June 26, 2020
Kendal~Crosslands Communities Charters Through COVID-19
In early March, Kendal~Crosslands Communities along with the rest of our nation never would have thought to be ready for a pandemic. But, as the retirement community, located in Kennett Square learned more about COVID-19 and with their (already) supply of masks, gloves, and gowns and an Emergency Preparedness Plan written, the community was set and simply executed their plan and chartered their way to keep both residents and staff members safe. “We were ahead of this pandemic from the beginning”, says Donna Taylor, Chief Health Services Officer”. “We assembled a team of staff members and quickly put in to place our protocols for effective infectious disease control”, says Taylor.
The community obtained hard to acquire supplies such as the coveted toilet paper and hand sanitizer
To mitigate spread of COVID-19, the community closed their campus to visitors, suspended all in-person resident group activities and communal dining, and along with the rest of our region asked residents to social distance and self-isolate on the campus. To eliminate the number of essential staff members (“heroes”) who were committed to come to work, the community created teams that rotated and others were able to work from home. Recognizing the residents needed meals, mail, and meds, the community put into place creative solutions to deliver culinary dishes and groceries to over 800 residents daily, they obtained hard to acquire supplies such as the coveted toilet paper and hand sanitizer, and quickly created COVID-19 designated areas in their nursing residency so that if any resident became infected with the virus, there was an area for them to recover while mitigating the spread throughout the home. Testing strategies were performed well before mandates from regulatory agencies and that enabled the community to swiftly identify a few asymptomatic staff members who self-isolated and recovered at home.
“We are a financially healthy organization and that has supported our highly executed pandemic response” says Lisa M. Marsilio, Chief Executive Officer. “We are so proud of our staff members who created complex systems and our residents continue to be responsible realizing we are all in this together as one family”, says Marsilio “.
Residents have discovered unimaginable good can come from a world-wide tragedy. “I am happy with social distancing rules…I’ve learned a lot not only from different Zoom classes but other on-line lessons, books, readings, exercises, and meditation”, says one resident. Another resident said, “I can’t tell you how impressed we are with Kendal’s tremendous undertaking to keep us safe…what they are doing is beyond imagination”. The community learned that residents are so grateful to be part of a community where they are safe. To date, Kendal~Crosslands Communities has no known COVID-19 positive cases among residents.
Slowly, the community can open their outdoor pool, provide outdoor exercise classes on their 500-acre campus, and some services can resume but with proper mask wearing, social distancing, and contact tracing measures
Realizing the virus is still present in our region, Kendal~Crosslands Communities remains vigilant with their infectious disease control measures and a ‘new normal’ is emerging. Slowly, the community can open their outdoor pool, provide outdoor exercise classes on their 500-acre campus, and some services can resume but with proper mask wearing, social distancing, and contact tracing measures. “Our community continues to work (tirelessly and selflessly) together to execute our plans in order to prevent the spread in our community and to keep everyone safe”, says Marsilio.