PA Under a Stay at Home Order
April 3, 2020
On Wednesday, April 1, Governor Tom Wolf announced that all of Pennsylvania is under stay-at-home orders until at least April 30 in an effort to stop the spread of COVID-19. This announcement came days after Cumberland County was issued a stay-at-home order, and weeks after Chapel Pointe was already practicing similar policies.
Cumberland County is at a critical stage, in that our number of Coronavirus cases have begun to multiply. Praise God for his protection at Chapel Pointe so far! Residents in all levels of care are free from infection.
We’re being vigilant to examine where we need to be more strict in our infection control processes. This week, we’ve made the following changes:
- The beauty shop is still open, but personal care and independent living residents do not co-mingle in this area. Personal care residents receive services at one time, then we clean and reopen for independent living residents.
- Delivery people now drop off packages in the front alcove so they do not enter our building.
- Tape on the floor in front of the reception desk indicates a safe 6-foot distance, and we’ve eliminated mingling in this space.
- Therapy provides treatment in household and personal care residents’ rooms. They only welcome one independent living resident into the therapy suite at a time.
- We’ve been taking, fulfilling, and delivering grocery orders. We’re currently rolling out a streamlined and sustainable solution to our residents’ growing grocery needs. Residents will have the opportunity to place orders for nearly 100 products that we source directly from our Chapel Pointe Kitchen.
- Many members of the Chapel Pointe leadership team have “adopted” a group of residents to call each week. These phone calls offer an opportunity for connection, ensuring residents are healthy, helping to meet needs, and ministering through prayer.
We make all Coronavirus-related decisions following the guidance and mandates of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Department of Health, LeadingAgePA, and both local and federal governing authorities. The nature of this pandemic has meant that we have had to be strict in our infection control policies while simultaneously nimble in our operations to meet the constantly evolving recommendations.
It’s sometimes not until you have a crisis until you notice someone’s dedication. We truly have phenomenal staff here at Chapel Pointe. They have positive attitudes and are faithful to come to work even though leaving home poses a risk to themselves and their families. We’ve been encouraged to see the Chapel Pointe family come together in a new way over the past few weeks that shows their great care for one another.
We will weather this challenging time together as a Chapel Pointe family. After all, we serve a God who is in control. In these difficult days, remember Paul’s charge in Philippians 4:6-7:
Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Cumberland County Under a Stay at Home Order
March 30, 2020
Cumberland County’s cases of Coronavirus have been increasing. Last week, Cumberland County had 13 confirmed cases of COVID-19, and as of today, it has doubled. As of today at 8 p.m., Cumberland County is under a Stay at Home Order until at least April 30, 2020, to diminish the spread of COVID-19. Schools and businesses have been ordered to close indefinitely, and community members are asked to not leave their home unless absolutely necessary.
To see a list of allowable activities and exempt operations, visit Governor Wolf’s website.
This order will not significantly impact the care we’ve been providing at Chapel Pointe for several reasons:
- Chapel Pointe staff are essential employees who will continue to report to work as usual to care for and provide for the needs of our residents.
- At Chapel Pointe, we have already been operating under operations that are similar to stay at home policies for about two weeks because they were previously mandated for senior living communities. We have been reminding residents to stay indoors except for seeking essential medical treatment, getting food within Chapel Pointe, and spending time outdoors (at least 6 feet from others). Staff were instructed to spend their time at home or at work and not to interact face-to-face with others outside of home or work.
- We’ve created systems over the past two weeks to deliver food, groceries, and mail to independent living residents so they can stay within the safety of their homes.
Chapel Pointe urges all residents in all levels of care to abide by the Stay At Home Order. While residents in personal care and the households regularly interact with staff, independent living residents are contacted regularly via phone to ensure that their needs are met and that they do not have to leave their homes.
While we don’t know what the future will hold, we’re working hard to “flatten the curve” at Chapel Pointe by continuing our exceptional infection control processes and implementing new operations to help people stay safe at home.
Chapel Pointe's Response to COVID-19
March 27, 2020
At both the national and local levels, we're seeing a lot of rumors popping up about COVID-19 cases. Here are some important facts:
- We're blessed to live in a suburban area that has not been hard-hit by Coronavirus at this point. The cases in Cumberland County have climbed very slowly (with no signs of the multiplication that have been reported in cities). There are only 16 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Cumberland County.
- It's still flu season, so people are going to be sick with different illnesses. Doctors first test sick people for influenza; if the test is negative, they test for COVID-19. What we're finding in Pennsylvania is that 90.7% of the COVID-19 tests are coming back negative! That means the sick people have some other virus for which we don't have a test. If we remember that not all sick people have Coronavirus, it will help us to reduce rumors.
- Chapel Pointe has zero coronavirus cases. If a resident or staff tests positive for coronavirus, we will communicate it with residents, staff, family members, and through our website. We hope knowing our commitment to keep you informed will give you some peace of mind as you wonder how things are going here at Chapel Pointe. If you ever have questions about something you heard about Chapel Pointe, please contact us directly at 717-249-1363 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Latest Regulations
We've seen the regulations shift from "preventing" to "preparing." The first rounds of regulations were aimed at preventing the spread of COVID-19 from reaching senior living communities by mandating regulations like strict social distancing practices. Now, governing authorities have shifted the focus to preparing communities so we're equipped if a resident or staff gets Coronavirus. For instance, this week, we were required to retrain all of our staff in the proper use of personal protective equipment (PPEs), like face masks and gloves.
The good news is that all of our staff (not just our front-line teams) receive annual training in proper use of PPEs and infection control practices. They have a proven track record of excellent infection control processes. With all of the additional systems currently in place to reduce co-mingling among staff and residents, we are positioned well to stop the spread of COVID-19 if it were to enter our facility.
We are continually evaluating our PPEs and are on top of ordering extra supplies in case they are needed. We are blessed that a doctor called us this week because she had a surplus of face shields that she is donating to us and other medical professionals.
What We Did This Week
There’s a massive list of big and small changes we've made to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, but here are a few of the highlights:
- The first week of having two seatings at meals has gone well in personal care and the households. While the change initially impacted some residents' routine, we were able to work with each of those individuals to find the meal times that worked best for them
- We're eliminating co-mingling among residents and staff in different levels of care. This means that - as much as possible - staff are working within a single level of care. They are taking on more and different roles to meet essential needs.
- So independent living residents do not co-mingle in the main building, staff are delivering meals, groceries, and mail to our independent living residents.
- Household residents and all staff have their temperature read twice a day to ensure that we catch any symptoms of illness early.
- We increased our use of our internal television station to provide entertainment and enrichment. The devotions are on TV every day, and staff from several departments are hosting weekly segments.
- We’ve set up some computers in personal care and the households to use for Skyping. If you want to Skype with your loved one, watch these videos on our YouTube playlist to get set up.
In a recent blog, pastor and former CDC medical officer Stephen Ko said: “If you want to follow Jesus, embrace the sacrifice of social distancing. … I know that social distancing is the best way to minister to our community and congregation during the novel Coronavirus pandemic. It is what it means to love my neighbor as myself.”
If you are practicing social distancing, we want to thank you for the sacrifice you are making for the sake of a generation of people who are most vulnerable to COVID-19. You're literally saving lives and showing Christs' love. You are making a difference, and we appreciate you!
If you have a question about how the current Coronavirus culture impacts Chapel Pointe, please email us at email@example.com, and we will answer your question as quickly as we can Monday - Friday.
Visitor Ban & Other Ways Chapel Pointe Prevents Coronavirus (COVID-19)
March 20, 2020
On January 30, 2020, the World Health Organization declared the outbreak of a novel coronavirus (COVID-19) a Public Health Emergency of International Concern. Responding to COVID-19 requires a serious response by our whole society.
Part of this response includes daily updates and mandates for senior living communities. We absolutely have to follow these mandates because they are in place to keep our residents, staff, and community safe. Thank you for your patience as we redirect administrative staff from their regular daily tasks to implement these evolving directives.
Some of the things we’re doing at Chapel Pointe to prevent infection and provide for the needs of residents include:
- Visitation: All non-essential and non-medical visitors are banned from entering Chapel Pointe buildings, this now includes Independent Living residents who have loved ones in other levels of care.
Healthy medical professionals may visit our residents, and we may make exceptions on a case-by-case basis for people receiving hospice services.
- Screening: Everyone who enters our main building must check-in at reception or a nurses’ station upon entering. They undergo screening, logging, and a temperature check.
- Activities: We have halted all group activities because of the ban on gatherings of 10 or more people and practice social distancing as much as possible within in our one-on-one activities and ministries. Next week, we will ramp up our internal TV channel use to provide entertainment and learning.
- Social Distancing: We recognize that our greatest threat of infection comes from our staff and Independent Living residents. Our staff have a proven history of excellent infection control practices, and within the context of Coronavirus, we’ve educated them on the importance of keeping our residents healthy by minimizing contact with outsiders in all aspects of life. They’re now undergoing temperature checks and screening at the beginning and end of every shift and are undergoing additional training in the proper use of personal protective equipment.
- Minimizing Crossover: We’re doing everything we can to prevent crossover between levels of care and keeping residents and staff in their respective Household, Personal Care building, apartments, or townhome. Independent Living residents may only come to the main building for essential reasons.
Residents may not leave for appointments unless they are medically necessary.
- Staggered Dining: We’re transitioning the Households and Personal Care to staggered dining at lunch and dinner. This means they will have two seatings during these meals so we can practice social distancing in our dining rooms. The dual seatings will be in effect in the Households beginning at supper on March 20. Personal Care will follow soon after.
- Grocery Supplies: To allow Independent Living residents to stay safely at home, we’ve set up systems to deliver groceries and meals.
- Meeting Needs: We’ve surveyed all of our Independent Living residents personally to determine what their current short-term and long-term needs may be so we can continue to ensure that we meet their needs.
If you’re wondering how you can help us here at Chapel Pointe, we have two areas of need:
- Please call your loved ones, friends, and even acquaintances who live at Chapel Pointe to brighten their day and remind them that they’re still surrounded by people who care.
- The biggest thing you can do is pray. Please continue to pray for health and protection at Chapel Pointe. We also desire your prayers for hope, endurance, and encouragement for the people who live and work here. May we have eyes to see the blessings around us!
If you have an immediate question, please call Chapel Pointe at 717-249-1363, and we will get back to you with an answer as soon as possible.