November 23, 2020
Messages from our Chief Executive Officer
Memo dated November 20, 2020
Due to additional COVID-19 positive residents and staff members and the virus’s trajectory spread, effective Friday, November 20, Kendal~Crosslands Communities will implement a closure of the community, at a minimum, for the next two weeks. Our goal is to evaluate our operational procedures every two weeks. However, our closure is fluid, and the opening will depend on this virus.
Visitors – – Our community will be closed to all visitors, including those to all independent living residences at all campuses. Please alert your families that visits are suspended at a minimum for the next two weeks. Compassionate care visitors will continue to be allowed and must be approved in advance with Resident Care. Guard booths will continue to be staffed and will stop each vehicle to determine the campus visit’s appropriate nature.
External Community Activity – Our resident contact tracing revealed possible exposures in public places. At this time, we highly recommend you postpone all non-urgent medical appointments, laboratory tests, screenings, and more. Use telehealth as much as possible. Shop online, do not eat indoors at a restaurant, limit your travel, and only go to the grocery store or other essential business as needed. Please use extreme caution. Wear a mask and socially distance yourself.
Thanksgiving – Once again, going off campus and spending this holiday with family or friends will place yourself at risk. It is best not to congregate with persons outside your immediate household. If you choose to do so, we require that self-quarantine for 14 days. Please contact Resident Care immediately.
Cross Campus – All staff members and residents should refrain from going from one campus to another in an effort to mitigate risk of spread. Please continue to use technology to stay connected and conduct operations accordingly.
Staff Members – Our staff members will be in full personal protective equipment where appropriate. Masks, face shields, and eyewear (goggles) are required.
I’m sure we haven’t thought of everything so please contact us, we’ll add your questions to future communications. In the meantime, we thank you for your patience and grace as we navigate our way onward. This decision to postpone our activity is not made lightly, but it is necessary to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 and its infiltration into our community. I am incredibly thankful for all residents and staff members who are working so hard.
Memo dated November 12, 2020
The news this week gives us hope that a vaccine may soon guide us to ordinary life. But over the past nine months, I’ve seen people lead ‘extraordinary’ lives. We are united as a family and blessed with health. Our dedicated staff members are working very hard, and residents continue to be resilient and creative to engage with one another. Stay hopeful. Remain vigilant. Most importantly, we are grateful as we continue to enjoy warm days and a beautiful campus. You are extraordinary!
Health Center – Crosslands – last week, Crosslands conducted testing of 112 staff members who regularly work in the Health Center. The testing is in response to guidelines issued by the PA Department of Health and the PA Department of Human Services per the universal testing of staff based on the county’s transmission rate. We are pleased to report that all tests were negative. We are very proud of our staff members who work very hard to follow all the work guidelines and are socially responsible in the greater community.
Firepits – to extend our time outdoors and enjoy the campus and gather safely even as the weather turns chilly, we will install firepits at Kendal at Longwood, Crosslands, and Cartmel (Coniston has one already). Our Facilities Department will establish them and provide a policy for safe use. Enjoy the space with warm boots and mittens and roast a marshmallow or two.
Self-Quarantine After Thanksgiving Gathering – notify us by November 20 – Public health officials highly recommend that we gather this Thanksgiving only with those who currently reside in our home. As communicated a few weeks ago, should you choose to leave the campus, gather with family indoors for an extended period without masks, as a reminder, we ask that you self-quarantine for 14 days upon your return to the campus. If you plan to gather off-campus, please notify Resident Care by Friday, November 20. Early notifications will coordinate your quarantine efficiently with staff operations regarding our Culinary Department for meal delivery and suspension of housekeeping services.
Self-Quarantine Guidelines – Independent Living Residents – below are the guidelines we established earlier this year to coincide with public health official recommendations:
Self-Quarantine 14 days – Earlier in the year, the Department of Health announced a self-quarantine period of 14 days after travel to hot spots. Recently, they recommended the same for holiday family gatherings, regardless of geography.
Self-Quarantine 7 days – A visit to the Emergency Room, Urgent Care, or Hospitalization Admission still requires a self-quarantine for 7 days.
Self-quarantine means you stay indoors or just outside your home (or a patio or balcony) and avoid contact with others. Resident Care will coordinate with other departments such as Culinary for meal delivery. Quarantine guidelines for residents who reside in our Health Center vary and are communicated accordingly.
Memo dated October 27, 2020
Residents and Staff Members – Remember To Have Your ID Badge – There are three items you must have before you leave your home – – your keys, your mask, and your ID badge. The ID badge is essential for the guard booth to determine you are authorized to access the campus (not your parking permit). The ID badge assists newer staff members who are conducting the screening so that they may identify you quickly. And lastly, in the dining venues, it is more efficient at the checkout process to scan your badge so that your transactions can process efficiently. Please carry your ID badge at all times. Thank you.
Positive Case – On October 25, 2020, we learned that a Kendal at Longwood staff member tested positive for COVID-19. This staff member is doing well, at home working with their physician on care, and was not a direct care worker with Health Center residents. Through contact tracing efforts, we determined this staff member had minor interactions with staff who work in our Health Center. Therefore, after a review of this case with the Chester County Health Department and with our Medical Director, at this time, we are implementing full personal protective equipment and testing all Health Center residents and staff on October 27. Until we receive our test results, we will, unfortunately, have to suspend all communal activities, including dining, small group activities, and outside visitation. Once we receive the results, we will resume these activities.
Citizens Bank Branch – Kendal at Longwood – Due to the safety precautions in our Kendal at Longwood Health Center, since the bank is located in the Health Center, the branch will be closed this week to residents. You may access Citizens Bank at local branches in our area in the interim, or it will resume regular hours next week.
Holiday Family Gatherings – According to public health officials and our Mainline Health Infectious Disease Control Specialist, it is highly recommended that you gather this Thanksgiving with those who currently reside in your home. If you leave the campus and choose to gather indoors with others, with no masks, and for longer than 2 hours, we ask that you self-quarantine for 14 days upon your return. Please notify Resident Care so that they may assist you in coordinating your quarantine. There are over 85,000 new COVID cases nationwide. Hospitalizations are on the rise. Our surrounding counties have positivity rates between 5%-10%, and the list of states continues to grow with massive outbreaks (see link below). Thus, our social responsibility is to ourselves, fellow staff members, and neighbors to be very cautious this entire holiday season.
Link to PA Department of Health Travel Restrictions
Memo dated September 17, 2020
New Testing Guidelines Issued by The PA Department of Health and The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services
As our Commonwealth has obtained more data, deepened their scientific understanding of the virus, and contemplated innovative policy options, their guidance continues to evolve. They have determined that the level of COVID-19 activity in the community surrounding a long-term care facility directly impacts the risk of virus introduction into the facility. Thus, guidelines just released recommends facilities not experiencing an outbreak (which is considered one positive resident or staff case) should begin routine testing intervals of all staff based on the (Chester) county positivity rate. The higher Chester County’s positivity rate, the more frequency of testing will need to be performed. In compliance, testing staff members will commence this week at Kendal at Longwood and next week for Crosslands. Long-term facilities experiencing an outbreak should immediately begin universal testing for all staff members and residents (which we have done). Now the new guidelines allow us to do so by unit, wing, or floor. These new guidelines are for residents who live and staff who consistently work in our Skilled Nursing Centers.
“Bubble Trust” Experiment Starting at Kendal at Longwood
A ‘bubble trust’ is an exclusive group of up to three households who have agreed to protect each other while engaging in careful social activities. The benefit of a ‘bubble’ is that bubble members can interact with one another indoors and have meals together. There are strict guidelines that bubble trust members must follow, and in September, we will begin to experiment with this concept at our Kendal at Longwood campus first with three bubble trusts. Should the virus become more active, bubble trusts could be closed down at any time. For a complete outline of the bubble trust guidelines, look for Zoom meetings at Kendal at Longwood. If an initial two-week test at our Kendal campus is successful, we can roll-out the bubble concept to more residents and campuses.
Coming Soon – Dining Options
Dining Under The Stars – Starry starry nights will soon be upon us around dinnertime, and our expansive campus is a perfect setting for gazing and sharing a meal. We realize residents enjoy dining outdoors, so John Platt and his Culinary Team are making plans to create an ambiance that only they (and Mother Nature) can deliver. More information to follow.
Indoor Dining and Additional Meal Services – Since the Commonwealth has opened up commercial restaurants to 25% and soon 50% capacity, the Culinary Teams are also putting together guidelines for indoor dining. Venue renovations currently underway, and strict infectious disease control measures challenge our plans, so John Platt will provide Zoom resident meetings to communicate to you once the plans are finalized. Look for indoor dining options to be effective mid-October. Also, opportunities for either breakfast or lunchtime ‘grab and go’ will also be introduced soon.
New Video Featuring an Interview with our Medical Director, Dr. Lawrence
We have learned much about COVID-19 over the past six months, and we are fortunate to have Dr. Lawrence’s medical guidance that assists us in providing a safe journey. Now, we’ll hear from him again about what is happening in the local health systems, concerns about the flu interacting with COVID-19, testing, and more. The video will be ready for distribution in early October. Stay tuned!
New Protective Equipment Required in the Health Center
New guidelines just released by the PA Department of Health that all healthcare personnel should adhere to using universal eye protection in addition to a facemask. We have immediately implemented this protocol for staff members in our health centers.
Changes in a Family Unit Household Visit
Beginning on Tuesday, September 22, family members, who live in the same household, may visit at the same time with residents who reside in Independent Living. An example might be a resident’s daughter, her spouse, and their children who live in that same home. Family members who do not live in the same household must schedule a separate visit. Remember, visits are limited to two persons at one time (unless they are in the same household), no more than two hours at one time, remain outdoors as much as possible, wear a mask at all times, socially distance from one another, and keep a contact tracing log. As family members (children, young adults) are exposed to college campuses, schools, social gatherings, the risk of infectious disease spread increases for you and the community. You must take responsibility and ask your family questions about behavioral patterns and determine if a visit is appropriate. The administration may change our visitation policies if we experience an outbreak, if cases spike in our region, or if guidelines are not followed. The guidelines for visits with family members and residents in our Health Centers are very different, and questions may be directed to the Health Center Administrators.
New Screening Guidelines
New screening criteria issued by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid and The Chester County Department of Health included additional questions and symptoms. We are using them as you check-in at the center. Please allow extra time, and we appreciate your patience.
Phased ReOpening Updates_________________________________________________
Environmental Services – Beginning on Monday, September 28th, we will resume normal and customary schedules for bi-weekly (for Kendal at Longwood and Crosslands) and weekly (for Coniston and Cartmel) cleaning services. Schedules will be placed in open mailboxes. The heavy cleaning services will continue to be suspended until further notice. Please continue to turn on the air conditioner or open a window when a staff person is in your home. Wear your mask and either be in a different room or leave your home during the cleaning service.
Wellness Activities – The Wellness Team (Fitness and Rehab) are happy to see that residents have been taking advantage of the gradual progression of services on campus. The Team is working hard at reviewing and re-evaluating the schedules, guidelines, and expectations for all Wellness areas. With the fall season closely approaching, we are working on plans to continue to provide services and safely move those services indoors. We are also working on various strategies to allow other programs to be expanded; however, those plans will be reviewed by our Medical Director, Dr. Lawrence. More information is forthcoming.
Memo dated August 12, 2020
Crosslands Health Services Start Visits – – KCC is following the guidance from the Pennsylvania Department of Health and the Pennsylvania Departments of Health and Human Services on a step reopening to ensure a safe return to activities, visitation, and other events for residents who reside in our health centers. Crosslands Health Center visits of family members with residents who live in Firbank and Audland will start on Monday, August 17. For the past two weeks, Kendal at Longwood has been hosting personal visits with family members and residents who reside in Westmorland House and Cumberland.
Follow Up Testing Results of Wastewater Treatment – – Raw influent samples retrieved from our dedicated plant on July 15 yielded positive results for RNA strands containing the COVID-19 virus. Since this was our first and only sample that tested positive, weekly testing has continued to determine the virus prevalence and trend in our community. All samples taken since July 15 have been reported as ‘non-detect.’ We will continue to monitor the wastewater and report additional findings.
Wear Your Mask ~ But Remain Socially Distant – – My mask protects you…your mask protects me. Social distancing, also called “physical distancing,” means keeping a safe space between yourself and other people who are not from your household. In tandem, they can significantly mitigate the spread of this virus. Masks help prevent the droplets produced from talking, coughing, sneezing, from leaving one person, and infecting another. Wearing a mask is about protecting your neighbors, friends, relatives, co-workers, and other members of your community, especially those at high-risk. In addition to wearing a mask, data shows that even a distance of three feet significantly decreases the spread of the coronavirus from one person to another. At six feet, the risk drops even further, at nine feet even more considerably than that, and so on, particularly in an indoor setting. Continue to be mindful of our infection prevention practices, and together, we can keep each other safe.
Memo dated August 6, 2020
Regional Response Health Collaboration Program (RRHCP) Developed
The Department of Human Services (DHS) and The Department of Health (DOH), in coordination with Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency (PEMA) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), have developed the Regional Response Health Collaboration Program (RRHCP). The RRHCP program is funded through a grant from the PA DOH. This program is designed to directly support COVID-19 readiness and response in long-term residential care facilities, including long-term care nursing facilities, personal care homes, and assisted living residences. Additionally, the program was developed to improve infection prevention and facilitate continuity of care and other services provided by long-term care facilities in a manner that mitigates the risk of the spread of COVID-19 to staff and residents. This will be accomplished by leveraging existing resources, increasing collaboration with state and local entities, and coordinating efforts to support long-term facilities. The RRHCP is a collaboration between DHS and nine regional health collaboratives consisting of health care systems and academic medical centers. The RRHCP is divided into six regions, with a health collaborative responsible for all or a portion of the long-term care facility census. Kendal at Longwood and Crosslands is assigned to the Southeast Region team, including the University of Pennsylvania, in partnership with Temple University Hospital. Since the onset of the pandemic, Kendal at Longwood and Crosslands Health Services leadership staff have been active participants on partnership calls with KCC Medical Director, Dr. Tom Lawrence and many health systems, including Penn Medicine and Main Line Health System. The Health Services leadership team participated in a call on July 24, announcing the RRHCP program. Coincidentally on Thursday, July 30, Crosslands received a call from the RRHCP representative inquiring if we would be willing to utilize their resources to complete our testing scheduled for August 3. We were excited about this opportunity! Crosslands was one of the first two facilities to partner with this new RRHCP in the southeast region. RRHCP delivered test kits as well as provided transport and processing of 38 COVID-19 PCR tests. In addition, future opportunities to collaborate under the RRHCP will be available to our community.
Results of Follow Up Testing of Residents and Staff Members
The three remaining results from testing conducted on July 27 in Firbank East were negative. On Monday, August 3, we conducted a follow-up round of COVID-19 PCR testing for 14 Firbank East residents and 24 Firbank East direct care staff and we are happy to report that all tests were negative for COVID-19.
Phased Renewed/Reopening Updates – Independent Living Residents – Family Visits On-Campus – – Effective August 10
Every resident and staff member shares in the collective responsibility to ensure that renewed access to our campuses proceeds smoothly and safely. Our methodical approach to remain healthy and to mitigate the risk of infection has proved to be successful. And now, with family members beginning to venture onto our campus, we must remain vigilant in everything we’ve learned and all that we know.
Below is the criteria for family visits for all campuses (Kendal at Longwood, Crosslands, Coniston, and Cartmel):
Plan Ahead For Your Visit
- Create a personal contact tracing log (with name, date, time, and duration of visit). This log will be used should you or your family member test positive for COVID-19.
- Plan and determine where you will visit with your family member (outside your home).
- Check the weather for an ideal outdoor visit.
- Make sure you have hand sanitizer available, and you have your mask.
- Will your family member need to bring their lawn chair?
- How are you or your family member feeling? If you are not well, postpone the visit.
- Have family members been exposed in the last 14 days to others who have tested positive for COVID-19 and if so, please postpone the visit.
Visit Guidelines For Safety
- On the day of your visit, check for symptoms of COVID-19 (fever of 99.5◦F or higher and not taking fever-reducing medications, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, lack of taste or smell without congestion, sore throat, chills, muscle pain, headache).
- No more than 2 family members may visit at one time, once a day.
- Please record your family members in your contact tracing log.
- All visits are to be outside your cottage or apartment.
- Keep a physical distance of 6 feet or more.
- Visits may take place anytime between 9 am to 8 pm.
- Visits should be limited to 2 hours in length.
- You and your family members must wear a mask at all times.
- Please avoid, hugs, handshakes, kisses, physical contact.
- If you reside in an apartment at Crosslands, family members are encouraged to wait outside to meet you.
- If you reside in a cottage, family members may use your restroom, and everyone must wear a mask.
- If you reside in an apartment at Crosslands, family members may use your restroom, but they must sanitize before entering the building, wear a mask, and only one family member unit in the elevator at one time.
- Ensure proper sanitizing in your home before and after a visit.
- Wipe all surfaces.
- No overnight stays (unless it is a medical requirement approved by Resident Care).
- Please, no sharing of food, meals, or beverages.
- Avoid long periods indoors.
- Community Centers are closed to family members.
- Strolling the campus is strongly discouraged.
- No visits with other residents or neighbors.
- No pets, please.
- No reservations or notifications are required before the visit.
- Family members visiting Kendal at Longwood or Crosslands are required to stop at the guard station before entry.
- Family members will provide their name, the name of the resident they are visiting, and their relationship to the resident.
- Family members visiting Coniston or Cartmel residents are not required to check-in at the guard station.
Our renewed access to the campus is part of our broader campus reopening plan. Our plan is fluid and can change at any time should we experience an outbreak, see spikes of positive cases in our region, if guidelines are not followed, or should regulations from varying agencies or the Commonwealth dictate our practices. All residents and staff members must follow public health directives and use common sense to protect yourself, your family, and your neighbors.
Memo dated July 31, 2020
I am incredibly proud of our KCC community. We are working diligently in this COVID marathon, demonstrating that residents and staff members are devoted to one another, anchored to our Quaker values, dedicated to community, and determined to continue to keep one another safe. All of us, in our unique way, continue to grow and lead in these times. The strength and endurance that you have shown in these last several months are inspirational and demonstrate, even to the broader community, what is possible in seemingly impossible times.
Our renewed access to our community centers and campuses will operate in our ‘new normal’ until a vaccine reduces the threat of COVID-19. Until then, we will lift each other and move forward with a resilient community spirit recognizing we can do this together!
Wastewater Treatment Plant Test Results
Since mid-May, KCC joined many research groups worldwide, analyzing raw influent into wastewater plants for RNA strands containing the COVID-19 virus. We understand this is experimental, and there are many opinions and theories on how RNA strands containing COVID-19 is found in wastewater streams. Additional unknown or varying factors for consideration are: fecal emission frequency, the timing of the onset of virus symptoms shed in the samples, nonexistent asymptomatic shredders, and percentage of COVID positive persons shedding the virus in a stool. Testing is currently best used for trending analysis versus providing an estimated number of infections within a population.
Samples retrieved from our dedicated plant on July 15 yielded positive results for RNA strands containing the virus. Since this is our first sample that tested positive, we quickly mobilized and sampled each campus (Cartmel, Crosslands, and Kendal). Additional testing was to determine the virus prevalency and trend in our community and if the positive results could be isolated to one campus. All samples taken during the week of July 21 were considered ‘non-detect’ for all sampling locations for each campus. We will continue to monitor the wastewater and report additional findings.
Results of Follow Up Testing of Residents and Staff Members
On Monday, we conducted COVID-19 PCR testing of 16 Crosslands Firbank East residents and 56 staff members as a follow up from one asymptomatic Crosslands resident positive test result. Other staff members identified through contact tracing methods were also tested. All resident test results were negative, and there was one asymptomatic staff member. Three of the 56 staff member test results are still pending from the state lab. The asymptomatic staff member case appears to be unrelated, and the staff member is at home focusing on their health, in self-quarantine following KCC guidelines, and we have completed our contact tracing procedures. Based on the role of the staff member, additional testing will be scheduled for all Firbank East residents and Firbank East direct care staff for Monday, August 3.
New Screening Guidelines – As health officials learn more about the signs or symptoms of COVID-19, screening guidelines change accordingly. On July 14, The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) and The Chester County Health Department issued new and expanded screening criteria. Effective Monday, August 3, KCC will adopt the new screening criteria, added to the process that staff members will complete at the beginning and end of their workday, and residents and vendors will complete as they enter the community center.
New and expanded screening criteria:
- Temperature greater or equal to 99.5 degrees Fahrenheit
- Are you taking fever-reducing medications
- Are you experiencing a new or unusual cough, shortness of breath, difficulty breathing, sore throat, chills, muscle pain, or headache
- Do you have a lack of smell or taste without congestion
Please give yourself extra time to allow for this expanded screening process. We realize the inconvenience, but we appreciate your patience as we continue to keep everyone safe.
Masks – – Spread The Word…Not The Virus
The Director of Main Line Health Infectious Disease Control states our region is experiencing an increased number of asymptomatic persons, and week by week, the virus changes rapidly, resulting in new community hot spots. It is critical to wear your mask. To visualize a person’s droplets and aerosols, Australian researchers at the University of New South Wales (UNSW), used an LED lighting system and a high-speed camera, filming people coughing and sneezing in different scenarios — using no mask, two different types of cloth masks, and a surgical mask. Their video demonstrates that even speaking generates substantial droplets, which is why, although you are masked, social distancing is just as critical. Coughing and sneezing (in that order) produce even more droplets. Below are two links, one to the UNSW video research and another to the CDC’s website on how to wear a mask properly.
Link to UNSW video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DNeYfUTA11s
Link to CDC website on proper fitting masks: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/how-to-wear-cloth-face-coverings.html
Memo dated July 22, 2020
Heath Centers Reopening – KCC is following the guidance from The Pennsylvania Department of Health and The Pennsylvania Departments of Health and Human Services on a step reopening to ensure a safe return to activities, visitation, and other events for residents in nursing homes and personal care homes. The reopening direction will allow operations to resume gradually and deliberately, and most importantly, be done safely. The KCC Health Services leadership and staff have been working on their reopening plans that will be communicated to families and posted on the website.
Virus Symptoms – Stay Home If You Do Not Feel Well – It only takes a few minutes to screen persons as they enter the community center. We appreciate your patience. During the screening process, we ask if you are experiencing any of the symptoms listed below. As always, if you do not feel well, please stay home.
- Shortness of breath
- Sore throat
- Difficulty breathing
Mask Wearing – – Spread The Word…Not The Virus – Face masks are recommended as a simple barrier to help prevent respiratory droplets from traveling into the air and onto other people when the person wearing the face mask coughs, sneezes, talks, or raises their voice. This is called source control. This recommendation is based on what we know about the role respiratory droplets play in the spread of COVID-19. Paired with emerging evidence from clinical and laboratory studies that show face masks reduce the spray of droplets, it is critical they are worn over the nose and mouth. My mask protects you, and your mask protects me. It is all our responsibility to wear our mask, and while we understand it can be uncomfortable, we must wear them in the community center. If you do not have a mask, you can find them in most retail stores or on-line.
Sing Gently Together________________________________________________
Early in this global pandemic, American composer and conductor Eric Whitacre wrote a song called Sing Gently. Over 17,500 diverse singers from 129 countries came together, and he launched a virtual choir. Singers record and upload their videos from locations all over the world. Each one of the videos is then synchronized and combined into one single performance to create this cohesive masterpiece. Eric’s work is a new way to create beautiful music through the use of technology. It is a sweet reminder; we can also come together with stunning outcomes. Enjoy the music.
Memo dated June 30, 2020
At the end of February, Kendal~Crosslands Communities presented the Emergency Preparedness Plan and chartered a course to mitigate COVID-19. While our campus and common spaces have been closed and service delivery has been altered to reflect safe practices, relationships among residents and staff remain strong and we have continued to be healthy.
As we begin to renew access to the campus features, it is critical to understand that until a treatment or vaccine for COVID-19 is available, life and living in community will not return to normal. We each have a collective responsibility to ensure that reopening proceeds smoothly and safely. All residents and staff must follow public health directives and use common sense to protect yourself, your family, and your neighbors. We continue to be methodical in our opening approach to remain healthy and mitigate the risk of infections.
Our opening is driven by data and it is crucial to keep in mind that this is a fluid plan that may change at any time, especially if we experience a COVID outbreak, see spikes of positive cases in our region, if guidelines are not followed, or should regulations from varying agencies or the Commonwealth dictate our practices. We also recognize that the Plan is not perfect and may need to be adjusted as we realize how these procedures will work well in the community.
We realize ‘pandemic fatigue’ is easy to feel and our first instinct with Chester County ‘going green’ is to relax our practices. Our nation has been affected by this pandemic and unfortunately cases are rising in other states. We are also suffering with injustices and our hearts continue to ache. We are blessed that KCC is unique in that the values on which we were formed continue to hold us up especially when we need them the most. Stay KCC strong! I want everyone to be safe, be smart, be alert, but also enjoy the upcoming 4th of July.
Contact us for additional details of the independent living residents renewed access to our community center.
Memo dated June 16, 2020
Phase One Re-Opening – Our staff members have worked so hard over the past week preparing for residents to once again enjoy the community spaces. We are happy to report the outdoor pool looks amazing and since Saturday, residents are swimming and enjoying the sunshine. The outdoor exercise classes are popular and what a wonderful way to be fit and enjoy our campus at the same time. The indoor pool is also open, and we are happy to report residents are signing up for a scheduled swim.
Phase Two Re-Opening – We continue to work with resident committee chairs on re-opening other parts of our campus such as but not limited to the woodshop, library, art studios, and gift shop. Culinary Team work on logistics for outdoor dining options and farmer’s markets. Increased housekeeping and maintenance services will begin in phase two. Stay tuned for additional details.
Testing Results – Skilled Nursing – The Pennsylvania Department of Health (PAHAN) newest advisory states that facilities must have baseline testing completed for all skilled nursing residents and health care personnel working in these areas by July 24th. We are well ahead of this advisory and our first baseline test was completed at the end of May. PAHAN further advises facilities to consider conducting additional testing within 7 days, and then another 7 days until such time results are negative in two consecutive test rounds. We learned that all resident and staff member results were negative.
Your Safety Continues To Be Our Guide – The news is reporting increased cases in over 20 states (since Memorial Day) and in some cases, these states may revert to extreme infectious control and closure methods. Locally, last week, The Philadelphia Inquirer reported that Chester County is the only county in the region that has failed to meet two important benchmarks for continuing to ease coronavirus restrictions. According to the article, our county’s latest 14-day count of new cases is up 20% from the previous 14-day period, as per state data and second, the state says Chester County hasn’t had a positive test rate of less than 10% for 14 days in a row, which violates another reopening barometer – in relation to Gov. Wolf’s “green” phase in his re-opening matrix. High positive test rates usually correlate with high levels of virus in a community. Remember, although our area businesses and public spaces continue to open, COVID-19 continues to be prevalent. Remain vigilant, be mindful of your surroundings, wear your mask, be socially distant from others.
Memo dated June 4, 2020
Over the last several weeks, the Leadership team, staff members and residents, along with the guidance of our Medical Director, Dr. Thomas Lawrence, have been working on a Phased Re-opening Plan. Our renewed access to certain services (outdoor pool, outdoor exercise classes, in person medical appointments, critical housekeeping) pertains to all residents (Kendal at Longwood, Crosslands, Coniston, and Cartmel) while also continuing to mitigate risks associated with COVID-19. In order to ease additional services and restrictions not outlined in our initial phased opening, specific criteria must be met based on regulations, science, and data.
The critical component of the successful re-opening of our community is adherence to guidelines. Most importantly, our continued infectious disease control protocols such as: be aware of our surroundings, be mindful, must have your mask, use hand sanitizer, maintain the social distance of at least 6 feet or more, stay home if you are not feeling well, disinfect surfaces, wash your hands frequently, avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth is mandatory.
We’ve come a long way in keeping everyone safe and the cautionary measures will help us to remain healthy. It is the responsibility of all of us in community to respect one another by following the guidelines. It is crucial to keep in mind that this is a fluid plan that may change at any time, especially if we experience a COVID outbreak, see spikes of positive cases in our region, if guidelines are not followed, or should regulations from varying agencies or the Commonwealth dictate our practices.
Memo dated May 22, 2020
Innovative Testing Study
A Kendal at Longwood resident informed us about COVID-19 testing that has been done in Paris at wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs). We discovered there is significant research (starting in Paris but all over the world now and in our nation) that testing raw influent to WWTPs can let us know the percentage of the community that has COVID-19. Most WWTPs are much larger and serve an entire city. Ours is unique in that we can track our own community. Test samples are to be taken weekly and by the end of June, we should have a good handle on the value of the analysis, and we will continue to keep you updated.
Point Prevalence Survey (PPS) Testing for Personal Care and Skilled Nursing Residents and Staff
Next week, we will undergo PPS testing for both our Personal Care and Skilled Nursing residents and staff. The goal of staff member and resident testing is to identify asymptomatic positive persons who work and reside in our health centers to further mitigate infections and spread of COVID-19 in an area with a vulnerable population.
Your Safety Continues to Be Our Guide
The PADOH states that universal test-based strategies for preventing transmission of the COVID-19 virus is one strategy to help further mitigate the spread of COVID-19 virus. However, our continued personal protocols such as wearing your mask, keeping social distance of 6 ft., effective hand washing, don’t touch your face, mouth, eyes, be mindful of your surroundings and continue to proceed as if anyone might spread the virus is the most effective and now proven since the number of positive cases we’ve experienced to date remains low. We must continue to be responsible for ourselves but also each other in community
Memo dated May 13, 2020
An advisory issued late on May 12, 2020 by the Pennsylvania Department of Health (PADOH) stated that universal test-based strategies for preventing transmission of the COVID-19 virus is one strategy to help inform infection prevention and control in skilled nursing facilities. In advance of a future PADOH mandate, the Kendal~Crosslands Communities Administrative and Health Services Team is developing strategies to implement future testing so that we are prepared to continue to protect our residents and staff members. We currently test our symptomatic residents. Future PPS testing methodologies, such as a phased approach based on a priority level, will be determined by testing capacity, FDA approved protocols, and mandates from PADOH.
A key principle for using universal testing will be that it will not supersede existing infection prevention and control interventions. Kendal~Crosslands Communities has been ahead of this pandemic with numerous infection-control practices including proper hand washing, twice daily employee screenings and Health Center resident temperature checks, regular monitoring of other virus symptoms, and social distancing measures. All staff members are required to wear masks, Health Center staff members wear CDC recommended PPE, and all residents have been provided with cloth masks to wear when outside their rooms or residences. To further mitigate infection and spread, we have established additional safety measures including no staff members will ‘cross-work’ between campuses and between areas within our Health and Wellness Centers. As part of our continuous quality assurance and improvement practices, we provide on-going education, monitoring, and surveillance of staff members utilizing PPE correctly, additional sanitation efforts, and isolation areas in both Health Centers.
Memo dated May 12, 2020
To date, we have no residents who have tested positive for COVID-19 and we have a total of three staff members who have tested positive. Using contact tracing methods, we have determined that these staff members had no correlation with each other. All staff used appropriate PPE when working and are at home in self-quarantine focusing on their health. All protocols are being followed in accordance with KCC’s COVID-19 Staff Screening Policy and our Health Center Administrators are following the latest guidelines communicated on May 8th by CMS and CDC for informing Health Center residents and their families of positive cases.
Your Safety Continues to Be Our Guide
We continue with numerous infection-control practices to protect the health and safety of our community, including proper hand washing, twice daily employee screenings and Health Center resident temperature checks, regular monitoring of other virus symptoms, and social distancing measures. All staff are required to wear masks, we implemented for Health Center workers CDC’s recommendations for wearing PPE, and all residents have been provided with masks to wear when outside their rooms or residences. To mitigate risk even further, additional safety measures have been established in our communities such as: no staff will ‘cross-work’ from our Kendal campus to Crosslands, no sharing of services and staff within our Health and Wellness Centers, continuous education, monitoring, and surveillance of staff utilizing PPE correctly, additional sanitation efforts procedures, and as always, our best practice is we will continue to proceed as if anyone might spread the virus.
We are all a cohesive team of residents, staff members, and families coming together as we keep our health and safety as our top priority. Our pandemic marathon continues to run and there is no sprint to the end. We remain hopeful we can be safe and so, I need everyone not to lose faith and do not give up. I appreciate your hard work, sacrifices, and your ultimate responsibility to one another.
Memo dated April 23, 2020
“Where flowers bloom, so does hope”, Lady Bird Johnson. That quote is very meaningful at this moment. My hope is that you have been able to soak in the floral beauty of our campus this spring. And of course, we continue to have hope for the safety of Kendal~Crosslands Communities, our state, and our nation as plans are formulated to emerge from this pandemic stronger than ever. Here are some highlights of information to share:
Good News – we can report that we have no known cases of COVID-19. This is a testament of everyone’s diligence, hard work, and caring for one another that continues to keep us safe.
Resident Care – if you need assistance with a medical appointment, test, or prescription, please call Resident Care. Please do not come into the community center for an appointment.
Packages – UPS, FedEx and Amazon packages continue to be delivered directory to your door. If you would like to send a UPS package, place your package/envelope labeled with the mailing address in the box located outside the main center. Your package will be processed for shipment and the charge will be placed on your monthly bill.
COVID Testing – If a resident or staff person exhibits COVID symptoms such as fever, cough, sore throat, shortness of breath, testing is quickly done in conjunction with the Chester County Health Department. Coinciding with the Kendal Corporation with a letter from Sean Kelly, President and CEO and myself, we contacted various Representatives, Senators, and the County Commissioners informing them of our future desire to be prioritized for additional testing for staff, health center residents, and eventually residents who live in our independent homes. Communication from these offices was very positive.
Antibody Testing – On April 6th, the Chester County Commissioners announced the plan to undertake antibody testing of priority individuals who are currently performing essential functions in the fight against COVID-19. The County received a shipment of 10,000 then shortly after, another 10,000 tests. However, since their announcement, there have been bureaucratic disputes and regulatory issues holding up testing of this valuable tool. This tool will be important for all healthcare systems as they manage their future staffing patterns. The County informed KCC that we, along with other retirement communities, are considered a priority as soon as antibody testing is approved for use.
Re-Opening Of The Community – By now, you have heard Governor Wolf’s three phase approach to ‘re-open’ Pennsylvania. Their standards state that to protect seniors, we must remain steadfast with our process through any re-opening of local businesses. Note: you can read more about his plans, watch videos, and learn more about this process by checking out his website (see below). We understand the tremendous pressure for federal and state governments, and we realize your willingness to do so at KCC. Our approach will be data driven and we will follow the science and continue with our current path at least through May to keep everyone safe and after we will evaluate the models weekly. The path forward to the eventual ‘re-open’ of our community will be methodical, and we will follow the recommendations from the CDC, CMS, PA Department of Health, Dr. Lawrence, medical professionals, and our Health Services team. Be prepared, life as we knew it before COVID-19 will probably be a little different when the curve of infections finally flattens realizing the curve will continue to trail through 2020. Social distancing, sanitizing stations, masks, will continue to be critical measures in our return to a ‘new norm’.
Our on-going infectious disease control practices will help us to continue to combat this dangerous virus and give hope to our friends and families. The springtime beauty of the flowers is our reminder that we will get through this together.
Governor Wolf website: https://www.governor.pa.gov/
Message, April 10, 2020 from our Medical Director, Thomas Lawrence, MD, CMD
System Medical Director of Geriatric Medicine and Long Term Care, Main Line Health
Medical Director, Kendal—Crosslands Communities
Important Notice for Residents: Recommendations for the COVID-19 Pandemic
I would like to take a minute to encourage all of our residents during this very difficult time in the history of our Nation to continue to persevere through the difficult shelter in place recommendations. In the coming weeks the COVID-19 viral pandemic is expected to accelerate and reach a peak in the Delaware Valley area. As this risk continues to expand and the pandemic continues to spread throughout the surrounding community I would like to give some very specific medical advice to all of our residents in the independent apartments.
Here is what we know about how COVID-19 affects older adults differently:
- COVID-19 infection symptoms and severity of illness are greater;
- There is a higher risk of hospitalization and complications;
- There is a higher risk of dying from the infection.
The wisdom of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention(CDC), our local health care leaders, and experts in infectious disease, as well as my own advice to you follows.
For the immediate future over the next 2 to 3 weeks our leadership team at Kendal-Crosslands strongly recommends:
- Do not leave campus except for a dire emergency;
- We do not recommend you leave the Kendal-Crosslands campus—use the grocery ordering and delivery services that is offered;
- Specifically we recommend:
- Do not gather with others on campus;
- When walking on campus maintain social distancing of at least 6-10 feet at all times;
- Wear a cloth or fabric face covering (partially protective) or surgical facemask (more protective) when outside of your apartment.
The COVID-19 virus is stealthy, and has been showing up in outbreaks in senior communities all over the area. I urge you to follow all of these directives and that you encourage your neighbors to do likewise.
Working together we will succeed in maintaining a healthy community through this difficult time. Lets all stay well together in spirit but separate in body!
Memo dated April 3, 2020
Currently, there are no positive cases of COVID-19 at any of our four communities, both residents and staff. This is a direct result of the leadership of our Health Services team under the direction of our Medical Director, Dr. Thomas Lawrence, who has guided us to stay ahead of this pandemic. We have been diligently following protocols as provided by the Department of Health, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), as well as the World Health Organization (WHO). And, of course our leadership team, our Emergency Preparedness Committee, and all staff members who have executed our pandemic preparedness plan and are working diligently to protect and support the health and well-being of those we serve.
If KCC were to have a positive case, HIPAA guidelines restrict us from disclosing names of individuals. It must be reported to the PA & Chester County Departments of Health, and an investigation would be initiated for tracing and tracking purposes. As part of an investigation, anyone who has had an exposure with an individual who has tested positive for COVID-19, will be personally and confidentially notified so that instructions for care can be initiated.
We must continue to realize that any person could be infected with the virus. They may be asymptomatic; however, their droplets can carry and potentially infect those around them. Thus, it is imperative we continue to be diligent with our infectious disease control practices. Pennsylvania cases of COVID-19 went from under 4,000 to over 7,000 in just one week. Over the next few weeks, I will trust you to continue to follow our critical guidelines:
- Continue to shelter in place.
- Social distancing 6 feet or more.
- Wash your hands.
- If you travel out of our immediate area or state, you need to self-quarantine for 14 days as recommended by the CDC guidelines.
- If you come back from an acute hospital stay, you will be guided by Resident Care and the Health Services team for your personalized plan of care.
- If you must go to the grocery store, take extreme precautions (see addendum) and wear a mask.
I understand our lives have been severely interrupted and our emotions such as fear, worry, doubt can also be infectious. However, I trust you find comfort in knowing that the community staff and leadership continues to monitor this pandemic as it evolves in our local area. Our judgement about the operation of this community (no visitors, hard closure of the main center, no gatherings) are with your safety and life at the forefront of our decision process.
The staff continue to work (tirelessly and selflessly) together to execute our pandemic preparedness plans in order to prevent the spread in our community and to keep everyone safe. They have been planning and preparing and they stand ready to respond. I commend them for their efforts.
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.
- Shelter in place; we will partner with you for grocery pick up and Resident Care will be via telemedicine.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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, 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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
- 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.
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.
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.
Lisa M. Marsilio
Chief Executive Officer