CORONAVIRUS UPDATES


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COVID-19 Guide for Seniors and Caregivers


Updates from ERS President & CEO, Laura Lamb, regarding the Coronavirus Outbreak

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Listen to our latest Linkage Podcast by ERS to hear from our residents and Laura Lamb

To listen to previous Linkage Podcast by ERS episodes, click here.

Most Recent Update

May 12, 2020

Dear Residents,

As you know, the Governor has opened a variety of businesses this month. Many people have asked what this means for ERS. If beauty shops are allowed to open, when can our salons open, as an example?

It is important to understand the difference between what a free-standing business can do compared to an aging services organization. As licensed communities within the State of Ohio, our guidelines follow the congregate living and nursing home standards, not the general public. Because of this, our guidelines will remain the same at this time. Regardless of the reason a resident might leave our campus (grocery store, doctor’s appointment, barbershop, etc.), they will need to be quarantined for 14 days. Additionally, we will not open our beauty shops, dining venues, and wellness centers until we are permitted to do so under the senior living standards.

I would also like to share something that was sent to me today via email. The email regarding line got my attention: Perspective. It reminded me of the wonderful podcast interview with Marjorie Lee’s resident, David Lowry, a few weeks ago. It gave me such hope to be reminded that we have been through much worse as a society, and we will get through this current pandemic as well.

Maybe we don't have it that bad?

It’s a mess out there now. Hard to discern between what’s a real threat and what is just simple panic and hysteria. For a small amount of perspective at this moment, imagine you were born in 1900.

  • On your 14th birthday, World War I starts and ends on your 18th birthday. 22 million people perish in that war. Later in the year, a Spanish Flu epidemic hits the planet and runs until your 20th birthday. 50 million people die from it in those two years. Yes, 50 million.
  • On your 29th birthday, the Great Depression begins. Unemployment hits 25%, the World GDP drops 27%. That runs until you are 33. The country nearly collapses along with the world economy.
  • When you turn 39, World War II starts. You aren’t even over the hill yet. And don’t try to catch your breath. On your 41st birthday, the United States is fully pulled into WWII. Between your 39th and 45th birthday, 75 million people perish in the war.
  • Smallpox was epidemic until you were in your 40’s, as it killed 300 million people during your lifetime.
  • At 50, the Korean War starts. 5 million perish. From your birth, until you are 55 you dealt with the fear of Polio epidemics each summer. You experience friends and family contracting polio and being paralyzed and/or die.
  • At 55 the Vietnam War begins and doesn’t end for 20 years. 4 million people perish in that conflict. During the Cold War, you lived each day with the fear of nuclear annihilation. On your 62nd birthday you have the Cuban Missile Crisis, a tipping point in the Cold War. Life on our planet, as we know it, almost ended. When you turn 75, the Vietnam War finally ends.

Think of everyone on the planet born in 1900. How did they endure all of that? If you were a kid in 1985 you may have thought your 85-year-old grandparent didn’t understand how hard school was. And how mean that kid in your class was. Yet they survived everything listed above. Perspective is an amazing and valuable gift. Refined and enlightening as time goes on. Let’s try to keep things in perspective. Your parents and/or grandparents were called upon to endure all of the above – today we are being called upon to stay home and sit on the couch.

David also wisely shared: “Life is always unpredictable and not always fair, but it doesn’t last forever. If we were to learn anything during this crisis, it is that we are dependent on one another. That we all need community.” We need everyone to care more about others than themselves now. I appreciate that I am serving a generation that understands this need because of the life they have lived.

Sincerely,

Laura R. P. Lamb
President & CEO


Archived Updates

May 7, 2020

Dear Residents,

As doctor’s offices and elective procedures have opened up in Ohio and Kentucky this last week, many of you have reached out to our teams, let us know that you are planning to go to your physician’s offices for visits or procedures. For you to make decisions about your healthcare, I thought it would be timely to review our guidelines.

We believe that your healthcare decisions are matters between you and your physician. Together, if you determine that going to your appointment in-person is in your best interest, we support that choice. However, because our communities are licensed in the State of Ohio and Kentucky, we are bound, not by the physician office requirements or surgery centers, but by rules that govern congregate living settings. These rules mandate that if you leave our campus, you need to be quarantined for 14 days.

As you decide with your physician what you should do, you will undoubtedly balance your physical health needs alongside your psychosocial needs.
Telehealth may be an option for some situations; we encourage you to work directly with your physician to coordinate this. For some, delaying an in-person appointment or procedure will be chosen because the mental health impact of quarantine is too great. Likewise, others will decide to move ahead with the procedure with the understanding that being quarantined is an unwelcomed part of the recovery. Of course, there will be some of you who may not have a choice – you have to have a procedure – and the thought of quarantine is unimaginable. I sincerely apologize to those residents being in that situation, and I wish there were a way around the orders.

As an added measure of caution and to ensure that we understand the orders correctly, I have personally discussed our guidelines with the President of Leading Age Ohio and our healthcare attorney. Both agreed that we have no choice in the matter, given the current Governor’s orders. I only share that information with you so that you know I have sought outside counsel, not to place blame.

I have stated many times that we are in a period of time that we all wish we were not. I remain focused on my top priority: doing all that we can to make sure that our residents and staff stay well. Thank you for your understanding.

Sincerely,

Laura R. P. Lamb
President & CEO


May 5, 2020

Dear Families,

Mother’s Day is a special day. We can all agree that Mother’s Day is going to be different this year. No one can say that they have celebrated Mother’s Day during a pandemic since the holiday was created in 1914. And, only a few were even alive during the last pandemic in 1918. It may not be the way we want it, but we do have an opportunity to come up with a new tradition or way to celebrate.

The teams at Deupree House, Marjorie P. Lee, and Episcopal Church Home are excited about the upcoming weekend and are planning some special things for our mothers to celebrate the day. We wanted you to be aware so that you could get in on the fun! We have a very special dinner planned for our residents. They will be enjoying a great meal along with other specials treats.

We will have extra staff on duty on Sunday to be present with our residents and facilitate “window” visits. If you would like to visit your mother (unless the resident isn’t feeling well or is under quarantine at this time), please consider signing up for a window visit using one of the special links for Mother’s Day below.

The visits will be 20 minutes. This will allow time to clean the resident space before the next resident arrives.

It was my mother that taught me to make lemonade with lemons. Let’s make our mothers proud of how we are creating a memorable holiday! And, Happy Mother’s Day!

Sincerely,

Laura R. P. Lamb
President & CEO


May 1, 2020

Dear Residents and Families,

I wanted to end the week with a bit of good news.

For our second episode of the Linkage Podcast by ERS, we touch base with residents, Annie Brown of St. Paul Village, an Affordable Living by ERS community, and Weezie Walker from Dudley Square Patio Homes at Episcopal Church Homes. Plus we hear from me with updates on some important matter across ERS and share some wonderful stories happening in our communities.

You can listen to it by visiting https://erslife.info/lp2. You can also listen on Apple Podcasts, Google Play Podcasts, Spotify, or on your Amazon Alexa from TuneIn Radio.

I want to share with you that the MPL employee that had COVID-19 has fully recuperated and is back at her full-time job with another organization. At this time, we have had no other confirmed cases of residents or staff.

Lastly, I would like to share a bit of fun. About a week ago, we could feel the heavy air and felt like we add needed a reason to laugh. I recruited our Risk Management team to help recreate a video that I had seen. You may have heard that Tennessee’s Governor asked the music industry to come up with songs for PSAs for the state. Big and Rich came up with a song: Stay Home. It is great! Great content in lyrics that support handwashing and staying home. Our goal was simply: have some fun and add some joy into our day. They made a music video with our residents and staff that is guaranteed to make you smile. We have included it here for your enjoyment!

https://youtu.be/x4GQrF8hvZE

I hope you enjoy the video and seeing some of the staff and residents you may miss! Sincerely,

Laura R. P. Lamb
President & CEO


April 23, 2020

Dear Residents and Families,

FA_PODCAST GRAPHIC_55.556sqI’m happy to announce that ERS has launched a new podcast. In these unprecedented times, we wanted to provide another avenue to update our residents, family members, staff, and partners on topics revolving around COVID-19. The podcast, simply titled The Linkage Podcast by ERS, launched today and is available on our website, Apple Podcasts, Google Play, and SoundCloud for easy listening whatever the device for this new and informative show.

In the long-term, The Linkage Podcast by ERS will be an extension of our Linkage Magazine and Linkage Online Blog to be a resource to address issues and interests of older adults, providing a link between ERS’s programs and the community. We’ll provide updates not only of our residents but also to introduce some of the great stories about people, services, and innovations within our various communities.

In each episode, we will interview two residents from different ERS communities to check in on how they are doing and how they manage their daily lives during this crisis. We will also have regular updates from me. I will share some of the most recent information regarding ERS and COVID-19 and some of the great things happening throughout our organization. There’s been a lot of success stories coming out of our communities, and I am looking forward to sharing these each week.

You can listen to our first episode by clicking here or putting this address in your internet search: https://erslife.info/lp1

For our very first episode, we touch base with residents, David Lowry at Marjorie P. Lee Retirement Community and Pat Donaldson at Deupree House. And, as we previously mentioned, you’ll also hear some stories from me from around ERS. So, please join our hosts Bryan Reynolds, ERS’ Vice President of Marketing, and Kristin Davenport, Director of Communications for our very first episode.

Tune in weekly on each Friday to hear our latest episode. And, thanks in advance for tuning in.

Sincerely,

Laura R. P. Lamb
President & CEO


April 17, 2020

Dear Residents and Families,

As a staff team, the coronavirus has challenged us to learn to work differently. One of the new skills that we have developed almost overnight is video conferencing. We are using a video conferencing service called Zoom. Zoom is a FREE video conferencing system that allows us to be together. You can see and hear the other participants, but in a safe way (think social distancing) since we will be using individual devices. You can participate in a Zoom conference from any PC, tablet, or smartphone.

I share this with you because we will be holding our resident coffees in May via Zoom meetings. To ensure that everyone who wants to participate can, we are announcing this now so that we have several weeks to assist those residents that might need some help or instruction. If you would like assistance, please call or email Emily Lorentz. She can be reached at 513-271-9610 or elorentz@erslife.org. You will be matched with a staff member that will assist you by phone and even set up a test Zoom session with you!

I also would like to remind you of the wonderful service we have in our Ask-A-Staff Hotline. We have had many calls in the last month and want you to know that we plan to continue this service throughout April and May. Our Ask-A-Staff member hotline can be reached at 513-533-5001 or by email at COVID19retirement@erslife.org.

Lastly, I want to share with you that we will soon be launching a weekly ERS Linkage Podcast. The podcast will include updates from me regarding ERS’s COVID-19 results, along with interviews of our residents sharing how they are coping with our new normal. More information to come soon!

Please let me know if you have any questions or suggestions. I look forward to seeing you all during a Zoom session sometime soon!

Sincerely,

Laura R. P. Lamb
President & CEO


April 11, 2020

WCPO covers ERS' proactive response to COVID-19

Part-time worker at Marjorie P. Lee Retirement Community tests positive for COVID-19

April 8, 2020

Dear Marjorie P. Lee Retirement Community Residents and Families,

A case of COVID-19, the illness resulting from the novel coronavirus, has been diagnosed in an employee of Marjorie P. Lee Retirement Community.

The staff member is in quarantine at home. We have notified public health officials as required and are following procedures recommended by the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention. We are taking every step as recommended by authorities to contain the spread. We want to make residents, their families, and our dedicated staff aware of this situation and reassure everyone that we are on top of the situation.

Our team learned of the case this afternoon and I wanted to share this information with you immediately. I appreciate the staff member reaching out, and know that we will all be sending our prayers for a full recovery. As you are aware, personal health information is protected by HIPAA, therefore, we are unable to give any details about the staff member.

I realize that this is a serious and unsettling time for all of us. Now more than ever, it is all of our responsibility to double down with our social distancing and hand hygiene practices to continue to maintain a safe place to work and live. We must continue our vigilance and commitment to all of our interventions. Our actions are literally saving lives. We know you are depending on us.

Sincerely,

Laura R. P. Lamb
President & CEO

April 6, 2020

Dear Residents,

I hope your week is starting well and you, and your family are still healthy. I wanted to share a few updates and ask for your help as well during Holy Week.

Our chaplains are busy preparing for Easter services. I am so thankful for the dedication and creativity of our spiritual services staff. We follow all of the states’ guidelines related to gathering even on this holiest time. Each campus has worked out a way to be present and offer modified versions of services. Some services will be held outside, broadcasted via in-house channels, or by our chaplains walking through our building while residents remain in their rooms. Campus-specific plans will be shared as the plans are finalized. No matter what way we praise the Lord this Sunday, I am confident that He will rejoice in our efforts.

The newest guidelines surrounding visitors changed over the weekend with an update from the state government. The new guidelines require that visits only occur when death is imminent- as deemed by our medical director. This guideline is much more restrictive than what we had in the past based on states’ orders. We understand that this is a very difficult requirement and will impact our residents and families at the end of life.

As the realization of the crisis continuing for weeks, not days, we have to remind residents and families of guidelines regarding dropping off items and visiting. Our team has been inundated with creative ways to get around the guidelines. One-off requests take the focus of our staff away from caring for our residents. The following are our current guidelines:

  • Drop off is permitted only at designated doors. Please remind your family of these locations:

    o Deupree House – DH I entrance only
    o Deupree Cottages – Back door of the Colonial Cottage
    o Marjorie Lee – 3550 or 3580 entrance depending on where you live
    o ECH – Main Westport entrance only

  • Families are not permitted outside of their cars on our campuses. Our residents greatly benefit from the ability to walk around our campus. In order to preserve walkways on our campus, we have to prevent families and visitors from getting out of their vehicles. It is becoming harder and harder to keep our residents safe. If a few people continue to look for loopholes or exceptions, it will ultimately require us to limit residents moving around our campus.

“Window visits” will need to be limited given the staff’s availability. Each community has established guidelines based on staffing, physical building limitations, and other site-specific factors. Please understand that visits may need to be limited to special occasions and on a scheduled basis. Contact the administrator at your community for additional information.

This letter is certainly not the communication that I thought I would be sending during Holy Week. My hope for each of you is to find some joy in the days ahead: the crisp spring air, the buds on the trees, a quiet moment of prayer and reflection. Please stay confident, as I am, that this crisis will end, and we will come together soon.

Sincerely,

Laura R. P. Lamb
President & CEO


April 3, 2020

Dear Residents,

I wanted to make you aware of two important developments.

First, I am so pleased to share with you that we are partnering with our amazing foodservice partner, Sysco, to offer a “POP-UP Pantry” for our staff at Deupree House and Marjorie Lee. Sysco Cincinnati has graciously donated more than $3000 of food for our staff! Staff is able to come to the Event Centers today and pick up groceries for their families. We are hoping that we can do this every week or so. We also made 50 bags of fresh fruits and vegetables for our residents at one of our affordable living communities. We will be reaching out to our food service provider in Louisville to see if they would consider a similar program for the staff at Episcopal Church Home.

As you know, we currently do not have a confirmed COVID-19 case in our communities. However, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services shared a recommendation that staff working in nursing facilities wear face masks. Although this is not a mandate, in accordance with ERS’ own PPE policy, we will begin distributing masks to select staff on Monday, April 6, 2020. We will be issuing face masks to team members who routinely work within a 2-foot radius of our healthcare residents. Because it is not mandated, the use of masks is each individual staff’s choice. Staff may also wear homemade masks (hand-sewn, bandanas, scarves, etc.) as well. I wanted to alert you to this new guideline. Seeing staff in facemasks may be a bit unsettling. As you are aware, we are trying to do all that we can to protect our residents and staff. The use of facemasks is just the newest intervention to ensure that we are all protected.

I also want to acknowledge and thank you for your support of the measures we have put into place. Several residents have shared their appreciation for the ERS team and all that we have done to protect our residents and staff. I promise we will continue our efforts. I am confident we will get through this crisis together.

Sincerely,

Laura R. P. Lamb
President & CEO


March 25, 2020

Dear Residents,

I hope this letter finds you well. We are a few weeks into our stay-at-home response to COVID-19. I am writing to share a summary of our response to date and to share some inspiring stories from around the organizations. I am very thankful to each of you, and our staff, for following the stringent practices designed to protect all of us. As you will see, the creativity of our residents and staff have not been dampened by our invisible threat.

First, I want you to know that I care about each of you. It is my responsibility to make sure you are well- cared for during this difficult time. It is out of care for each of you and your safety that we have the most stringent COVID-19 practices in our area, well before the governors’ mandated restrictions. We have taken the following steps in response to the pandemic:

  • Limiting families, visitors, and non-essential caregivers – limiting visitors and families protects you because it reduces the number of people you come in contact with on a given day. The CDC has been clear that we need to reduce exposure to others as much as we can.

  • Restricting of residents going off-campus – Again, this is an exposure issue, and we have taken a hard line on this issue given that older adults are more susceptible and at greater health risk from the virus. This practice protects not only our residents but our staff as well.

  • Screening staff before coming to work – We have had our staff screening in place for more than three weeks! Why? We have discovered staff with temperatures and have sent them home. This protects all of us who would have been exposed to him/her without the screening process in place.

  • Restricting access to people who go to multiple locations – Mail carriers, pharmacy, and delivery staff have been greatly restricted. These people go to other businesses and healthcare organizations, and frankly, pose a greater risk than others.

  • Establishing Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) guidelines and conserving suppliesas you have heard on the news, PPE shortages are not unique to ERS. To combat this, we have a dedicated staff member that is working with suppliers to secure as many face masks and other PPE as possible. We have aggressively pursued supplies, have made a significant order, and are awaiting arrival. In the meantime, we are using evidence-based protocols to conserve supplies so that they will be available should we have a case of COVID-19 in our community.

  • Asked all staff to do their part by limiting their exposure when they are not at work. We recognize that staff has to limit coming into contact with others when away from work to protect our residents.

  • Closing the Support Office and dividing the management team up – By having staff work at home, we have created a back-up team that will be ready and healthy to care for our residents and support the direct care staff if we have staffing shortages.

I have heard from many residents and families thanking us for our restrictive guidelines. Those that have loved ones at other communities and/or families that are aware of other organizations have shared how much they appreciate that we are putting specific measures in place to protect our residents and staff. Also, they have shared that other organizations are far behind ERS standards.

Even with our new restricted reality, I want to celebrate some of the creativity of the residents and staff. There are so many that I would like to share, but here are a few from around our three states and 30 campuses!

  • Residents at Marjorie Lee have held virtual “Friday Frolics” cocktail parties using their My Margie tablets.

  • The life enrichment staff in Affordable Living have written limericks for the residents and shared them along with a sweet treat.

  • A member of our support services staff rallied the help from her mom’s group to deliver 14-days’ worth of Meals on Wheels delivery in one stop.

  • One of our medical directors is seeing and assessing patients through the window for the safety of the resident and provider.

  • A resident painted a beautiful bunny poster to greet staff after they are screened with a funny, “punny” comment.

  • Several of our staff members’ college students answered the call to work at our staff temperature check-in locations to allow our staff to be with residents.

  • Countless numbers of FaceTime sessions with residents and their loved ones have been facilitated.

  • One of our affordable living housing managers is playing bingo with the residents via a text each day calling numbers and ECH residents are playing bingo along the corridor in chairs six-feet apart.

  • A local school is working with our Cottages residents at Deupree to have pen pals.

  • We had a family member serenade their mother by playing “You Are My Sunshine” on her trumpet outside her ECH room window.

These stories are only a few of the ones I have heard. We are so blessed to have residents and staff that are looking for creative ways to make the best of a situation no one wants to be in!

And finally, we are constantly looking for ways to improve and care for each of you. If you have ideas or suggestions, please do not hesitate to contact me. I can be reached at 513-979-2222 or at llamb@erslife.org.

Sincerely,

Laura Lamb
President and CEO


March 19, 2020

Staff Letter 3/21/20

Resident & Family Letter 3/20/20

Staff Letter 3/19/20

Resident Letter 3/15/20

Staff Letter 3/17/20

A beautiful serenade on a rainy day at Episcopal Church Home in Louisville, Kentucky

 

March 13, 2020

Dear residents, families and partners,

I’d like to take the time to thank so many of you who have been supportive of our efforts the past two weeks.  As we have mentioned before, the situation has evolved rapidly as we have consulted with experts around the nation on the response to COVID-19.

I also wanted update you on where we stand with our response to the pandemic. ERS has always been a leader in setting the standards for older adults. Our governors in both Ohio and Kentucky have issued minimum guidelines for healthcare organizations. They implored businesses and individuals to make thoughtful decisions that are in the best interest of the people that they serve and interact with, and recognize that we may need to do more than the minimum.

Just today, it was announced that we have four cases in the Cincinnati area.  Additionally, there have been several cases popping up across the Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana area. We know that more confirmed cases in larger numbers are coming as testing becomes more readily available and the disease continues to spread.

Limiting the number of people who have access to our communities is critical in mitigating the risk of the spread of the virus. At this time ERS has taken the following precautions to protect our residents, who are so vulnerable to this disease:

  • All non-essential staff and visitors will be restricted from visiting our communities effective immediately. This applies to Marjorie P. Lee, Deupree House, and Episcopal Church Home retirement communities.
    • We are allowing visitors in cases of end-of-life situations. Please consult our Frequently Asked Questions for more details regarding this topic.
    • We are not permitting families or private duty assistants to care for residents in our licensed healthcare areas unless it is medically necessary and/or it is essential to the operation of the community.
  • We are screening staff and essential visitors only for symptoms as they enter our communities including a fever check.
  • We are insisting that our independent living residents at our retirement communities, our residents within our Affordable Living communities, and our staff to limit trips to the store, the doctor, and other public places until further notice. Failure to do so, increases the risk to our residents and staff. 
  • We have cancelled all group trips including grocery store runs.  We have options for residents that need grocery options. Transportation will ONLY be available for medical appointments that have been verified with the physician that it is medically needed at this time.  Transportation staff will be re-directed to assist with resident services within our buildings.
  • We have protocols in place should we find an identified case of COVID-19 amongst our residents and our staff and will act accordingly.

There are many more details that we have communicated throughout the week to our residents and families in addition to the important guidelines and policies we mentioned above. Below are letters we have sent to our residents and staff throughout the week.

As a result of these actions, ERS and its communities are in a good position to care for its most precious asset. Our residents.  These are extraordinary times and we are taking unprecedented measures to help mitigate the spread of the disease.  We have followed the very best experts from the state of Ohio, Kentucky, the Centers for Disease Control and the World Health Organization.

As we mentioned yesterday to our staff, I’d like to thank everyone for their hard work and dedication to serving our elders.  I see so many examples of our values in such difficult and unparalleled circumstances. The Servant Leadership team and I recognize that our staff are providing extraordinary effort in an uncertain climate.  Many of our residents and families have been so supportive.  This is truly a community effort and I thank you all.

Sincerely,
Laura R.P. Lamb
President & CEO


As of March 9, 2020

The COVID-19 situation is evolving by the hour.  There are now three confirmed cases in northern Ohio and four in Kentucky as of today.  It is only a matter of time before the virus spreads to all cities in which we live and work.  Ohio, Kentucky, and Indiana governors have declared state of emergencies for their states. 

As we have learned from the outbreak in other countries, it appears that this virus spreads silently among communities before there are confirmed cases.  The older adults we serve will be disproportionately impacted because of age and, in some cases, close living conditions.

Therefore, we have made the difficult decision to restrict visitation to our communities.  All non-essential staff and visitors will be restricted from visiting our communities effective immediately. This applies to Marjorie P. Lee, Deupree House, and Episcopal Church Home retirement communities.

Additionally, because the virus will likely be in all of our surrounding communities soon, we will begin screening staff for symptoms, including a fever check at the start of each shift.  

Click here to download a Frequently Asked Question document for your review as well.

Thank you for your continued support. Our residents' health is our top priority.  If you have urgent question, please contact our Administrators.  You are also welcome to call or email myself or Ginny Uehlin, Vice President of Healthcare.

Thank you for your attention to this critical matter.

Sincerely,

Laura R. P. Lamb
President & CEO
Episcopal Retirement Services


As of March 6, 2020

Episcopal Retirement Services would like to update everyone on our measures to prepare for a Coronavirus outbreak.  As you are undoubtedly aware, coronavirus disease (COVID-19) continues to be an issue of concern nationally and internationally.

To date, containment measures have been effective in minimizing the impact in the United States and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) continues to consider the health risk from COVID-19 to be low among the general public in the U.S.

However, there is increasing concern that eventually community person-to-person spread will occur here as it has recently in countries such as South Korea, Italy, and Iran. In this event, the United States will address COVID-19 by taking steps that ensure we have the human and material resources necessary to combat this virus for the long haul. 

Coronavirus poses a significant threat to those who become infected. Should the virus spread within the U.S., as it has in other countries, the older people we support will be disproportionately impacted because of age and, in some cases, close living conditions. 

Our national association, LeadingAge is working to monitor the situation closely. In collaboration with these organizations and federal agencies, we will ensure that the health of the older adult population is a top priority during this time.

ERS has mitigation strategies to minimize disease spread and is in the process of preparing for cases of COVID-19 in Ohio.  As part of our preparedness efforts, we were ordering additional supplies and re-training our staff on our procedure for communicable diseases.  Additionally, we are working with our staff to increase our cleaning schedule of surface areas and emphasize hand hygiene.

We need your help.  ERS is reminding everyone to follow proper respiratory hygiene etiquette during the cold and flu season. This includes: 

  • Proper hand washing for at least 20 seconds using soap and water.
  • Alcohol-based hand rubs to clean hands if they are not visibly soiled.
  • Do not touch your face/eyes/mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Cover your mouth and nose when you sneeze or cough with a disposable tissue or the crease of your elbow.
  • Do not come to one of our many communities we operate or our Support Office if you have any of the following symptoms and seek medical assistance:
    • Fever
    • Cough
    • Shortness of breath

In addition, there are many resources for you to follow regarding the outbreak. Visit the following websites for more information:

This is an emerging, rapidly evolving situation and CDC will provide updated information as it becomes available, in addition to updated guidance.

Thank you for your attention to this critical matter.

Sincerely,

Laura R. P. Lamb
President & CEO
Episcopal Retirement Services

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