July 2, 2020
Messages from our Chief Executive Officer
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 (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.
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