Important Updates From Our St. Luke Family of Caring - COVID-19
Updated on May 30, 2020 - 11:00 a.m.
As the Coronavirus/COVID-19 respiratory illness continues to spread, we are providing updated information from our affiliate organizations St. Luke Health Services, Bishop’s Commons and St. Francis Commons concerning the steps we are taking to keep our residents, staff, visitors and community-at-large safe in this rapidly evolving situation.
Additional Confirmed Case of COVID-19 On Our Healthcare Campus (May 30)
Based on the mandatory bi-weekly diagnostic testing of all staff now underway across our healthcare campus, we have learned that one additional staff member at St. Luke Health Services has tested positive for COVID-19. Adding to the first positive test by a St. Luke staff member that we reported on May 11, this brings the total number of staff testing positive thus far to two. Currently, there are no residents or other staff on our healthcare campus who have tested positive for the virus.
Diagnostic Testing Of Residents On Our Healthcare Campus (May 25)
We believe that the best way to continue to protect our residents and staff on our healthcare campus during this pandemic is through testing. The New York State Department of Health has been performing diagnostic tests for residents across the State, and on Friday, May 22 we welcomed them onto our healthcare campus where they performed tests for all of our residents at each facility. While no residents were displaying symptoms of a respiratory illness, we were fortunate to be able to take advantage of the Department’s testing resources on behalf of our residents. As of today, for the test results we have received thus far, results have been negative.
Diagnostic Testing Of Staff On Our Healthcare Campus
Pursuant to a May 10, 2020 Executive Order by New York State Governor Cuomo that all nursing home and adult care facility personnel in the State are required to undergo diagnostic testing for the COVID-19 virus, staff at St. Luke Health Services, St. Francis Commons and Bishop’s Commons began an initial round of testing on Wednesday May 13. Testing in compliance with this order is ongoing.
First Confirmed Case of COVID-19 On Our Healthcare Campus Reported (May 11)
The first confirmed case of COVID-19 has been reported on our healthcare campus. An employee at St. Luke Health Services has tested positive for the virus. We have shared this information with residents, families and our community. Details are available here.
No Visitors Allowed In Our Residences
On March 13, New York State suspended all non-medically necessary visits to nursing homes and adult care facilities until further notice. In response, St. Luke Health Services, Bishop’s Commons and St. Francis Commons began enforcing a NO VISITOR POLICY across our healthcare campus. No visitors can enter any of our three facilities unless medically necessary, and those individuals that must enter, including our staff, must complete a health screening. We will make limited exceptions only for those residents who are actively at end of life, provided family members complete our screening process.
Adult Day Health Care Programs Closed
The New York State Department of Health ordered all Adult Day Health Care Program Services to suspend their operations statewide. Accordingly, St. Luke's Adult Day Health Care Program has closed until further notice. We continue to offer supportive services to our ADHC registrants in their home-setting as we are able.
Keeping Residents and Families Connected
We are helping families stay in contact with residents using telephone, or via remote access/video chats using Skype or Face Time. We thank all of our families who have used this form of communication to stay in touch. To make arrangements for a telephone or video chat, please contact us and ask to speak with the Activities Department at the respective facility. To protect our residents and staff, each residence is facilitating safe "window visits" between residents and families. To make arrangements, please contact the respective residence. We also have a team in place to answer any questions families may have when contacting us by phone.
Active Measures to Protect Residents and Staff
Our dedicated and caring staff are working together to ensure the health and safety of our residents. We are in regular contact with, and are following guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC); the New York State and Oswego County Health Departments, and other local support agencies. Out of an abundance of caution, we have implemented many safety measures in a heightened effort to keep our residents and staff safe, which include:
- We carefully monitor the health and well-being of our residents daily.
- We are enforcing social distancing practices in all settings.
- Staff are using personal protective measures including the wearing of protective masks when near a resident or other staff member.
- All staff complete daily health screenings at the beginning of their shifts.
- We use enhanced and thorough disinfection processes at all facilities.
- We continue with staff education that reinforces our strict infection control practices.
Thank you for joining us in placing the care and safety of our residents first and foremost as we move forward together during this challenging time.