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Coronavirus Updates 

This page will be updated frequently with the most recent communication at top.

Media Contact

Allison Combs | 540-277-9765 | acombs@nationallutheran.org

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See how we’re adapting life at The Legacy at North Augusta to continue meeting resident’s needs, while practicing social isolation

June 2, 2020, 2:40 p.m. 

COVID-19 Community Update
From Executive Director, Cherie Powers

Since our last communication, The Legacy at North Augusta has no additional active cases of COVID-19. The team member who tested positive for COVID-19 last month has returned to work after the required quarantine, and having received a clean bill of health. We are grateful to have this team member back with us and healthy. We are thankful to report that we have not had any resident positive of COVID-19 during this pandemic.

Yesterday, we launched “Sit a Spell” visits for families. Residents will be in the Dixie Theater, while families are on the screened porch and will utilize phones to talk. The Legacy’s Philanthropy Director, Sherri Heishman, will provide refreshments for residents and their families. We are excited for this, as we know the face-to-face presence with families will help lift everyone’s spirits. These visits require scheduling in advance. To schedule a visit, please email virtualvisit@thelegacyatnorthaugusta.org or contact ConnectedLiving at 540-231-6793 and specify that you would like Sit a Spell visit.

In the coming weeks, The Legacy’s senior leadership team, in partnership with leaders from National Lutheran Communities & Services (NLCS) will begin working on a phased plan of reopening the community. Like most places, our definition of reopening will look different than what we considered normal four months ago. We will share more details on this as they become available.

As always, team members will continue to use appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) and practice regular handwashing and disinfection of surfaces. We will also continue to follow guidelines put forth by the Commonwealth of Virginia, the state and county health departments, the CDC and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid services.

As a reminder, all of our coronavirus updates are kept online at https://www.thelegacyatnorthaugusta.org/covid-19-updates/.

Thank you so much for your continued support, thoughts and prayers during this time.

May 26, 2020, 10:58 a.m. 

COVID-19 Community Update
From Executive Director, Cherie Powers

We hope you were able to take some time and relax over the longer Memorial Day weekend. Everyone at The Legacy is grateful for those who have served in the nation’s Armed Forces and our thoughts and prayers are with the families of our fallen service men and women.

Since our update last week, we have completed contact tracing to determine if any team members or residents needed to be tested for COVID-19 due to direct contact with the team member who tested positive. We have determined the team member had limited direct contact with residents and staff. All individuals related to the contact tracing were tested and all received negative results. We are also happy to report no residents or team members are exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19. We are continuing daily wellness checks for all residents and daily temperature checks and screening for all team members.

As a reminder, as phase one of reopening has started in Virginia, The Legacy will continue to adhere to the stay at home order. From the onset of this pandemic, The Legacy at North Augusta and National Lutheran Communities & Services (NLCS) have taken a proactive approach to protecting our residents and team members. Over the past couple of weeks, the leadership teams of The Legacy and NLCS have taken an equally proactive approach to begin conversations that develop our own re-opening plans. We know that this will not be a “flip the switch” scenario, but more of a slow methodical process of opening services and visitation. Before we relax any current policies, together with NLCS, we will ensure that new policies, procedures and safety measures are in place to support our ability to maintain the health and well-being of those in our community, following guidance from the local and state health departments, the CDC and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

As a reminder, all our coronavirus updates are kept online at https://www.thelegacyatnorthaugusta.org/covid-19-updates/.

We recognize the sacrifices that each resident, family and team member have made over the past months as we’ve faced these unprecedented times together. We are grateful for your continued patience, prayers, and encouragement as we continue to support our current efforts and look forward to a plan for the re-opening of our community.

May 22, 2020, 3:50 p.m. 

NLCS Re-opening Update
From Cyndi Walters, NLCS Chief Operating Officer

As both Maryland and Virginia joined many states across the country last week to implement the first phase of re-opening their economies, we know that the timing of our communities returning to “normal” operations will look much different than the business community around us. In fact, like all of life around us, it is likely that we will all be learning a “new normal” as we advance out of our current COVID-19 culture.

From the onset of this pandemic, we have taken a proactive approach to protecting our residents, clients and team members. Over the past couple of weeks, the leadership teams across our organization have taken an equally proactive approach to begin collaborative conversations that develop our own
re-opening plans. Topics such as when and how will we return to group worship and community life, when and how dining venues will return to normal operations, and when will we be comfortable lifting restrictions on visitation are being discussed. Our priorities at all times will be the health and safety of our residents, clients and team members.

Because of the geographical and service lines differences across our organization, we will likely be looking at separate plans and timelines depending on each local situation. In all cases, we know that this will not be a “flip the switch” scenario, but more of a slow methodical process of opening services and visitation that will be at a slower pace than the state re-opening plans. As an example, although both Maryland and Virginia have moved to “safer at home” guidelines, all of our communities are still operating under “stay at home” guidelines.

Before we relax any current policies, we must ensure that new policies, procedures and safety measures are in place to support our ability to maintain the health and well-being of those in our communities, following guidance from the local and state health departments, the CDC and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

Our cautiousness does not overshadow our enthusiasm for the day when our residents can return to their community events and our families and volunteers can return for visits. Please keep in mind that our openings will take time and patience as we understand the risks involved with relaxing current restrictions. However, we all need to realize that the relaxation of restriction exposes everyone to greater risk of contracting the virus. Additionally, if we see a spike in cases at any time after relaxing the restrictions, we may have to take a step back to a more restrictive environment.

We are all learning to manage our lives around COVID-19. Proper hand hygiene, social distancing and masks have become a part of our daily lives and vernacular. We encourage everyone to continue with these fundamental practices that both prevent and slow the spread of the coronavirus.

As we’ve faced these unprecedented times together, we recognize the sacrifices that each resident, client, family and team member have made over the past three months. We are grateful for your continued patience, prayers, and encouragement and look forward the re-opening of our communities.

May 19, 2020, 5:13 p.m. 

COVID-19 Community Update
From Executive Director, Cherie Powers 

This morning I learned that a team member at The Legacy at North Augusta has tested positive for COVID-19. In order to protect this team member’s privacy, I cannot share their name, but can share that they are doing well and are self-quarantined in their home. According to CDC guidelines, after being quarantined for fourteen days, this team member will be allowed to return to work. In partnership with our Medical Director, we are determining who else might have had direct contact with this person. Anyone in direct contact will be required to be tested for the Coronavirus, and we will decide what further actions may need to be taken. I will make more information available as soon as I have it.

Team members at The Legacy have been utilizing face coverings and gloves as needed throughout their day. As a community, we have also been practicing social distancing, performing regular handwashing, and regularly disinfecting surfaces.

We will also continue daily wellness checks for residents including temperature checks and monitoring for cough, shortness of breath, chills, muscle aches, headaches, sore throat, new loss of taste or smell, new dizziness and new diarrhea. Additionally, team members will continue to have their temperature taken upon entry into the building. If it is over 99 degrees, they will be sent home to self-monitor.

As the Commonwealth of Virginia begins the reopening process, we must continue to be diligent with regard to infection control, due to the vulnerability of our residents. We must continue to restrict visitations to essential visits at end of life only until further notice. In partnership with our parent organization, National Lutheran Communities & Services (NLCS) we are working on a phased plan of what easing restrictions at The Legacy will look like. As a general guideline, we expect to be at least two weeks behind state recommendations. This gives us an opportunity to monitor numbers should the state see a spike in COVID-19 cases due to the easement of the stay at home order. We do expect that when we ease restrictions at The Legacy, groups will be limited to under 10 people and we will still utilize face coverings and be vigilant about handwashing and disinfecting surfaces. As we know more about what our plan looks like, we will share it with residents and families.

I know this information is unsettling, but please know that we are doing all that we can to keep our residents healthy and are taking every possible precaution. Thank you for your patience, thoughts and prayers during this time.

May 12, 2020, 8:55, a.m. 

COVID-19 Community Update
From Executive Director, Cherie Powers 

I hope in spite of the current COVID pandemic, you were able to take some time this past weekend and celebrate the mothers in your life. The team at The Legacy worked hard to make this day special for all the mothers in our community with flowers and goodie bags.

If you are not already, follow our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/thelegacyatnorthaugusta. This gives a glimpse into the day-to-day life at The Legacy and how our team continues to provide support, care and joy to residents during this time.

As of today, we have no active cases of COVID-19 and no pending test results. I remain grateful for the work of my team and the dedication from residents and families to keep The Legacy free of COVID.

Although the community is free of COVID, the team continues to utilize fabric face coverings. If any residents need a face covering, please call the concierge desk and let us know. We have medical grade personal protective equipment on-hand and will utilize immediately if we have any positive cases.

We also continue to follow social distancing guidelines and proper hand hygiene practices.

We will continue to post all COVID related communication and updates to our website at https://www.thelegacyatnorthaugusta.org/covid-19-updates/.

Thank you for your continued support and prayers during this time.

May 5, 2020, 2:50, p.m. 

COVID-19 Community Update
From Executive Director, Cherie Powers 

I hope this note finds each of you and your families well. I am thrilled to say at the time of this memo The Legacy at North Augusta remains free from COVID-19 in both residents and team members. We are thankful for all the prayers and well wishes we have received since the start of this pandemic.

I am also thankful for the dedication of The Legacy’s residents and team members, who have remained diligent in practicing the infection control measures including social distancing that will help keep this virus out of our community.

The separation from loved ones continues to be difficult for everyone. With Mother’s Day approaching this weekend, The Legacy is working on making the day special for residents. If you have not already, be sure to schedule a visit with your loved ones leading up to Mother’s Day. You may request a visit at virtualvisit@thelegacyatnorthaugusta.org.

Although The Legacy has remained free of COVID, it is important that we do not become complacent. Both residents and team members will continue to utilize face coverings, practice frequent handwashing and regularly disinfect surfaces. We are also continuing to symptom screen residents twice a day and team members once a day.

We will be observing Governor Northam’s stay at home order until it is lifted. Similar to other states, Governor Northam has announced the state will follow a phased reopening. In a press conference Monday, May 3, the Governor said the first phase could start as early as May 15. We expect The Legacy will be included in the final rounds of reopening given how vulnerable residents are to the virus.

As a reminder, all communication is also posted online at https://www.thelegacyatnorthaugusta.org/covid-19-updates/.

Thank you for your continued patience, prayers and support during this time. A special thanks to all mothers, grandmothers, great-grandmothers, and those who are like mothers. Happy Mother’s Day.

April 28, 2020, 3:20, p.m. 

COVID-19 Community Update
From Executive Director, Cherie Powers 

I am happy to say The Legacy at North Augusta remains free of COVID-19 in both residents and team members. We are truly blessed everyone has stayed healthy and are working diligently to do our part in slowing the spread of the virus. We continue to monitor residents for symptoms twice daily and team members once daily.

Like many of you, I believe most difficult part of this is the distance we must keep from our loved ones. If you have not already, you can contact us at virtualvisit@thelegacyatnorthaugusta.org to schedule a virtual visit with your family member(s). We all look forward to the day when our building is full of family and friends visiting. In the meantime, rest assured the team at The Legacy is providing your loved one with the best care and companionship they can receive.

Last week, we recognized Careers in Aging week on our Facebook page, which allowed us to highlight members of our team in varying disciplines. I encourage you to read through the posts, see their faces and learn things you may not have known before. Although this is only a few select team members, they all represent the heart of The Legacy’s team. Our Facebook pages also gives you an excellent look into how we are adapting life at The Legacy during this time to ensure residents are still kept engaged.

Our team continues to utilize Personal Protective Equipment. We have received overwhelming support by a number of team members and community partners who have donated a variety of PPE, including fabric masks, surgical masks, N95 masks and face shields. We are inspired by their generosity while so many are under their own hardships during this time. If you’re interested in supporting The Legacy at North Augusta with PPE or other financial support, please contact Sherri Heishman, director of philanthropy, at 540-885-5454 or visit our Donate page at this link.

Lastly, I am excited to announce our memory care neighborhood expansion has been approved to begin moving residents in. Although it may be some time before the neighborhood is full, this is an exciting event for The Legacy. Any residents who are admitted to the community during this time, in the new neighborhood or otherwise, will be quarantined for 14 days and will practice social distancing and follow the stay at home order until Governor Northam has lifted those requirements.

As always, we are here to answer any questions you may have. We are grateful for you continued support and thank you for your prayers during this time.

April 21, 2020, 1:25, p.m. 

COVID-19 Community Update
From Executive Director, Cherie Powers 

The Legacy at North Augusta remains grateful for your support during this unprecedented time. I am happy to say that The Legacy has no active cases of COVID-19 (coronavirus) in residents or team members. The Legacy will continue to follow guidelines put forth by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and the Virginia Department of Health. We are remaining cautious in our day-to-day operations by following social isolation guidelines and continuing to limit visitors to end-of-life visits.

I am so proud of the way the team members at The Legacy have continued to provide care, attend to residents needs and keep everyone engaged during this time. Thanks to all of you who provided notes and videos for the Creating Smiles video to lift our spirits during this time. If you have not watched yet, you can view the video here: https://youtu.be/B9FZqcGgVVA.

The COVID-19 response is dynamic and changes rapidly. Below you will find a list of frequently asked questions we have received regarding protocol during this pandemic. Again, while we have not had a positive case, we are still taking necessary precautions to slow the spread of the virus and are proactively preparing for the event we do have any positive cases. We are committing to providing you weekly updates (and as needed) moving forward.

We do hope you and your family remain well during this time. We look forward to seeing everyone when it is safe to open the building to visitors. _______________________________________________________________________
Knowing that residents have been asked to “stay at home” in their apartments, what’s being done to minimize staff movement throughout the building? As an added precaution, our team members have been assigned to specific sections of the building, not just in providing care and services to residents, but also where they take their breaks. For example, the first floor team and the third floor team each sit in different break rooms to limit interactions with one another.

What is the current protocol for staff using Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), and how are you keeping up with your supply needs? All team members are wearing masks throughout their work day. We are utilizing fabric masks in an effort to protect the PPE needed in the event we have a positive case. We are working with our supply vendors, local and state officials and FEMA to ensure the continuance of our supply. Additionally, we are working with the other communities within National Lutheran to secure additional resources.

What happens if my loved one begins exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19? As with any change in medical condition, our protocols require that we make collaborative care decisions with the resident and their health care power of attorney, if directed to do so by the resident. If the resident is tested for the virus and the test returns positive, the resident and the POA will continue to be involved in the decisions surrounding the resident’s care. The resident’s personal wishes in their advance directive will be considered in the treatment plan.

Are new residents being admitted to The Legacy at North Augusta? We continually evaluate admissions to the community based on apartment availability and our ability to meet the needs of the person, while safeguarding our community. When new residents are admitted to the community, they are free from symptoms of COVID-19 upon admission, and are self-quarantined for a minimum of 14 days under observation protocols.

What does isolation protocol mean? Isolation protocols are part of our standard operating procedure when infection control protocols are required, including suspected symptoms of COVID-19 or a positive test result. For COVID-19 isolation protocols, any team member entering the resident’s room (clinical and non-clinical) has been trained on the use of appropriate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), which may include eye protection, a face mask, a gown and gloves. The team is following current guidelines for PPE use and appropriate hand hygiene after providing care or services to that resident.

Acknowledging that working in this dynamic environment is very difficult for the staff, what’s being done to keep them encouraged? Our team members love working at The Legacy at North Augusta because of the residents and each other. We know that this time can be very stressful for them, not only as they balance the COVID-19 changes at work, but also in their personal lives. Our aim is to exhibit our We CARE values to them through small acts of appreciation on a regular basis with things such as care packages and free take-out meals. Additionally, National Lutheran Communities & Services recently launched Operation Gratitude for each of our team members physically working in the community. Operation Gratitude will provide supplemental payments to these frontline team members throughout the pandemic.

March 12, 2020, 3:14, p.m. 

Modified Visitation Policy 

As we continue to monitor the COVID-19 (coronavirus) situation, we recognize that the information and recommendations being provided to us by the State of Virginia and Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) are very dynamic and are being updated at a rapid pace. For the safety and well-being of our residents and team members, we have continued to take precautionary measures in our community, screening guests upon entering our buildings to ensure that guests are not exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19 or any other respiratory virus. The Legacy at North Augusta remains free from symptoms of COVID-19 nor have there been any cases of the virus at the community.

As a continued precaution, at the recommendation of the State of Virginia and CMS and in consultation with the leadership and clinical team at National Lutheran Communities & Services (NLCS), effective Thursday, March 12, The Legacy at North Augusta has modified their visitation policy, limiting access to the Health Center and Assisted Living to essential visits only until further notice. Essential visits are defined as those visits to residents or guests who experience a significant change in medical condition.

We do understand the concern that this may raise, as we have many families who visit the community on a regular basis. We are appreciative of your understanding, and one of our team members will be calling each primary POA/contact of residents on Thursday to touch base. We are currently working on enhancing communication connection opportunities such as Skype and FaceTime, where possible, for our families to connect with their loved ones during this time.

Admissions to our community continue, as additional procedures for screening at the time of admission for residents and rehab guests are in place, including inquiries about international travel and potential exposure to the coronavirus.

We are clearly focused on minimizing the risk of exposure of coronavirus to the most vulnerable residents and guests we serve. We will continue to work with the Virginia State Department of Health, the Centers for Disease Control, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid, the World Health Organization and NLCS to keep you updated as we have more information. Please do not hesitate to let me know if you have questions. Thank you for your partnership to keep everyone healthy during this time.

March 10, 2020, 4:10 p.m. 

Throughout the past week, our team has continued to learn more about coronavirus, specifically focusing on the steps that we can take to protect our residents and team members from contracting this respiratory illness. Based on recommendations provided by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), we are adjusting our visitor protocols and international travel protocols in an attempt to protect our community from coronavirus exposure.

On March 5, 2020, National Lutheran Communities & Services (NLCS) implemented a three-question coronavirus screening for each of our communities in the following ways:

  1. All residents completed the coronavirus screening survey with our care team.
  2. Team members completed the coronavirus screening online.
  3. Visitors, including vendors, and family members will be asked to complete the coronavirus screening survey when signing in at our front entrance to answer the same screening questions. If the response to any of the screening questions is “yes,” permission to enter the main building will not be granted.

The screening questions include information regarding recent international travel and symptoms such as cough, sore throat or fever or a change in respiratory condition. It also asks questions if there has been any contact with someone who has been diagnosed with coronavirus.

Additionally, we are asking residents and team members that if you have international travel plans, upon your return you practice a 14-day self-quarantine in your home. The Legacy at North Augusta will do our best to have resources available to support residents who exercise a 14-day self-quarantine. Coordination of these resources will be available through Emily Anderson. Primary care physicians should also be notified if the self-quarantine is enacted.

At this point, we will continue on with our ConnectedLiving programs, both on and off campus, as planned. Each of us should understand the risks involved when participating in events that put us in close proximity of others who could be infected. Please exercise caution at your discretion.

While there is currently no vaccine to prevent the coronavirus infection, the best way to prevent infection is to avoid being exposed to this virus. Please continue to be diligent in practicing preventive actions to help prevent the spread of this respiratory virus. Hand washing, covering your mouth and nose if sneezing or cough, and social distancing are the key elements of reducing the spread of any infection. If you begin to experience symptoms, please call your primary care physician.

Thank you in advance for doing your part to help us maintain our highest level of well-being for our community. While we’re not sure what turn this virus will take or how long it will impact our daily operations, we do know that it will take vigilance of our entire community to ensure the health and safety of our residents and team members.

February 28, 2020 

According to recent information from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), they continue to closely monitor an outbreak of a respiratory illness caused by a new coronavirus (named “2019-nCoV”) that was first detected in Wuhan City, Hubei Province, China and continues to expand. The United States reported the first confirmed instance of person-to-person spread with this virus on January 30, 2020. Imported cases of 2019-nCoV infection in people have been detected in the U.S. While person-to-person spread among close contacts has been detected with this virus, at this time this virus is NOT currently spreading in Maryland or Virginia.

At The Legacy at North Augusta, we are being mindful about proactive planning and education about the virus for all of our residents, guests and team members. While there is currently no vaccine to prevent 2019-nCoV infection, the best way to prevent infection is to avoid being exposed to this virus. Additionally, as a reminder, the CDC always recommends everyday preventive actions to help prevent the spread of respiratory viruses.

If you click this link, you will find a resource from the World Health Organization with five things to know and five things to do about the coronavirus. Although the resource does indicate the health care setting, we believe that in our community setting, the same practices should be in place.

While the virus continues its active status, we will ask guests who have traveled from the most commonly known areas of virus activity to avoid visiting our campus.

We will continue to monitor and will provide updates if there is a noted change in our region.