Coronavirus

LSS Coronavirus Preparedness

In an effort to address questions and concerns about the Coronavirus (COVID-19) and its potential impact at Lutheran Senior Services (LSS) communities, this webpage will be updated to provide information to family members, volunteers, visitors, and others. Be assured that we are following guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), and state health departments. This is an evolving situation that we will closely monitor while we make every effort to ensure the safety of our residents and staff.

LSS COVID-19 Frequently Asked Questions

 

Community Case Reports

View current case reports and counts by community. Case numbers are updated by 5:00 p.m. each day. Weekly totals are updated by 5:00 p.m. each Saturday and reflect activity within the past week only.

Together We Are LSS Strong

Despite the challenges COVID-19 presents, Lutheran Senior Services communities are standing tall and will emerge even stronger thanks to our 160-year legacy of excellence and most of all to the people – staff, residents, and family members – who make up our communities.

March 17, 2021

Late last week the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) released new guidelines for visitors to Assisted Living, Memory Care Assisted Living, and the Care Center. We’ve reviewed this guidance along with guidelines from the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) and the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS). Beginning this week, our communities are open to visitors with the following guidelines in place:

  • All visitors must be screened.
  • Visitors must follow mask wearing, social distancing, and handwashing requirements.
  • Indoor visits can take place in residents’ residences. If a resident has a roommate, then visits must take place in a designated common area.
  • If a resident is fully vaccinated, they may choose to have close contact with visitors. Masks must remain on and hand hygiene must be performed before and after contact.
  • Assisted Living, Memory Care, and Care Center dining is not available to guests at this time.
  • Total number of visitors within the community at one time may be limited.
  • Visitors who do not follow COVID-19 infection prevention requirements will not be permitted to visit or will be asked to leave.

If there is a new case of COVID-19 within a community, the community will suspend indoor visits to conduct testing. As long as there are not multiple cases of COVID-19, the community will reopen for indoor visits.

We look forward to welcoming visitors back into our communities!

March 12, 2021

Late this week the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) released new guidance regarding Assisted Living, Memory Care Assisted Living, and Care Center visits. We are working through interpretation of the guidance and getting clarification from state authorities. We will provide more details early next week.

At this time, the current visiting status for each community will continue as has been most recently communicated. You can check the visiting status of each community by calling the following numbers for a recorded message with the most up-to-date information:

 

BREEZE PARK                                  636.224.3214

CONCORDIA VILLAGE                     217.203.0108

HEISINGER BLUFFS                         573.203.0873

LACLEDE GROVES                           314.918.0276

LUTHERAN HILLSIDE VILLAGE       Will communicate by email

LENOIR WOODS                               573.203.0870

MASON POINTE                                314.918.1268

MERAMEC BLUFFS                          636.224.3213

MERIDIAN VILLAGE                          618.205.2124

ST. JOSEPHS BLUFFS                      573.203.0871

RICHMOND TERRACE                     Will communicate by email

We look forward to welcoming more visitors back to our communities. If you have additional questions, please contact your or your loved one’s community directly. We appreciate your continued support and patience as we work together to keep our communities safe.

March 5, 2021

As COVID-19 case numbers decrease across the region, the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH), Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS), Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have provided guidelines on reopening senior living communities’ Assisted Living, Memory Care Assisted Living, and Care Center levels of living. This does not apply to Independent Living.

There are three phases of reopening. Each phase has specific guidelines on visitors, out trips, activities, dining, and more.

It’s important to note that communities will move into the different phases at different times. Your or your loved one’s community will communicate specific information to residents and their first emergency contacts.

Phase 3 allows residents to receive visitors in their residences and in common spaces. Phase 3 does not require you to schedule your visits, however, days and times may still be limited due to the need for staff to be available to screen and monitor visitors. Guidelines on holding visits differ between phases and are different for Illinois and Missouri. At all times, visitors must be screened and must follow social distancing and mask wearing requirements during visits. Additional guidelines will be communicated to residents and their first emergency contacts. Phase 3 will also allow residents to leave the community for reasons other than medical trips.

If you have questions about the phase your or your loved one’s community is in, please contact the community’s executive director directly.

February 15, 2021 Visitation Update

With the growing availability of the COVID vaccine, we have received an increasing number of inquiries as to when our residents can begin receiving indoor visitors again. As a reminder, all LSS communities are following visitor guidelines that have been set by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), the Missouri Department of Health and Human Services (DHSS), the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH), and county health departments.

The ability to have indoor visitors relies on the county’s positivity rate and the number of cases within each community. The current visitation guidelines will remain in place until transmission in a community’s surrounding county is controlled. Indoor visits cannot occur at a community until the county positivity rate falls below 10% and the community has not had a case of COVID-19 for the past 14 days. We are monitoring the positivity rate closely via the CMS website. Please keep in mind that even after an LSS community meets the criteria to open for internal visits, they will be required to revert back to outdoor visits if they have a new COVID-positive case or if their county positivity rate reaches 10% again. When indoor visits are available, only 2 guests per resident may visit at one time. Visits will be restricted to designated areas.

We have created a telephone number for each community to provide up-to-date information about visitation status. Please call the applicable number below to hear a recorded message that states whether indoor or outdoor visits are currently being allowed for each level of living at the community of interest to you.

BREEZE PARK 636-224-3214
CONCORDIA VILLAGE 217-203-0108
HEISINGER BLUFFS 573-203-0873
LACLEDE GROVES 314-918-0276
LUTHERAN HILLSIDE VILLAGE Will communicate by email
LENOIR WOODS 573-203-0870
MASON POINTE 314-918-1268
MERAMEC BLUFFS 636-224-3213
MERIDIAN VILLAGE 618-205-2124
ST. JOSEPHS BLUFFS 573-203-0871
RICHMOND TERRACE Will communicate by email

February 5, 2021

Below is an update from our Missouri trade organization, LeadingAge, on February 5, 2021.  They are continuing to advocate for communities, residents, and families as is LeadingAge Illinois regarding visitation and keeping us in the know.  We will continue to keep you updated.

Nursing Home Visitation Guidance – LeadingAge Missouri members have asked: “With staff/resident vaccination almost complete, when will we get relaxed guidance on visitation?”  We have raised this issue with DHSS and LeadingAge has raised it with CMS/CDC and the answer remains “no time soon”.  COVID-19 guidance on visitation, testing, cohorting, PPE use is not being updated yet, despite growing vaccination, because transmissibility remains a concern.  According to CMS/CDC, the vaccines’ effectiveness against transmissibility is being evaluated, but in order to get good data, more people must be vaccinated.  LeadingAge reports that members ask: “Why get vaccinated if it won’t make a difference?”   LeadingAge stresses that it does make a difference, but the focus must be on the right measures. If more people get vaccinated, fewer get sick. This drives community rates lower, which translates to fewer outbreaks in nursing homes and lower county positivity. That directly translates to less testing, more indoor visitation, more group activities, dining and more.  With growing impatience around visitation restrictions in nursing homes, there seems to be less attention to how nursing home visitation is impacted by ongoing outbreaks in the surrounding community (largely unvaccinated). LeadingAge created a tool that members can share with residents, families, and the greater community to clarify exactly why and when nursing home visitation is restricted and what everyone can do to make a difference. The tool is available here in Word so it can be customized for member use and reflect Missouri guidance.

December 1, 2020

Across LSS, residents are grateful that they live in LSS communities during the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

Lutheran Senior Services gives thanks for our staff members, our residents and their family members, as well as all those who have been in prayer for our ministry. Your support has been felt by our entire organization.

November 18, 2020

Because of the ongoing pandemic, we will follow the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines and communities will not be open to Assisted Living, Memory Care Assisted Living, and Care Center visitors for Thanksgiving.

We also strongly recommend that Assisted Living, Memory Care Assisted Living, and Care Center residents do not leave their communities for the holiday. If an Assisted Living, Memory Care Assisted Living, or Care Center resident does leave, they will be quarantined and put on droplet precautions for 14 days when they return. Other precautionary measures may be required as well, depending upon the community. If you have questions, please contact your loved one’s community directly.

We understand that with the holiday season upon us these additional regulations are especially hard. Please know our communities’ staff are doing everything they can to continue to make your loved one’s days bright and to carry on holiday traditions. Our dining services are planning traditional holiday menus. Holiday decorations are being put up and cheer is being shared safely however it can be. Each community has a Facebook page where staff share photos and updates on these activities and more. We encourage you to follow those pages to see what activities residents are taking part in and how staff is making this season special and memorable.

November 17, 2020

We are entering a challenging fall and winter with the continuation of the COVID-19 pandemic. Cases throughout the region are increasing and more stringent guidelines are expected from area health departments and other authorities. We want to remind you that our staff remains vigilant about their precautionary measures to protect our communities. These include:

  • Screening all employees prior to the start of their shifts.
  • Testing Assisted Living, Memory Care Assisted Living, and Care Center employees and residents according to Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH), and the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS) guidelines.
  • Assessing Assisted Living, Memory Care Assisted Living, and Care Center residents three times a day for fever and respiratory symptoms.
  • Screening Assisted Living, Memory Care Assisted Living, and Care Center visitors and enforcing guidelines during outdoor visits.
  • Increasing our cleaning and sanitation procedures with approved bactericides and virucides.
  • Providing staff with the appropriate level of personal protective equipment for their roles as indicated by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and health department guidelines.
  • Providing all staff members a face mask to wear for the duration of their shift. In Assisted Living, Memory Care Assisted Living, and the Care Center, staff members also wear face shields.
  • Assuring that Assisted Living, Memory Care Assisted Living, and Care Center residents who must leave the community for medical necessities wear a face mask and are reassessed upon returning to the community.

Additional guidelines have been set by county health departments. LSS communities are implementing guidelines as appropriate per the county health department where the community is located. Please contact your or your loved one’s community directly if you have questions regarding local guidelines.

We continue to keep our COVID-19 case reporting dashboards updated. You can find links to the community dashboards at the top of this page. If you have specific questions about cases at your or your loved one’s community, please contact the executive director directly.

All LSS communities are following visitor guidelines for Assisted Living, Memory Care Assisted Living, and Care Center that have been set by CDC, CMS, IDPH, DHSS, and county health departments. The ability to have indoor visitors in Assisted Living, Memory Care Assisted Living, and Care Center relies on the county’s positivity rate and cases within each community. Compassionate care visits are available for specific reasons but need to be scheduled in advance with your loved one’s community. When communities are unable to have indoor visits, our staff is facilitating video calls between residents and their family members. Please contact your loved one’s community directly to set up a video call.

Visitors to Independent Living must be screened before entering the community, wear face masks when leaving their loved one’s apartment, follow social distance requirements, and practice hand hygiene.

October 29, 2020

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, we are learning more about the availability of a COVID-19 vaccine. Because we care for a vulnerable population, our Care Center, Assisted Living, and Memory Care Assisted Living residents and staff will be eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine once it is available. Lutheran Senior Services (LSS) is in regular contact with federal, state, and local authorities on how an eventual vaccine will be distributed and how we can prepare our communities for administration of the vaccine.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has partnered with CVS and Walgreens to assist in the storage and administration of the vaccine at Long Term Care and Assisted Living communities. LSS plans to participate in this program when a COVID-19 vaccine is available in our area. At that time, more information will be shared on how this process will work.

Our staff continues to be vigilant in their precautionary measures to protect our communities. This includes maintaining social distance, wearing face masks, and practicing frequent hand hygiene among other measures.

Please remember visitor guidelines are still in place per the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and state health departments. Weather permitting, outdoor visits are allowed regardless of a community’s or county’s positivity rate. Indoor visits are only permitted if a community goes 14 days without a new positive case of COVID-19 and if the county’s positivity rate is less than 10 percent. If you have questions about your or your loved one’s community guidelines, please contact the community’s executive director.

October 27, 2020

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) recently released additional guidelines on when and how to facilitate outdoor and indoor visits in a Care Center setting. The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) and Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS) provided additional recommendations for both Care Center and Assisted Living visits.

Currently, outdoor visits are permitted regardless of a community’s or county’s positivity rate. Indoor visits are only permitted if a community goes 14 days without a new positive case of COVID-19 and if the county’s positivity rate is less than 10 percent.

Please note, the CMS, IDPH, and DHSS guidelines are subject to change. Any changes will impact our visit guidelines as well.

OUTDOOR VISITS

Outdoor visits must follow these guidelines:

  • Outdoor visits can take place weather permitting.
  • COVID-19-positive residents are not able to have visitors.
  • Residents are limited to two visitors at a time.
  • Appointments are required for visits. Please call the community directly to schedule a visit.
  • Communities have a limited number of total visits each day.
  • Visitors are screened before each visit. If a visitor does not pass the screening, the visit must be rescheduled.
  • Visitors and residents must wear a face mask and practice hand hygiene and social distancing.

INDOOR VISITS

When a community has not had a new COVID-19 case for 14 days and the county positivity remains at 10 percent or lower, the community will resume indoor visits. At that time, the following guidelines will be in place:

  • COVID-19-positive residents will not be able to have visitors.
  • Residents will be limited to two visitors at a time.
  • Appointments will be required for visits. Please call the community directly to schedule a visit.
  • Communities will have a limited number of total visits each day.
  • Visitors will be screened before the visit. If a visitor does not pass the screening, the visit will need to be rescheduled.
  • Visitors and residents must wear a face mask and practice hand hygiene and social distancing.
  • Visits will be limited to specific designated areas of the community only.
  • If a resident is unable to leave their room, visits may take place in the resident’s room with the visitor wearing full personal protective equipment (PPE).

We appreciate your continued cooperation and patience as we work through this constantly changing world. The community will notify your loved one’s designated contact when indoor visits resume. If you have questions about visits at your or your loved one’s community, please contact the community’s executive director.

August 17, 2020

To provide timely information about COVID-19 cases in our communities, we have launched community dashboards that list daily case numbers, weekly summaries, and overall totals. The numbers will be updated by 5:00 p.m. each day and the weekly summary will be updated by 5:00 p.m. each Saturday.

This is not meant to be a replacement for conversation. We encourage residents and their family members to reach out to the executive director of their or their loved one’s community with questions about the information on the web page.

Community dashboards can be found at the blue button above titled “Community Dashboards.”

Older Updates (June and July 2020)

July 16, 2020

We appreciate the cooperation of our residents and their loved ones as we implemented many precautionary measures to protect our residents and staff. While COVID-19 is still present, we realize there is a need to resume certain activities and lessen some restrictions while still protecting the health and safety of our residents and staff.

All plans to reopen LSS communities are tentative and subject to change if there is a resurgence of COVID-19 cases or new guidance is provided from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH), or Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS).

With this in mind, our communities are beginning to allow Assisted Living and Memory Care visitors this month with the following guidelines in place:

  • In Missouri, Assisted Living and Memory Care visits must take place outdoors per DHSS guidelines.
  • All visitors must be screened.
  • If visitors do not pass screening, they will not be allowed to enter the community.
  • Social distancing guidelines must be followed.
  • Face masks are required at all times.

In addition, our communities are beginning to allow outdoor Care Center visits with the following guidelines in place:

  • Care Center visits will take place outdoors per IDPH and DHSS guidelines.
  • Visitors will be screened before the visit. Any visitors who do not pass the screening criteria will not be permitted to visit.
  • Social distancing guidelines must be followed at all times.
  • Visitors must wear face masks during visits.

These guidelines are just a few that will be implemented to protect the health and safety of our residents and staff. For a full listing of guidelines in place during visits or for more information about visits at your or your loved one’s community, please contact the executive director.

Our communities will also be resuming group dining and lifestyle enrichment activities in the Care Center this month, except for residents who are COVID-19 positive or symptomatic. We will continue to follow precautionary measures, including having residents wear masks and follow social distancing guidelines.

 

June 15, 2020

While we have recently begun the initial phase of reopening LSS communities, visitor restrictions for the Care Center, Memory Care Assisted Living, and Assisted Living remain in place until further notice. We continue to review and adjust our precautionary measures as more information is made available. As senior living communities, we are taking enhanced precautionary measures to mitigate the threat of COVID-19 per guidance from local and state authorities. We will inform residents and family members when restrictions are lifted.

We are reopening our communities in a phased approach. All dates are tentative and subject to change if there is a resurgence of COVID-19 cases or new guidance is provided from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH), or Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS).

Information specific to each community has been communicated to residents and Assisted Living, Memory Care Assisted Living, and Care Center residents’ first emergency contacts. If you have questions specific to your or your loved one’s community, please contact the community directly.

The following services and activities will begin in Independent Living on the dates noted below:

  • Transportation Services will resume on June 15. Residents need to observe social distancing and wear a mask. Group outings are not resuming at this time.
  • Wellness Centers and Exercise Rooms will reopen on June 15. Pools in some communities remain closed until further notice.
  • Visitor restrictions for Independent Living residents only will be lifted June 15. Visitors will be screened before entering the community and will wear a mask while in the community. To allow for screening, specific visiting hours will be in effect for Independent Living. Visitor restrictions remain in place for the Care Center, Assisted Living, and Memory Care Assisted Living.
  • Where applicable, Private Duty services will resume on June 15. Private Duty staff will be screened before entering the community and will wear a mask while in the community.
  • Independent Living residents who volunteer within Independent Living may resume their volunteer activities in Independent Living only on June 15.
  • New Independent Living residents can move in beginning July 1.

We plan to resume some services and activities in Assisted Living on June 15. This information has been communicated to Assisted Living residents and residents’ first emergency contacts.

With precautionary measures in place, services and activities will look different. Details specific to communities will be shared by the communities closer to these dates. Residents need to wear a mask and follow social distancing guidelines when leaving their residences.

As we continue to work toward reopening our communities, Independent Living residents are encouraged to stay at home as much as possible and to continue to monitor their symptoms.

 

We appreciate everyone’s continued cooperation for the safety of all our residents.

 

June 3, 2020 (All Independent Living Residents)

As cases of COVID-19 throughout our region start to level off, governmental restrictions are loosening up and some activities in the greater community are beginning to resume. We plan to begin a phased reopening of LSS communities starting June 1. This approach will allow some services to begin gradually and safely and will only impact Independent Living. At this time, we are not lifting restrictions for Assisted Living or the Care Center.

Please know that these plans may change if there is a resurgence in COVID-19 cases or new guidance is provided from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH), or Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS). We will inform you of any changes.

All restrictions that loosen up and services that restart on June 1 for Independent Living residents will take place with appropriate social distancing. You will be required to wear a face mask when leaving your home.

The tentative plan includes allowing you to pick up your meals, walk the Independent Living (only) hallways for exercise, and gather in common spaces in small groups of fewer than 10 people with social distancing in place. We also plan to restart housekeeping services in your home. Some LSS communities are resuming chapel services and reopening salons. Please contact your community’s executive director for details specific to your community.

While we are resuming some services for Independent Living residents, visitor restrictions are still in place at LSS communities and residents are encouraged to stay at home as much as possible. Please continue to monitor your symptoms. If you feel unwell, stay home. If you have a temperature of 100.4 or higher, a new onset cough, a new onset sore throat, or a new onset shortness of breath, please contact your physician.

As we resume these services on June 1, you will receive more information from your community. In the meantime, if you have any questions specific to your community, please reach out to your executive director.

Older Updates (April and May 2020)

May 8, 2020

As of April 30, 2020, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) issued new guidelines asking all Care Centers to communicate the first positive COVID-19 case and if three or more residents or staff members have respiratory symptoms to Care Center residents, family members, and staff. In addition, Care Centers with cases will also provide a weekly update to residents, family members, and staff. LSS is complying with these guidelines.

Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) requires that this information is also communicated for Assisted Living and Memory Care Assisted Living. LSS follows this direction for our Missouri communities as well.

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, guidelines and protocols have been evolving as more information becomes available. To remain compliant, LSS has consistently updated and will continue to update our procedures and precautionary measures as new information becomes available from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), CMS, IDPH, Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS), as well as local authorities.

 

April 13, 2020

Across the Lutheran Senior Services (LSS) organization, our staff continues to work tirelessly to care for our residents, and have implemented preventive measures as recommended by the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH), Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).

These measures include:

  • Screening all employees prior to the start of their shifts.
  • Assessing all residents throughout the day for fever and respiratory symptoms.
  • Restricting all visitors.
  • Working with outside vendors to avoid resident care units.
  • Stopping all communal dining and activities. Residents are receiving one-on-one visits from support staff.
  • Increasing our cleaning and sanitation procedures.
  • Providing staff with the appropriate level of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for their roles as indicated by the CDC.
  • Providing all staff members a face mask to wear for the duration of their shift.
  • Assuring that residents who must leave the community wear a face mask.

We continue to proactively investigate and research all possible preventive measures.

 

April 3, 2020

The health and safety of our residents and staff are the highest priority of Lutheran Senior Services (LSS). Watch this video from LSS President Gary Anderson, BSN, MHA, RN, to learn more about the preparedness measures LSS has in place during the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

April 1, 2020 (All Independent Living Residents)

Even as we all continue to do our part to slow the spread of COVID-19, the scientific projections are showing that cases will continue to increase throughout our region over the next several weeks. LSS continues to work closely with local, state, and federal authorities and are following their guidelines, including the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH), Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).

We are constantly modifying our Emergency Preparedness Plans as needed from the information that we get from these resources. We are proud of our staff as they remain vigilant in their precautionary steps, which include restricting visitors, monitoring their own symptoms, screening staff at the beginning of each shift, keeping levels of living separated, practicing hand hygiene and cough etiquette, and the other preventive measures they are taking to create a safe and disease-free environment.

At this time, we would like to offer a few updates and reminders on how you can help protect yourself, your neighbors, and LSS staff!

  • Monitor your own symptoms and report any of the following to your physician:
    • Temperature (equal to or greater than 100.4 F)
    • New Onset Shortness of Breath
    • New Onset Cough/Sore Throat
  • Follow the stay-at-home orders. To help you with that, we are implementing the following changes to services:
    • Dining will be delivery only. We are temporarily waiving any delivery fees, if previously applicable.
    • Mail and packages will now be delivered to your door.
    • Housekeeping services will be suspended in apartments, villas, and patio homes for the duration of this pandemic. In lieu of providing this service, we are increasing other services such as food, mail, and package delivery. Our staff will perform deep cleaning common areas.
  • Please be conservative in requesting maintenance services. Maintenance services will be reviewed and prioritized by necessity. If your maintenance request is deemed to be an immediate need, staff will come to your home wearing appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) such as face mask and gloves.
  • If you need to use your community’s urgent call service, please know that staff who respond in person will come to your home wearing PPE as described above.

You will receive additional information from your community with specific information about these new precautionary measures. If you have any questions, please contact your community’s executive director.

Thank you for your help in protecting your community and please keep all residents and staff in your prayers.

Older Updates (March and February 2020)

March 25, 2020 (Families, Friends, and Visitors)

 

As a reminder, all visitors are restricted from entering our communities except for limited circumstances.

 

LSS communities are following the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) guidance on “limited circumstances.” The CMS guidelines state, “Facilities should restrict visitation of all visitors and non-essential health care personnel, except for certain compassionate care situations, such as end-of-life situations.”

 

If it is determined, by the community’s executive director or designee, that a visit is necessary, the visitor will be asked to wear a mask and will be limited to the resident’s living quarters.

 

March 23, 2020 (Missouri only)

Effective Monday, March 23, 2020, at 12:01 a.m., many areas of Missouri will be under a Stay-At-Home order through April 23, 2020. This means that all residents are to remain in their homes. This order is meant to stop the spread of COVID-19 throughout the state. We ask that you please cooperate with this order to help protect your fellow residents and community staff.

As we have already gone to carryout meals, you are welcome to come to your community’s dining room to pick up your meals. This includes apartment, patio home, and villa residents. Please remember that all group activities in communities have been suspended.

If you have any questions specific to your community, please reach out to your community’s executive director.

We greatly appreciate your continued cooperation as we work to keep our residents and staff safe.

 

March 21, 2020 (Illinois only)

Effective Saturday, March 21, 2020, at 5:00 p.m., per Governor Pritzker, Illinois will be under a Shelter-In-Place order through April 7, 2020. This means that all residents are to remain in their homes. This order is meant to stop the spread of COVID-19 throughout the state. We ask that you please cooperate with this order to help protect your fellow residents and community staff.

As we have already gone to carryout meals, you are welcome to come to your community’s dining room to pick up your meals. This includes apartment, patio home, and villa residents. Please remember that all group activities in communities have been suspended.

If you have any questions specific to your community, please reach out to your community’s executive director.

We greatly appreciate your continued cooperation as we work to keep our residents and staff safe.

 

March 17, 2020 (Missouri only)

On March 16, the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS) provided guidance on Assisted Living, Memory Care, and Care Center residents leaving senior living communities while communities are restricting visitors. Effective immediately, we are asking residents not to leave our communities, unless for an urgent medical reason that cannot be addressed at the community. “Urgent medical reasons” will be defined by the clinical provider or community staff assessment.

Lutheran Senior Services is following the recommendations of the state and taking necessary precautions to protect our residents.

The DHSS memo states:

For those insistent on taking residents out of the facility for non-urgent medical reasons:

  • Only legally authorized persons may remove a resident from the community. This may be a durable power of attorney for healthcare (if this has been enacted), a legal guardian, or the resident themselves.
  • Before a resident leaves, the community will follow the discharge regulations to the extent possible so that the resident receives appropriate care while away from the community.
  • Upon leaving the community, the resident, their legal representative, and all those required by regulation should be given a written emergency discharge notice.
  • Those taking the resident out of the community will be informed that the resident will not be permitted to return until the restrictions currently in place are lifted. When appropriate, residents may be required to obtain clearance from their medical provider which may include proof of a negative COVID-19 screening.

Please note, if the resident leaves for an urgent medical reason as defined by the clinical provider or community staff assessment, they will be allowed to return to the community.

We appreciate your cooperation as we work to keep our residents and staff safe. If you have any questions specific to your loved one’s community, please contact the executive director of that community directly.

 

March 16, 2020

Recently the President issued a national state of emergency and the governors of Illinois and Missouri each issued states of emergency to provide resources that address coronavirus disease 19 (COVID-19). National and state health departments and entities continually add clarification to guidelines for the health and safety of at-risk populations, especially older adults. Lutheran Senior Services (LSS) continues to reassess our preparedness throughout this evolving situation.

All visitors are restricted from entering our communities except for limited circumstances. If it is determined, by the community’s executive director or designee, that a visit is necessary, the visitor will be asked to wear a mask and will be limited to the resident’s living quarters.

LSS communities are following the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) guidance on “limited circumstances.” The CMS guidelines state, “Facilities should restrict visitation of all visitors and non-essential health care personnel, except for certain compassionate care situations, such as end-of-life situations.”

Under no circumstances will visitors be allowed if they have traveled to China, Iran, most European countries, United Kingdom, Ireland, and South Korea within the past 14 days.

Staff within our communities as well as all home health and private duty staff are being screened at the start of each shift for symptoms, including taking their temperature, before coming into our communities or our clients’ homes.

Communities are able to facilitate video calls between residents and family members. If you are a family member and would like to set up a video call with your loved one, please contact their community directly.

 

March 12, 2020

The health and safety of our residents and staff is, as always, our highest priority. As cases of COVID-19 are confirmed in the areas around Lutheran Senior Services (LSS) communities, we are increasing preventive measures. These preventive measures are following federal and state authorities’ recommendations specific to COVID-19.

Effective immediately, all visitors are suspended from entering our communities except for limited circumstances. Furthermore, we are screening staff daily.

In addition, signs will be posted at the entrances of all communities reminding everyone of the visitor restrictions. The following are some general guidelines:

  • Visitors are prohibited if they have traveled to China, Iran, South Korea, Italy, or Japan within the past 14 days.
  • If it is determined that a visit is absolutely necessary, the visitor will be asked to wear a mask and will be limited to the resident’s home.
  • We are cancelling all community-organized out trips.
  • We will provide transportation to doctor appointments, if possible.
  • Internal community events will continue on a limited basis with small groups.
  • Events that include outside groups coming into our communities will be cancelled.
  • Prospective resident tours of our communities will be suspended.

We will continue to monitor the status of this current health issue and once we feel it is safe to lift these restrictions we will notify residents and families as soon as possible.

 

March 6, 2020

Lutheran Senior Services is taking active steps to protect residents and staff as the number of coronavirus cases across the nation increases. COVID-19 is new, however preparing for responses to disasters, including potential epidemics and pandemics such as H1N1, Swine Flu, Influenza, is not new for us.  You should be assured knowing:

  • We are monitoring the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) website daily to evaluate any new information regarding cases and interventions.
  • We are working closely with our hospital partners throughout our geographic areas to evaluate possible new cases of respiratory illness including the COVID-19.
  • Year-round we are constantly enhancing emergency preparedness, infection control, and resident safety.
  • We treat residents with a variety of infectious diseases regularly. These residents are isolated and treated in an appropriate manner by our trained staff utilizing Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).
  • Healthcare providers can protect themselves by adhering to infection prevention and control practices. The number one protection is proper hand hygiene.
  • We are asking our population (residents, staff, and visitors) to help protect our communities, if you answer “Yes” to any of the below questions, we ask that you restrict your visit or presence in the community and contact the community via phone to arrange when you can return.
    • International travel within the last 14 days to the countries listed below:
      • China, Iran, South Korea, Japan, or Italy.
    • Signs or symptoms of respiratory infection, such as fever, cough, and sore throat.
    • Has had contact with someone with or under investigation for COVID-19.

 

February 27, 2020

Recently there has been a lot of publicity in the world news about the coronavirus. While there have been no confirmed cases in our geographic area, we want to assure you that we are informed and staying up-to-date on this topic. Symptoms and treatment for coronavirus are the same as for respiratory influenza (flu). LSS has procedures and policies in place for the prevention and treatment of such contagious illnesses.

The health and safety of our residents and staff is our highest priority. Basic flu prevention measures are highly encouraged for all LSS residents, staff, and visitors. These include regular and thorough handwashing, using hand sanitizer, covering mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing, and staying home to avoid gatherings if you have flu-like symptoms.

During this flu season, we are taking additional precautions by posting signs at the entrances of all communities. These signs recommend that visitors who have symptoms of respiratory illness or who have traveled outside of the country within the past 30 days postpone their visits. If a visit is necessary, the signs direct visitors to use hand sanitizer and obtain a face mask from the concierge or reception desk. Hand sanitizer dispensers are being placed at entrances around communities.

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Limited availability in the Laclede Groves Care Center

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