice providers to ensure continuity of care and compliance with restrictions.
  • Restricted additional traffic into the building and cancelled all non-essential visits with prospective residents, contractors, business people, and vendors.
  • Leveraging technology and conducted our first telemedicine conference for an admissions interview and with a Westmorland resident and their outside cardiologist.

 Testing

Over the past week, the process for testing and the associated criteria has changed rapidly.  Here are the CDC and PA DOH testing guidelines, as of March 16th:

  • Before testing for COVID-19, other infectious diseases must be ruled out first, such as testing for the flu and other respiratory infections.
  • Established criteria must be met which includes determining if people are severely sick for unknown reasons, or if people come into contact with known COVID-19 cases, or who have traveled within the past 14 days to countries with sustained community transmission.
  • If a KCC resident exhibits symptoms and meets the established criteria mentioned above, we must contact the Chester County Health Department to be authorized to conduct a test. Swabs are now available to Resident Care and our Health Centers only for those who meet the above criteria.

Essential Businesses

Pennsylvania Governor Wolf has asked all non-essential businesses to close temporarily.  KCC and our staff are all essential.  We recognize the disruption and outlying challenges that the closure of all non-essential businesses might cause.  We continue to monitor it and work diligently on creative solutions for staff and residents.

Flattening Of The Curve

The essential business closures are measures health officials have established to encourage people to avoid public gatherings, to stay home more often, and to keep their distance from others. If people are less mobile and interact with each other less, the virus has fewer opportunities to spread.  As a result, our health systems are not overburdened by the influx of people seeking medical care and in essence we can ‘flatten the curve’ of the overwhelming spikes of those needing assistance.

What Can We Do In The Meantime?

Our community, work, and personal lives are interrupted.  We must continue to find other activities that stimulate our mind, body, and soul. Perhaps this might be a good time to:

  • Take a walk, get some fresh air, enjoy our beautiful campus.
  • Read that book you’ve been meaning to open.
  • Take pictures of the springtime bursting on our campus or at your homes – send them to us and we’ll share them on KCC social media pages.
  • Call a friend or write a letter.
  • Breathe, discover stress reducing activities such as meditation or inspired readings.
  • Use technology such as various ‘apps’ for games, reading, and health related activities.
  • Eat right, get plenty of sleep, stay hydrated.

On behalf of all the staff, the board, our partners, and residents, I extend my sincerest gratitude to each one of you for your hard work and tireless efforts. Together, we can face the challenges ahead and continue to safeguard each other.

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Memo dated March 12, 2020

I understand the inconvenience of our community life during this unsettling time with COVID-19 and I deeply appreciate everyone’s understanding, care, and concern for one another.

Unfortunately, I need to make a decision that is difficult but important, none the less.  Effective this evening, the following changes have been made with our dining services at both Kendal at Longwood and Crosslands:

  • Take-out meals only will be available through both the Cafe and Main Dining Room during normal service hours.
  • Seating and table service in both areas will not be available.
  • This will extend to all meal periods going forward and until further notice.
  • Staff are also requested to take meals out of the Café for all meal periods

The goal is the safety and well-being of everyone, and I am confident our spirit of community will guide us as we work through this season.  As always, I will communicate changes as quickly as I receive them.

 

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Memo dated March 11, 2020

Although this challenging season calls for uncomfortable measures, we are overwhelmed by how everyone has banded together as a community to implement those measures out of the concern, care and the well-being for each other.  COVID-19 is spreading portentously in surrounding Pennsylvania counties. Therefore, after consultation with Dr. Thomas E. Lawrence, our Medical Director, along with various regional infectious disease physicians, regulatory agencies, and the new CMS guidelines, the following new procedures are being implemented:

Visitors To The Health Center

  • All visitors (including all KCC residents) will be restricted from the Health Centers at both Kendal at Longwood and Crosslands (Audland, Cumberland, Firbank and Westmorland).
  • Visitors will be limited to specific situations (such as end-of-life or when the visit is essential for the resident’s emotional wellbeing and care). These visit exceptions will be subject to additional screening and these cases will be limited to the resident’s room and for a specific period.  Prior authorization by the Administrator, Director of Nursing or designee is required and during these visits, we are asking you wear personal protective equipment (such as a mask and gloves).
  • Those visitors with prior authorization must register and be screened at the main lobby front desk prior to visiting in the Health Center.
  • Meals for all Health Center residents will be held in the health center dining venues and they will not be permitted to other dining venues in the center.

 Visitors To The Community Center

  • Vendors, contractors, family members entering the Community Center must check in, register, and be screened.

 Independent Living

  • All large group activities must be suspended (such as: KRA, CRA, lectures, discussions, plays, musical performances, and Ellerslie and Farmhouse events). If you must gather, it is recommended only 10 or fewer gather at one time.  Use the ‘social distancing’ practices (such as stay 3-6 feet away from each other and other social gestures of handshakes and hugs are strongly discouraged).  Utilize technology for meeting purposes.
  • Overnight guests of Ellerslie and Farmhouse will have to comply with any visitor restrictions and screenings.
  • Please do not use the Health Centers as a ‘cut through’ when entering or exiting the community center.
  • For Rehabilitative Services, we will alter therapy schedules to avoid encounters with Health Center residents.
  • All group aquatic and exercise classes will be suspended. The pool will remain open with altered open swim schedules. Outside instructors (including acupuncture, YMCA, Zumba, and massage) will also be suspended.
  • For your protection and others, if you are experiencing symptoms (cough, runny nose, sore throat, a fever of 100.4 or greater, or shortness of breath) call Resident Care. Please do not simply walk-in.
  • Emergencies and/or house calls will be screened via phone and triaged accordingly. If COVID-19 exposure risk is identified, 911 will be called and the RN and appropriate protocols followed.

 Dining

  • The Café at both Kendal at Longwood and Crosslands will serve all meals and remain open to staff and Independent Living residents only. We strongly encourage residents to take a meal ‘to go’.
  • Salad bars and additional self-service food items will be suspended. Other carry-out items will be available in pre-packaged containers.
  • Dinner in both Main Dining Rooms will be carry-out only until further notice. No waited service will be available.
  • All menus in the dining venues will be the same.

 Staff Procedures

  • We are working on additional screening processes and they will be implemented over the next several days.
  • Education for staff on infectious disease control practices is continuous and on-going.

 Please continue with the following infectious disease control practices:

  • Hand washing for at least 20 seconds
  • Coughing/sneezing into your elbow
  • Stay home if you are sick
  • Self-isolate
  • Be mindful of ‘social distancing’

Our top priority is the health and well-being of the community.  As COVID-19 continues to evolve in our area, these measures may change.  We are in a fast-changing situation that calls for consistent communication.  Thank you for your commitment to keep our community safe.

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Memo dated March 6, 2020

In just the last few hours, Governor Wolf has announced that Pennsylvania has two new presumed positive cases of COVID-19 (Coronavirus), in Delaware and Wayne Counties and this is after the announcement of the investigation of cases in Bucks County.  These are presumed cases, meaning test results must be confirmed by the Center for Disease Control.  Gov. Wolf has also issued a disaster declaration which allows for additional funding and that The Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency (PEMA) takes command of all state-wide operations.

Pennsylvania is still considered low risk.  So, in order to remain safe and healthy, we are instituting new procedures outlined below and advising everyone accordingly.  As mentioned in previous communications, this information is changing rapidly.

Health Center Procedures:

  • Asking all non-essential visitors to postpone their visit to our Health Centers until further notice.
  • All contracting work and vendors in the Health Center will be screened in accordance with recent recommendations from CMS and CDC.
  • Any unnecessary or non-essential appointments off campus will be coordinated with the resident’s attending physician.
  • Inter-generational activities with our Early Learning Center will be cancelled until further notice.
  • Health Service Administrators are coordinating with internal resident volunteers to refrain from their normal and customary activities until further notice.
  • We are cancelling any outside guests who are scheduled to perform or speak.

Independent Living Procedures:

  • If you are experiencing any infectious illness symptoms (such as cough, runny nose, sore throat, fever, or difficulty breathing), contact the community.
  • Limit all non-essential visitors and ask they kindly delay their visit until further notice.
  • Limit your gatherings in large crowds outside the campus in the greater community.
  • Please cancel any outside guests who are scheduled to perform or speak.

Currently, there are no agency guidelines on restricting guests or visitors who have traveled within the U.S. where COVID-19 has confirmed cases.  But, as always use good judgment. 

As a community, we will continue with your standard disease control hygiene practices by:

  • Hand washing for at least 20 seconds
  • Coughing/sneezing into your elbow
  • Stay home if you are sick
  • Asking visitors to check in at receptionist and Health Centers
  • Asking staff and residents to disclose prior and future travel

Our Emergency Preparedness Committee continues to meet on a regular basis.  We consult with Dr. Lawrence and other government agencies and as always, we are committed to making informed decisions to ensure the safety of our residents and staff.  Please remain calm, continue to be vigilant, and stay tuned for additional information.

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Memo dated March 4, 2020

Kendal~Crosslands Communities is taking a proactive role in the worldwide COVID-19 (otherwise known as Coronavirus) outbreak by communicating accurate information.  Our focus is on information sharing, ensuring the lines of communication remain open so that you can get accurate information to make informed decisions about your health as well as about the health of those around you.  The concerns about COVID-19 is that it is a new virus, and there is not yet a vaccine or known treatment outside of symptomatic treatment. Because it appears to be highly infectious, and people with other pre-existing conditions or susceptibility may be more likely to get a more severe case than others, it’s important for everyone to take precautions.

I would like to confirm the confidence I have in our highly knowledgeable staff who effectively have dealt with various infectious diseases before and who will see us through this one as well.  Below are some facts to reinforce regarding the Coronavirus:

What is it?   Covid-19 (or Coronavirus) is a respiratory illness that can spread from person to person just like the flu or a cold, through the air by coughing or sneezing, close personal contact like touching or shaking hands, or touching an object or surface with the viruses.

What is happening locally in Chester County?  Currently, there are no reported cases in the county or Pennsylvania however, Health Department officials are planning and taking preventative measures.

What can we do?  There is quite a bit we can do together as a community.  Below are some tips to stay well:

  • Clean hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds; use alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water is unavailable; you’ll notice several sanitizer stations throughout the campus for your convenience.
  • Cover nose and mouth (with a tissue or your elbow) when coughing and sneezing.
  • Avoid touching your face, eyes, and nose
  • Clean surfaces frequently, such as countertops, light switches, doorknobs, cell phones, remotes, and other frequently touched areas. Most household cleaners such as bleach wipes or alcohol will kill the virus.
  • Avoid close contact with anyone with cold or flu-like symptoms
  • Stay home and consult a healthcare provider if you are sick
  • Please inform friends, visitors, family members, vendors, etc. to avoid coming to the campus if they are ill and please share with them our wellness tips listed above. Be vigilant.
  • We are asking residents and staff about prior travel to determine how best we can keep everyone safe.
  • We are asking visitors to sign in at our main centers and disclose their prior travel plans
  • We are asking residents and staff to disclose any future travel plans and be mindful for their personal safety as well as the safety of others

Misinformation causes fear and anxiety.   Rely on trusted sources of information and consult the CDC’s website, https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-NCOV/FAQ.HTML for additional information.  We recognize this information will change rapidly and as  new information becomes available, we’ll be sure to communicate it immediately. Together, we can make our community safe with responsible practices.

In health,

 

 

Lisa M. Marsilio

Chief Executive Officer