Coronavirus Updates

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

Media Contact

Allison Combs, 301-234-7056

Follow Us on Facebook

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

August 6, 2020, 5 p.m.

AL and SNF COVID-19 Update

Since our communication last week, we have not had any additional positive cases of COVID-19 in our skilled nursing neighborhood. In addition, the assisted living neighborhood continues to remain free of COVID-19.

We are hopeful once the remaining residents who tested positive have moved to recovery, we can keep our community free of COVID-19 and move into phase one of reopening. Phase one will allow us to offer limited communal dining, limited group activities and offer in-person outdoor visitation. We are proactively working on how to do all these things while maintaining social distancing and using infection control best practices to ensure the resident’s health and safety is the number one priority. Once we are COVID-19 free for two weeks, we can apply with the Department of Health to begin phase one of reopening our skilled nursing neighborhood. We have filed this paperwork for assisted living and are awaiting their guidance.

National Lutheran Communities & Services is working with suppliers to obtain additional methods to disinfect our community including Clorox disinfecting machines and UV lights that kill COVID-19. These are items only available to hospitals and communities like Augsburg, which will further enhance our infection control methods.

For convenience, we are again including a list of phone numbers so you can directly reach your loved ones care team. Please be mindful it is difficult to answer calls from 5 – 6 p.m. when our team is busy serving dinner.

Assisted living 410-916-1388 (cell)
Andy Braid 443-471-1010
Cara Miranda 570-470-7321

Skilled Nursing 1st floor
Terrence Ndefru, Unit Manager 410-961-5865 (cell)
West 1 North – Rooms 132-146 443-471-1015
West 1 South – Rooms 101-131 443-471-1018

Skilled Nursing 2nd floor
Danyeal Douglas, Unit Manager 443-545-7742 (cell)
West 2 North – Rooms 232-243 443-471-1016
West 2 South – Rooms 201-231 443-471-0529

Yetunde Johnson, Director of Nursing 443-463-7952 (cell)
Evening and Weekend Supervisor 443-677-1297 (cell)

In news not related to COVID-19, we are excited to announce we have hired a new Philanthropy Director who will be joining our team on September 8. Steve Slocum is joining us from Elmhurst College, located just outside of Chicago. Steve has 12 years of experience in fundraising including with planned and major gifts, and had additional experience in finance and communications. Steve and his wife are excited about their relocation, which will bring them closer to family on the east coast. We look forward to welcoming Steve to Augsburg and having the opportunity to introduce him to our team, residents and families.

As a reminder, we have a new way to register for “through the glass” visits with your loved one in skilled nursing. This will remove some of the back and forth and allow our ConnectedLiving team to spend more time with residents and less time coordinating visits. You may schedule a visit here: https://www.signupgenius.com/go/glassdoor.

To schedule a patio/parking lot visit with an assisted living resident, please contact Yolanda Cooper at ycooper@thevillageataugsburg.org.

All COVID-19 updates can be found here https://www.thevillageataugsburg.org/covid-19-updates and our dashboard can be found at https://www.thevillageataugsburg.org/covid-19-updates/covid-19-dashboard.

We thank you for your continued support during this time.

August 6, 2020, 1:15 p.m.

Independent Living Update

Since our communication last week, a resident in independent living has tested positive for COVID-19. We have performed contact tracing and tested three other residents who had contact with this individual. For privacy reasons, we cannot share the identity of this resident. Any resident with concerns can request to be tested and we will arrange for the testing. Please contact Tina Minio if you would like to be tested.

With this additional positive resident, we must extend the restrictions in place until at least Saturday, August 15. We are trying to continue to deliver services safely without going back to a full quarantine. We will need everyone’s cooperation participating in the safety measures we have put in place to be able to offer some of these services.

We have attached a revised services list. We know this list is expansive, however, we want to ensure each resident has the correct information. If you have any questions, always feel free to reach out to the concierge or Tina Minio.

One of the frequent questions we have received is about contact tracing. Any time a resident or team member tests positive, we perform contact tracing and determine who they may have had direct contact with and then perform testing.

An additional measure we have taken to slow the spread of COVID-19 though the community is to work with any vendors and outside home care and home health agencies to ensure we have their testing results documenting they tested within seven days prior to their visit.

One of the things we have learned since COVID-19 was first reported in our community is that some people will get the virus and never exhibit symptoms. This is why we believe it is important to maintain strict infection control measures. Often we feel comfortable around those who are not symptomatic, but have no way of knowing if they are still carrying and ultimately spreading the virus.

National Lutheran Communities & Services is working with suppliers to obtain additional methods to disinfect our community including Clorox disinfecting machines and UV lights that kill COVID-19. These are items only available to hospitals and communities like Augsburg, which will further enhance our infection control methods.

In news not related to COVID-19, we are excited to announce we have hired a new Philanthropy Director who will be joining our team on September 8. Steve Slocum is joining us from Elmhurst College, located just outside of Chicago. Steve has 12 years of experience in fundraising including with planned and major gifts, and had additional experience in finance and communications. Steve and his wife are excited about their relocation, which will bring them closer to family on the east coast. We look forward to welcoming Steve to Augsburg and having the opportunity to introduce him to our team, residents and families.

All COVID-19 updates can be found here www.thevillageataugsburg.org/covid-19-updates and our dashboard can be found at www.thevillageataugsburg.org/covid-19-updates/covid-19-dashboard.

I know this is an incredibly challenging time for everyone. We are working as hard as we can to get COVID-19 out of our community and keep it out. We appreciate everyone’s patience and are thankful for the continued support and prayers provided by residents and their families.

July 31, 2020, 4:45 p.m.

COVID-19 Update for SNF and Assisted Living

In a continued effort to keep our residents, families and team members informed about the impact of COVID-19 on the Augsburg community, I am writing to share that additional positive tests returned with our weekly universal testing results. Since our community update earlier this week, one additional Skilled Nursing resident and one additional team member in our Skilled Nursing neighborhood tested positive for COVID-19. There remain no positive cases in the Assisted Living neighborhood.

We continue to take necessary precautions to prevent the spread of the virus, including the proper use of personal protection equipment and social distancing, as well as twice daily symptom screenings for residents and once daily symptoms screenings for team members. Our weekly universal testing also continues.

In the memo earlier this week, we also shared the nursing leadership team’s contact names and numbers to keep you connected to your loved one’s care team. Although our team is pleased to speak with you, we do ask that you avoid calling between 5-6 p.m., as that is one of our most focused times of the day in serving residents throughout the dinner hour.

We continue to be grateful for your support and encouragement throughout this time.

July 31, 2020, 4:41 p.m.

Independent Living Update

These past weeks have brought many changes to our routines. There has been another asymptomatic IL team member who has tested positive for the virus. This positive result means we will have to keep the current restrictions in place until August 15. We continually evaluate the situation in close collaboration with the Baltimore County Department of Health and move forward through the reopening process when the established criteria is met. We must continue to act with caution and patience in order to keep everyone safe.

Precautionary measures and guidelines currently in place:
• Meals will be delivered to each apartment.
• Residents may go to their mailboxes to obtain mail.
• We will not be performing preventative maintenance or regular housekeeping. Please contact Tina Minio if you have an urgent request.
• Only small group activities are permitted in common areas with 10 or less participants.
• Laundry areas will still be open, accessible to one resident at a time.
• Limited visitation is permitted inside apartments or on patios/balconies, only if everyone is wearing a mask and can socially distance.
• Outdoor activity is recommended however, residents must be wearing a mask and follow social distancing guidelines.

We all have to find new ways to serve our friends, families and caregivers. It will be different but not in a negative way, but a new way. Together with National Lutheran Communities & Services, we feel strongly that if we ban together and act responsibility we can move toward “normal.” We have developed our Love Your Neighbor Pledge.

As we establish our plans to make our path forward with our phased re-opening of The Village at Augsburg, the risks increase for the possibility of the virus spreading to our community. Each of us has personal responsibility for keeping everyone safe, and we need to realize that our own behaviors can impact those with whom we work and serve. To show care and concern for each other, and to LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR, team members and residents are invited to pledge and commit to slowing the spread of COVID-19. Residents and team members are encouraged to consider your  personal impact on our community and our ability to move forward through the established phases.

We will be traveling door to door on Monday, August 3, with our Signatures and Sweets Cart. We will be presenting the Love Your Neighbor Pledge to sign and you may even get an afternoon sweet. We hope everyone will post the pledge in a visible place in your home as a reminder that your neighbors are counting on you to do your part in keeping everyone safe.

The Maryland Department of Aging would like a sampling of residents to participate in a project to utilize sample medication pouches to safely and properly dispose of prescription drugs. Pouches will be randomly placed in resident mailbags – not all residents will be given the pouches. Each pouch is individually wrapped with easy to follow instructions, education material, and questionnaire feedback card. Please use the pouch as instructed, complete the feedback card and bring the Concierge’s desk. This project is funded by a grant from the Maryland Opioid Operational Command Center.

All COVID-19 updates can be found here www.thevillageataugsburg.org/covid-19-updates and our dashboard can be found at www.thevillageataugsburg.org/covid-19-updates/covid-19-dashboard.

I would like to thank all the residents for their understanding and support of all the operational changes that  we have put in place.

July 29, 2020, 11:22 a.m.

COVID-19 Update for SNF and Assisted Living

We ended last week with a wonderful surprise from a family that stopped by to show their gratitude for our team members. If you have not seen it, you can view the photo of the decorations left here. We are so grateful for the many ways families and residents have expressed their thanks to the team. It truly lifts our spirits during such a difficult time.

This week, we have had no new cases of COVID-19 in the community, and beginning next week we will be able to move the two skilled nursing residents who were on the COVID-19 neighborhood to recovery. We also continue our state-mandated weekly universal testing for our skilled nursing residents.

On Saturday, July 25, we experienced an unexpected delay in breakfast delivery for our residents due to a fire alarm activation in our building at 7:20 a.m. Following our fire safety procedures, we must wait until the fire department provides an “all-clear” to be able to return to the building. After determining a faulty smoke sensor was the reason for the alarm, the fire department granted us access to the kitchen around 8 a.m. We do recognize the inconvenience this caused for residents and appreciate your understanding.

In an effort to keep you connected to your loved one’s care team, here are the direct numbers to our neighborhoods and clinical leadership team. You will also find a separate sheet for easier reference attached:

Assisted living     410-916-1388 (cell)

Skilled Nursing 1st floor     
Terrence Ndefru, Unit Manager                           410-961-5865 (cell)
West 1 North – Rooms 132-146                                    443-471-1015
West 1 South – Rooms 101-131                                    443-471-1018

Skilled Nursing 2nd floor
Danyeal Douglas, Unit Manager                     443-545-7742 (cell)
West 2 North – Rooms 232-243                                    443-471-1016
West 2 South – Rooms 201-231                                    443-471-0529

Yetunde Johnson, Director of Nursing            443-463-7952 (cell)
Evening and Weekend Supervisor                  443-677-1297 (cell)

As we continually move forward, our top priority remains keeping COVID-19 out of our community once everyone has recovered. We continue to symptom screen every team member upon their arrival, utilize appropriate personal protective equipment and follow all guidelines put forth by the Center for Disease Control, the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services and the Department of Health. We also regularly remind team members of best practices for infection control and have instituted a travel policy to ensure anyone who vacations, quarantines in their home for 14 days prior to returning to work. National Lutheran Communities & Services’ education team is still on-site weekly to assist with team member testing and provide
education to team members. This is an invaluable asset to the community, as they can quickly educate team members when new guidelines are released.

We are still awaiting word from the Baltimore County Department of Health on if we are approved to move to phase one of reopening in assisted living. Once we reach the 14-day mark with no COVID cases in SNF, we can file the same paperwork for those neighborhoods.

As a reminder, we have a new way to register for “through the glass” visits with your loved one. This will remove some of the back and forth and allow our ConnectedLiving team to spend more time with residents and less time coordinating visits. You may schedule a visit here: https://www.signupgenius.com/go/glassdoor

All COVID-19 updates can be found here https://www.thevillageataugsburg.org/covid-19-updates and our dashboard can be found at https://www.thevillageataugsburg.org/covid-19-updates/covid-19-dashboard.

We thank you for your continued support during this time.

July 24, 2020, 11:27 a.m.

Independent Living Update

We are grateful for the continued cooperation of residents and team members who have followed our community guidelines to help mitigate the impact of COVID-19. The wellbeing of residents and team members at The Village at Augsburg, has always been our priority, and it will remain so as we continually assess the efficacy of our reopening strategy.

We ended last week with a wonderful surprise from a family that stopped by to show their gratitude for our team members. If you have not seen it, you can view the photo of the decorations left here. We are so grateful for the many ways families and residents have expressed their thanks to the team. It truly lifts our spirits during such a difficult time.

We continue to symptom screen every team member upon their arrival, utilize appropriate personal protective equipment and follow all guidelines put forth by the Center for Disease Control, the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services and the Department of Health. We are also regularly reminding team members of best practices for infection control and have instituted a travel policy to ensure anyone who vacations quarantines in their home for 14 days prior to returning to work. National Lutheran Communities & Services’ education team is still on -site weekly to assist with team member testing and provide education to team members. This is an invaluable asset to the community, as they can quickly educate team members when new guidelines are put forth.

The team member in independent living who tested positive had very little direct contact with fellow team members and residents during the contact period we traced. As a precautionary measure we tested three residents who had indirect contact with the team member and all test results returned negative.

The current restrictions and closures will remain in place until at least July 31. While we continue to focus on detection and prevention of the virus, our goal is to cautiously reopen our community in phases once the established criteria is met.

We have developed a list of frequently asked questions to address specific issues in more detail:

May I leave the facility for a doctor’s appointment?
Yes, if you and your driver wear a mask, wash hands, socially distance, and practice safe restroom procedures.

Can I go to shopping outside of our facility?
We prefer you have a family member or friend drop off groceries for the next two weeks. You also have the option of ordering for the C-Store or InstaCart.

Can we still have exercise class?
We have virtual exercise and educational classes scheduled on TouchTown. In-person classes had to be discontinued based on the recommendations from our local department of health.

Can my family visit in my apartment?
Unfortunately, no. Visitation is restricted until July 31. At that time we will evaluate allowing patio visits if we have met the specific criteria in our plan.

If I go on vacation will I have to quarantine?
Yes, you must stay in your apartment for 14 day upon your return. Researchers developed the 14-day rule because 97% of the people who get infected will develop symptoms in 11 to 12 days and about 99% in 14 days.

We’d also like to share the news that our team has been trained and certified in CPR and AED (Automated External Defibrillator). We have purchased two units. One is located at the concierge’s desk in building 9 and the second one is in the Health Suite. Sudden cardiac arrest can happen to anyone and having an AED in the building and trained team members significantly increases the chance of survival.

As always, we thank you for your cooperation, thoughts and prayers during this time.

July 21, 2020, 4:25 p.m.

COVID-19 Update for Assisted Living

We continue to have a handful of active COVID-19 cases in the skilled nursing neighborhoods at The Village at Augsburg. All residents who have tested positive are on the COVID-19 neighborhood to cohort them away from other residents. We expect most of the individuals will move to the recovery phase this week.

We have submitted paperwork to the Baltimore County Department of Health to begin phase one of reopening. As of today, we have not received an answer on whether or not we can proceed. We will send out more information on this as we have it. However, to give you an idea on what to expect, phase one will allow for small group activities and outdoor visitation (no more than two visitors per resident, all masked and remaining at least six feet apart).

In accordance with state mandates, we continue to test all assisted living team members weekly. Thus far we have not received any positive team member tests in AL. Additionally, as numbers spike across the country, we continue to educate our team on infection control practices both at Augsburg and as they go about daily life.

With the new cases in SNF, we have implemented additional infection control methods with vendors. Any vendor who visits our community, including community partners such as hospice, must be tested weekly and provide us results before they can enter the building. We believe this additional safeguard will help mitigate the spread of the virus.

All COVID-19 updates can be found here https://www.thevillageataugsburg.org/covid-19-updates and our dashboard can be found at https://www.thevillageataugsburg.org/covid-19-updates/covid-19-dashboard.

We thank you for your continued support during this time.

July 21, 2020, 4:16 p.m.

COVID-19 Update for SNF

We continue to have a handful of active COVID-19 cases in the skilled nursing neighborhoods at The Village at Augsburg. All residents who have tested positive are on the COVID-19 neighborhood to cohort them away from other residents. We expect most of the individuals will move to the recovery phase this week.

In working with the Baltimore County Department of Health, we have been given guidance to test all skilled nursing residents who did not test positive until we have no positive cases from the testing. Team members will continue to be tested weekly until at least the end of July.

We have also implemented additional measures with vendors. Any vendor who visits our community, including community partners such as hospice, must be tested weekly and provide us results before they can enter the building. We believe this additional safeguard will help mitigate the spread of the virus.

We have a new way to register for “through the glass” visits with your loved one. This will remove some of the back and forth and allow our ConnectedLiving team to spend more time with residents and less time coordinating visits. You may schedule a visit here: https://www.signupgenius.com/go/glassdoor

All COVID-19 updates can be found here https://www.thevillageataugsburg.org/covid-19-updates and our dashboard can be found at https://www.thevillageataugsburg.org/covid-19-updates/covid-19-dashboard.

We thank you for your continued support during this time.

July 17, 2020, 7:45 p.m.

Independent Living Update

This morning we learned a team member who works in the independent living neighborhood has tested positive for COVID-19. We have started contact tracing and we have only identified one resident who had direct contact with this team member. That resident has been notified and tested.

Unfortunately, to meet state regulations, this means we have to revert to pre phase one operations. Independent living residents will need to continue to be extremely diligent about wearing their masks properly (over the nose), practice social distancing, practice regular hand washing and regularly disinfect surfaces. Restrictions will remain in place until July 31, after which we will evaluate the ability to move back to phase one. As a reminder, pre phase one procedures include:

  • Meals will continued to be delivered to each apartment.
  • Residents may go to their mailboxes to obtain mail.
  • We will not be performing preventative maintenance or regular housekeeping. Please contact Tina Minio if you have an urgent request.
  • No group activities will be permitted and common areas (including the salon, library and gym) will be closed.
  • Laundry areas will still be open, one resident at a time.
  • Visitation will not be permitted inside apartments or on patios/balconies.
  • Outdoor activity is permitted, however, residents must be wearing a mask and follow social distancing guidelines.

The concierge’s desk will have a symptom screening station available for any resident who would like to be screened. We will also have a staff member available to come to your apartment to perform symptom screening if you feel more comfortable with a home visit. Residents will need to self-monitor for symptoms of COVID-19 and immediately report any changes they may experience throughout the day to Tina Minio. Symptoms to monitor include a fever over 99 degrees, coughing, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, chills or repeated shaking with chills, muscle pain, headache, sore throat and loss of taste or smell.

Our hope is that this will be an isolated incident and we can begin phase one of reopening on July 31. We are anticipating a high number of calls with questions and concerns. It may take some time to return all calls. Tina Minio can be reached at 443-506-4887 or Cara Miranda at 570-470-7321. I (Cyndi Walters) can be reached at 240-686-6016.

As always we appreciate your patience during this time. This is truly an unprecedented situation and we are thankful for your continued support and prayers.

July 7, 2020, 5:05 p.m.

Independent Living Update

Since our communication last week, four skilled nursing residents have tested positive for COVID-19. Our team members are tested weekly, and we have received no positive test results. We are currently contact tracing to determine how COVID-19 got back in the building, which includes working with vendors and community care partners to obtain test results.

Fortunately, independent living remains free from COVID-19, and no independent living residents have symptoms. As COVID-19 cases have surged nation-wide, we are still operating out of an abundance of caution. Our number one priority is the health and safety of all residents, and this is driving all the decisions we make in regards to any ease of restrictions. As a reminder, if we have any active cases of COVID-19 in independent living, we will evaluate the need to reintroduce restrictions.

We have included the weekly updated services sheet, however, for readability ease, we have structured it differently. New and updated items are indicated at top, which the other items that have not changed are below. We know this is a lot of information to take in, and we appreciate the cooperation we have received. If you have any questions about services available, please contact Tina Minio.

All COVID-19 updates can be found here https://www.thevillageataugsburg.org/covid-19-updates and our dashboard can be found here https://www.thevillageataugsburg.org/covid-19-updates/covid-19-dashboard.

We thank you again for your support, patience and prayers during this time.

July 7, 2020, 3:05 p.m.

COVID-19 Update for SNF and Assisted Living

Since our communication on Friday, we have received staff and resident testing results back, and our positive cases of COVID-19 remain at four skilled nursing residents and no team members. The families of the positive skilled nursing residents were notified last week.

Since team members test results have all been negative, we are performing contact tracing to determine how COVID-19 recently entered the building. This includes working with our vendors and community care partners to obtain test results.

The residents who tested positive remain in the COVID-19 neighborhood. Our team members are utilizing the appropriate personal protective equipment to slow the spread of the virus.

We will continue weekly testing of skilled nursing and assisted living team members in compliance with state regulations. We are also working closely with the Baltimore County Department of Health to determine if we should test skilled nursing residents again after last week’s tests.

We continue to schedule “through the glass” visits for skilled nursing and patio visits for assisted living (with families in the parking lot). Virtual visits are also an option for those who cannot come to Augsburg for a visit. To schedule a visit, please contact virtualvisist@thevillageataugsburg.org.
Our team is working hard to keep residents engaged and happy. To see our day-to-day happenings, follow us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/thevillageataugsburg.

All COVID-19 updates can be found here https://www.thevillageataugsburg.org/covid-19-updates and our dashboard can be found at https://www.thevillageataugsburg.org/covid-19-updates/covid-19-dashboard.

July 3, 2020

COVID-19 Update for SNF and Assisted Living

In our Tuesday communication, we announced a skilled nursing resident tested positive for COVID-19 after being transferred to the hospital. Today this resident is expected to return to the community. We are all praying for this resident as they recover.

In response to this positive case, we tested all skilled nursing residents. Unfortunately, we learned three additional residents received positive test results. These residents have not exhibited any symptoms. We are still awaiting additional tests and will alert you if we have any additional positive results. If your loved one receives a positive result, you will receive a call from our care team.

Supporting best practices for mitigating the transmission of COVID-19, the residents with positive test results have been placed under isolation protocols on the 2 North neighborhood in the Health Center. This neighborhood serves as our COVID-19 neighborhood. The only residents who will reside in this area of the building are those with current positive test results or those who begin to exhibit symptoms of COVID-19.

Team members working in this area will be wearing full personal protective equipment (PPE) including N95 masks, goggles or a face shield, gloves, gowns and shoe coverings.

Last week, we began weekly mandatory state testing for all team members and all the test results we received were all negative. We are awaiting the results of this weeks tests and results will be published at https://www.thevillageataugsburg.org/covid-19-updates/covid-19-dashboard and included in upcoming memos.

All COVID-19 updates can be found here https://www.thevillageataugsburg.org/covid-19-updates.

We wish you all a happy and healthy Fourth of July. Although this year will not be normal, we hope you will find time to celebrate and relax. We appreciate all your thoughts and prayers during this time.

July 1, 2020

Independent Living Update

It is hard to believe today is the first of July. The year has certainly been a whirlwind and not one any of us have expected.

Yesterday we learned of an active resident case of COVID-19 in the skilled nursing neighborhood. The resident was transferred to the hospital at the onset of symptoms. We are testing all skilled nursing residents as well as all the team members who work in the skilled nursing neighborhoods. Fortunately, independent living remains free of COVID-19.

We will keep independent living in phase one of reopening. We only expect to reinstitute restrictions should we have additional positive cases in independent living.

Over the past week, our leadership team has spent time evaluating opening the dining room since restaurants have opened at a limited capacity. After careful thought and consideration, we have decided to keep the dining room closed for now. We understand many residents are looking forward to the reopening and know this is disappointing news. We are disappointed as well, however, we think this is the best decision for now. We are still hopeful in the coming weeks we can safely ease some of the dining restrictions.

We ask independent living residents remain diligent in adhering to infection control procedures. This includes social distancing, practicing regular hand hygiene and regularly disinfecting surfaces. Please remember, for your mask to be effective, it must cover your mouth and your nose. If your mask(s) are worn out and need to be replaced, please see Tina Minio and she will provide you with a couple disposable masks.

We thank you again for your support, patience and prayers during this time.

June 30, 2020, 5:06 p.m.

Assisted Living Update From Andy Braid

The last several months have been challenging, to say the very least. COVID-19 has affected everyone and everything we do, including me. I wanted to let you know that I have made the difficult decision to retire earlier than planned for personal reasons relating to COVID-19. This is a bittersweet decision. First, because I can’t believe I’m that old to be thinking about retirement but second, because I have loved being Augsburg’s Assisted Living Manager. It has been my honor and pleasure to lead the team caring for your loved one. In many ways, residents, their families and my team members have become like family. I will truly miss the work and knowing that I have helped make a difference in the lives of those we serve. Most of all, I will miss each one of you and thank you for the profound impact you’ve had on my life. Augsburg will always hold a special place in my heart.

Recruitment will begin shortly for my replacement. While I don’t have an exact retirement date, I expect it will be somewhere between August 1 and September 1. There will be an overlap with my successor to make it as smooth a transition as possible for everyone involved.

I thank you for the opportunity to come into your lives and wish everyone the best, always.

I also want to provide an update on COVID-19. This morning we learned of an active resident case of COVID-19 in the skilled nursing neighborhood. The resident was transferred to the hospital at the onset of symptoms. Fortunately, the assisted living neighborhood remains free of COVID-19.

As always, we continue to follow the infection control prevention methods we know will assist in slowing the spread of the virus including the use of personal protective equipment, practicing regular hand hygiene and regularly disinfecting surfaces.

Our team is working hard to make the Fourth of July holiday special for residents. Our dining team will be serving a special menu that day. Additionally, the ConnectedLiving team is working on decorating the building. On Saturday, they will be serving red, white and blue rocket popsicles and next week will be filled with patriotic singalongs, trivia and door decorating.

All COVID-19 updates can be found here https://www.thevillageataugsburg.org/covid-19-updates and our dashboard can be found here https://www.thevillageataugsburg.org/covid-19-updates/covid-19-dashboard.

June 30, 2020, 5:00 p.m.

COVID-19 Update for SNF

This morning we learned of an active resident cases of COVID-19 at The Village at Augsburg. The resident is a skilled nursing resident and was transferred to the hospital at the onset of symptoms. In response, we are testing all skilled nursing residents as well as completing the state mandated weekly testing for team members. We have been alerting families with phone calls about the change in status of the community. Any resident who tests positive will be moved to the isolation neighborhood. We will also place follow up calls with individual results as we receive them. In general, the state lab takes 24 to 72 hours to produce the test results.

Unfortunately, this active case means we cannot move to phase one of reopening. Additionally, the Baltimore County Department of Health has said they are not prepared for any community in the area to move to phase one of reopening.

As always, we continue to follow the infection control prevention methods we know will assist in slowing the spread of the virus including the use of personal protective equipment, practicing regular hand hygiene and regularly disinfecting surfaces.

In an effort to maintain a sense of normalcy for our residents, our team is working hard to make the Fourth of July holiday special for residents. Our dining team will be serving a special menu that day. Additionally, ConnectedLiving team is working on decorating the building. On Saturday, they will be serving red, white and blue rocket popsicles and next week will be filled with patriotic singalongs, trivia and door decorating.

All COVID-19 updates can be found here https://www.thevillageataugsburg.org/covid-19-updates and our dashboard can be found here https://www.thevillageataugsburg.org/covid-19-updates/covid-19-dashboard.

As we’ve expressed many times, we are grateful for your support, patience and encouragement as we continue to navigate these unprecedented times.

June 24, 2o20, 1:35 p.m.

COVID-19 Update for Independent Living

Yesterday independent living began phase one of reopening. We expect this phase will last at least three weeks. As a reminder of service delivery, we have attached the services protocol list.

A change from last week is how to order convenience store orders. Yesterday we welcomed back Jodi Paye from maternity leave. This gives our dining team the manpower to take convenience store orders directly. We have set up a dedicated phone number, which will be answered Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. until 1 p.m. Starting Friday, June 26, convenience store orders should be placed by calling 443-471-0719 (or extension 155).

In the coming days we will receive a COVID-19 Pledge from National Lutheran Communities & Services (NLCS). This pledge will be signed by every team member (starting with those who serve in independent living), and we are asking residents to sign one as well. The document simply pledges us all to adhering to infection control practices to prevent any additional outbreaks of COVID-19. We will also have it on signs throughout the common areas of the community.

I’d also like to share an update from skilled nursing. Tamiya “Mia” Bakersville has been named Health Care Administrator. A Baltimore native, Mia is a graduate of Morgan State University and the University of Maryland School of Law where she obtained a Juris Doctorate degree with a concentration in Health Law. Mia has worked in the healthcare field in various capacities for the past 20 years and has been a licensed Nursing Home Administrator since 2011. Prior to joining Augsburg as the Assistant Administrator in July 2017, Mia previously served as Administrator for Genesis Health Care, Sava Senior Care, and Catholic Charities. Mia currently resides in Pikesville with her family.

As we’ve expressed many times, we are grateful for your support, patience and encouragement as we continue to navigate these unprecedented times.

June 22, 2020, 6:20 p.m.

COVID-19 Update – Visitation and Leadership

Friday evening, Governor Hogan announced limited outdoor visitation for skilled nursing and assisted living communities. There are a number of criteria that must be met to be eligible for outdoor visitation. At this time, we are not able to extend outdoor visitation to residents and families. We are working diligently in order to meet these criteria. When these visits become available, we will immediately alert families with the information, as well as the criteria families must follow in order to keep residents healthy.

As a reminder, we continue to accommodate through the glass visits for skilled nursing, as well as patio/parking lot visits for assisted living. To schedule one of these visits, please contact virtualvisit@thevillageataugsburg.org.

I am also pleased to announce Tamiya “Mia” Bakersville has been named Health Care Administrator as of Sunday, June 21. A Baltimore native, Mia is a graduate of Morgan State University and the University of Maryland School of Law where she obtained a Juris Doctorate degree with a concentration in Health Law. Mia has worked in the healthcare field in various capacities for the past 20 years and has been a licensed Nursing Home Administrator since 2011. Prior to joining Augsburg as the Assistant Administrator in July 2017, Mia previously served as Administrator for Genesis Health Care, Sava Senior Care, and Catholic Charities. Mia currently resides in Pikesville with her family.

Mia has showed incredible leadership during this time and I am excited to have her in this role.

All COVID-19 updates can be found here https://www.thevillageataugsburg.org/covid-19-updates and our dashboard can be found here https://www.thevillageataugsburg.org/covid-19-updates/covid-19-dashboard.

As we’ve expressed many times, we are grateful for your support, patience and encouragement as we continue to navigate these unprecedented times.

June 16, 2020, 3:25 p.m.

COVID-19 Update

The past couple weeks at The Village at Augsburg have brought a sense of peace that we were missing during the COVID-19 outbreak at the community. While we are now focused on recovery, I did want to address questions and concerns we have received over the past days.

Like many skilled nursing facilities in Maryland, we were challenged with the spread of COVD-19. The word “unprecedented” is not just a media buzzword. COVID-19 has truly been an unprecedented situation. Throughout the peak of the virus, state and federal guidelines were changing very rapidly, often with very short notice. Resources made available to skilled nursing communities were often tapped out before we had a chance to request them, and the local agencies worked very hard to replenish and deliver supplies and testing kits.

The skilled nursing center did receive a visit from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), which resulted in a deficiency rating. We submitted a plan of correction, which was accepted and CMS did not require a follow up visit. As part of this, we brought a team from National Lutheran Communities & Services (NLCS) to provide additional on-site assistance and training for team members.

The outbreak at Augsburg led to a significant loss of life in skilled nursing. Each person represented in our community is important to us, to their community and to the family and friends who love them. Every loss of life is tragic regardless of stage in life, preexisting conditions, or fitting into a vulnerable demographic group. This has been a very difficult time for everyone at Augsburg, but especially our frontline team members. We have increased access to mental health services for team members as they work through their grief.

Of utmost importance to us now is avoiding another outbreak. We are being extremely cautious and do not foresee entering a phased reopening of skilled nursing and assisted living for at least a few weeks. We will follow any guidelines put forth by state and federal officials.
I know many of you have questions. I can be reached at 240-686-6016.

All COVID-19 updates can be found here https://www.thevillageataugsburg.org/covid-19-updates and our dashboard can be found here https://www.thevillageataugsburg.org/covid-19-updates/covid-19-dashboard. We thank you for your continued support during this time.

June 16, 2020, 3:18 p.m.

COVID-19 Update for Independent Living

The past couple weeks at The Village at Augsburg have brought a sense of peace that we were missing during the COVID-19 outbreak at the community. While we are now focused on recovery, I did want to address questions and concerns we have received over the past days.

Like many communities in Maryland, our skilled nursing neighborhoods were challenged with the spread of COVD-19. The word “unprecedented” is not just a media buzzword. COVID-19 has truly been an unprecedented situation. Throughout the peak of the virus, state and federal guidelines were changing very rapidly, often with very short notice. Resources made available to skilled nursing communities were often tapped out before we had a chance to request them, and the local agencies worked very hard to replenish and deliver supplies and testing kits.

The Health Center did receive a visit from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), which resulted in a deficiency rating. We submitted a plan of correction, which was accepted and CMS did not require a follow up visit. As part of this, we brought a team from National Lutheran Communities & Services (NLCS) to provide additional on-site assistance and training for team members.

The outbreak at Augsburg led to a significant loss of life in the Health Center. Each person represented in our community is important to us, to their community and to the family and friends who love them. Every loss of life is tragic regardless of stage in life, preexisting conditions, or fitting into a vulnerable demographic group. This has been a very difficult time for everyone at Augsburg, but especially our frontline team members. We have increased access to mental health services for team members as they work through their grief.

Of utmost importance to us now is avoiding another outbreak. While we are entering phase one of reopening independent living, we are being extremely cautious and do not foresee entering a phased reopening of skilled nursing and assisted living for at least a few weeks. We will follow any guidelines put forth by state and federal officials. Accompanying this memo, you will find a list of updated services for independent living. These new protocols will start on Monday, June 22 and be in effect until we feel comfortable moving to phase two. We have placed an asterisk next to the items that have been updated since last week.

I know many of you have questions. I can be reached at 240-686-6016.

All COVID-19 updates can be found here https://www.thevillageataugsburg.org/covid-19-updates. We thank you for your continued support during this time.

June 10, 2020, 3:43 p.m.

COVID-19 Update

Since our last communication, we are happy to say we have no additional cases of COVID-19 at The Village at Augsburg. We have also started accepting new admissions. Anyone newly admitted is kept under quarantine on the isolation neighborhood for two weeks.

Though the state of Maryland and Baltimore County have started the reopening process, there are a number of criteria that both skilled nursing and assisted living communities have to be able to meet before we can relax any of the restrictions currently in place. We are following the development of these guidelines from both the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and the Maryland Department of Health.

Although we cannot relax restrictions right now, we are exploring ways to offer ConnectedLiving programming to small groups in order to increase resident engagement. We are also working with Pastor Ray on ways to enhance spiritual services in lieu of having normal worship service. We will have more specific information available on this in next week’s memo.

We encourage you to continue scheduling “through the glass” visits. These have really helped lift the spirits of residents. If there is a special occasion coming up, we can also accommodate a drive-by visit, similar to this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_18gaf2Unrc. You can schedule this by contacting our team at virtualvisit@thevillageataugsburg.org.

All COVID-19 updates can be found here https://www.thevillageataugsburg.org/covid-19-updates and our dashboard can be found here https://www.thevillageataugsburg.org/covid-19-updates/covid-19-dashboard.

June 10, 2020, 3:37 p.m.

COVID-19 Update for Independent Living

As we’ve navigated unprecedented times over the past several months, I remain grateful for the collaboration and partnership that we have experienced with residents, families and team members throughout the coronavirus pandemic. As a community, we have established new methods of service delivery, adjusted dining options, organized grocery deliveries, and so much more. As residents and families, you have sacrificed time together, seeing each other only through virtual visits and speaking on the phone. I acknowledge that the past few months have been difficult for all, but I also believe that because of the strength of each individual that makes up The Village at Augsburg, we will continue to strengthen the core of our community.

In light of Maryland and Baltimore County’s recent re-opening amid the continuation of the coronavirus, we are reviewing a number of ways that we can move forward with the safe re-opening of our community. Based on the current guidance and federal regulations surrounding skilled nursing and assisted living communities, we are only able to begin a phased-approach to opening our independent living services and amenities.

That said, on Monday, June 22, 2020, independent living at The Village at Augsburg will begin phase one of our re-opening plan, resuming a number of services and amenities. We expect that phase one will last at least three weeks before moving to phase two. As expected, this will be phased, slow and deliberate to 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.

On Monday, June 15, we will provide additional details to the services that will be available on June 22. For the remainder of this week, we have included the updated services list. Noted changes since last week include preventative maintenance plans, ConnectedLiving activities and access to the health suite. Over the next week, our team will continue to work on developing the best opportunities available during this phased plan. We do welcome constructive and productive insight that you have to these plans.

As we move forward with our re-opening plans, it will be essential for us to continue our fundamental practices of proper hand hygiene, social distancing and the wearing of face masks to best prevent and slow the spread of the coronavirus.

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 all must also realize that some residents may choose to continue in their “stay-at-home” status. For those who make this decision due to personal choice or health conditions, please contact Tina Minio to discuss services available to you during this time.

We ask for your continued patience as our teams once again evolve in their daily schedules and duties to meet the new criteria being developed. Our new normal will likely look nothing like our old normal, but I’m confident together our continued partnership will provide success in walking this journey together.

All COVID-19 updates can be found here https://www.thevillageataugsburg.org/covid-19-updates and our dashboard can be found here https://www.thevillageataugsburg.org/covid-19-updates/covid-19-dashboard.

As always, we are grateful for your cooperation, thoughts and prayers as we navigate during this time.

June 3, 2020, 3:19 p.m.

COVID-19 Update for Independent Living

Since our communication last week, we are happy to announce we have been able to move all but one skilled nursing resident who tested positive for COVID-19, across all care levels, to the recovery phase. The remaining resident is doing well and we expect this resident will be able to move to recovery at the end of the week.

Although we are down to one active resident case, we know we will have to be diligent in maintaining infection control protocols. We are committed to doing everything we can to prevent any further outbreaks of COVID-19 at The Village at Augsburg. We will continue to follow any guidelines put forth by the State of Maryland, the CDC and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

As a reminder, although we have lifted the independent living quarantine, we are still operating under modified services. In order to provide the most up-to-date information, we have included the list of services and proper procedure with this memo. We will include this weekly as a reminder, and it will be updated as we move into new phases of reopening the community.

In the coming weeks, Augsburg’s senior leadership team will be working on a phased plan of reopening the community in the coming months. 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 in the coming weeks.

On Monday, June 8, we do plan to reopen Augsburg for new admissions in the Health Center. All new admissions will be located on the 2 North short-term rehabilitation neighborhood and will be under quarantine protocol for 14 days.

All COVID-19 updates can be found here https://www.thevillageataugsburg.org/covid-19-updates/ and our dashboard can be found here https://www.thevillageataugsburg.org/covid-19-updates/covid-19-dashboard/.

As always, we are grateful for your thoughts and prayers during this time.

June 3, 2020, 3:10 p.m.

COVID-19 Update

Since our communication last week, we are happy to announce we have been able to move all but one resident who tested positive for COVID-19, across all care levels, to the recovery phase. The remaining resident is doing well and we expect this resident will be able to move to recovery at the end of the week.

We are starting to move some residents back to their normal rooms. The process for this will be communicated with families as part of individualized care plans. We also look forward to offering through-the-glass visits to resident’s families as part of their transition out of the isolation neighborhood. Our housekeeping team is working hard to perform deep cleanings on rooms prior to moves.

Although we are down to one active resident case, we know we will have to be diligent in maintaining infection control protocols. We are committed to doing everything we can to prevent any further outbreaks of COVID-19 at The Village at Augsburg. Our team members will continue to utilize face masks throughout their workday, and regularly disinfect their hands and surfaces. SNF and assisted living residents will still receive daily symptom screenings. Independent living residents are asked to self-monitor and report any changes to Tina Minio. We will also continue to follow any guidelines put forth by the State of Maryland, the CDC and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

In the coming weeks, Augsburg’s senior leadership team will be working on a phased plan of reopening the community in the coming months. 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 in the coming weeks.

On Monday, June 8, we do plan to reopen Augsburg for new admissions. All new admissions will be located on the 2 North short-term rehabilitation neighborhood and will be under quarantine protocol for 14 days.

All COVID-19 updates can be found here https://www.thevillageataugsburg.org/covid-19-updates/ and our dashboard can be found here https://www.thevillageataugsburg.org/covid-19-updates/covid-19-dashboard/.

As always, we are grateful for your thoughts and prayers during this time

May 26, 2020, 5:08 p.m.

COVID-19 Update for Independent Living

We hope you were able to take some time and relax over the longer Memorial Day weekend. Everyone at Augsburg 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.

We are excited to have Tina Minio back in the community to assist independent living residents. She can be reached at 443-506-4887 or tstrayerminio@thevillageataugsburg.org.

In addition to Tina, the Concierge can help mitigate many needs. The direct phone number to the concierge is 410-484-3099.

Following the fire last week in the Health Center, we are starting to move residents back to that area of the building following the clean-up process, while four rooms remain under repair due to water damage until later this week. Our maintenance team spent the weekend checking all resident-owned appliances in the Health Center to ensure they are working safely. We will continue this process during monthly room checks. In the coming days, we will have information to share with independent living residents and family members regarding similar fire prevention inspections that will start in June.

At the time of this memo, no additional independent living residents have tested positive for COVID-19. We will be able to lift the quarantine on Friday, May 29. Out of an abundance of caution, residents who tested positive (and their spouses, where applicable) will remain quarantined until at least June 5.

Prior to lifting the quarantine, our facilities team will conduct a deep cleaning of all the IL Village common spaces.

Lifting the quarantine requires updates to the protocols the community has followed over past weeks back to the “stay at home” protocols we had prior to the quarantine with some minor revisions. Below is a list of the areas we are changing. As more arise, we will send additional communication.
• Wellness Checks
Beginning on June 1 and continuing for at least 2 weeks, we will complete wellness checks once a week (instead of daily) and ask residents to self-monitor and alert Tina Minio or Concierge should you have the onset of any symptoms including a temperature of 99 degrees or above, cough, shortness of breath, chills, muscle pain, headache, sore throat, loss of taste or smell, dizziness or diarrhea.
• Masks
Masks must be worn at all times when leaving your apartment. The mask should completely cover your nose and mouth. Please do not remove the mask to talk.
• Social Distancing
Please keep at least six feet between individuals. Group gatherings should consist of no more than six people at one time.
• Emergency Requests
Monday through Friday, you may contact either Tina Minio or the Concierge. On the weekends and after 5 p.m., security will respond.
• Meals
This process will not change and meals will continue to be delivered door-to-door. Dining services will continue to utilize personal protective equipment (PPE) and use hand sanitizer between deliveries.
• Mail and Packages
Residents may access their own mailboxes starting on Saturday, May 30. The mailboxes will be sanitized twice daily, however, wash your hands thoroughly once you are back at your apartment. Package delivery will continue to individual apartments. We have a group of approved volunteers disinfecting and delivering packages.
• Grocery and C-store Orders
The process for once a week orders for groceries will continue. Please have convenience store orders to Adrienne Brown between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m. Orders given after 1 p.m. are delivered the next day. Adrienne can be reached at 443-574-7763.
• Outdoor Activities
We encourage outdoor activities, including walks, as long as residents are utilizing masks and practicing social distancing.
• Laundry
The laundry areas are open for use. We ask only one resident at a time access the laundry area. A mask should be utilized while doing laundry and we ask residents disinfect the surfaces after use.
• Maintenance
No preventative maintenance will be completed until further notice. The team will complete essential repairs, when needed by a resident.
• Housekeeping
Housekeeping services are suspended until further notice.
• Worship
Worship services will remain virtual via YouTube.
• Transportation
We will continue to provide transportation to medical appointments only. This can be scheduled by calling the Concierge at 410-484-3099.
• Family Visits
We will continue virtual visits. “Though the glass” visits can occur at patio doors with doors closed and utilizing a cell phone for communication. For residents not on the first floor, residents can visit from their balcony with the family on the lawn using a cell phone.
We know many families are providing essential supply deliveries. Please keep patio doors closed when receiving a delivery and wash hands thoroughly after receiving deliveries.
• Visitation with Neighbors
If residents are visiting a resident neighbor in the IL community, please wash hands upon arrival, keep visits brief, practice social distancing and keep masks on when you are together.
• Leaving the Community
We encourage residents to stay within the community, but understand there may be instances when leaving the community is necessary. Before venturing out, please contact Tina Minio or the Concierge so we can determine if we can assist in your need to possibly avoid leaving the community.
• ConnectedLiving Activities
We are starting to plan how to start providing activities again. We will communicate more as we determine how to safely do this.

We recognize the sacrifices that each resident, family and team member have made over the past 11 weeks (and counting) as we’ve faced these unprecedented times together. We are grateful for your continued patience, prayers, and encouragement as we continue making adjustments to best support the health and wellbeing of residents and team members

May 26, 2020, 5:02 p.m.

COVID-19 Update for Assisted Living

We hope you were able to take some time and relax over the long Memorial Day weekend. Everyone at Augsburg 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.

We are finishing the clean-up process following the small fire in the Health Center last week. We have four SNF rooms that remain under repair due to water damage. The room where the fire occurred will likely be under repair for a couple weeks. Over the weekend, our maintenance team completed inspections on all resident-owned appliances in all SNF rooms to ensure we have no further issues. This same inspection will be completed in assisted living tomorrow, May 27. These will continue monthly with monthly room checks. Additionally, once Augsburg is open for admissions, the maintenance team will inspect all appliances before they are put in the new resident’s room.

In last week’s memo, we incorrectly offered “behind-the-glass” visitation for all SNF and assisted living families. Those visits are for SNF residents only. In order to allow assisted living residents safe, in-person visits with their family, we are opening the patio off the South 1 neighborhood which overlooks the parking lot. While there will not be a glass barrier, the family will be below where the resident is located, which allows us to protect everyone from COVID-19. We ask you schedule these visits in advance by emailing virtualvisit@thevillageataugsburg.org.

In an effort to make the assisted living team more accessible for families, we have added a cell phone that is on the neighborhood at all times. That number is 410-916-1388. Families may also reach me directly at 443-471-1010. With the volume of calls we are receiving during this unprecedented time, we do ask each family designate one family member to receive care information and share with other family members. This allows us to assist other families in a more efficient manner.

Over the past week, we’ve received questions about COVID-19 recovery. In general, we consider a resident recovered when
• It has been at least 21 days from the onset of symptoms
• The resident has not had any symptoms for the last seven days
• The resident has not had a fever during the last three days

Each resident’s recovery is unique. Residents will have individualized care plans to meet the unique requirements of each resident and to protect their health and wellbeing. Each plan will include information on moving the resident back to the assisted living neighborhood.

We are hopeful we are starting to contain the spread of the virus, as we had no new positive cases in residents last week. As a reminder, our dashboard can be viewed here: https://www.thevillageataugsburg.org/covid-19-updates/covid-19-dashboard/.

As always, all of our updates can be found here: https://www.thevillageataugsburg.org/covid-19-updates/.

We recognize the sacrifices that each resident, family and team member have made over the past 11 weeks (and counting) as we’ve faced these unprecedented times together. We are grateful for your continued patience, prayers, and encouragement as we continue making adjustments to best support the health and wellbeing of residents and team members.

May 26, 2020, 4:53 p.m.

COVID-19 Update for SNF

We hope you were able to take some time and relax over the long Memorial Day weekend. Everyone at Augsburg 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.

We are finishing the clean-up process following the small fire in the Health Center last week. We have four rooms remaining that are still under repair due to water damage. The room where the fire occurred will likely be under repair for a couple weeks due to water damage. Over the weekend, our maintenance team completed inspections on all resident-owned appliances to ensure we have no further issues. These will continue monthly with monthly room checks. Additionally, once Augsburg is open for admissions, the maintenance team will inspect all appliances before they are put in the new resident’s room.

In an effort to make Augsburg’s clinical team more accessible for families, we are sharing the below list of phone numbers. Please keep this resource on-hand should you have a question or concern about your family member. With the volume of calls we are receiving during this unprecedented time, we do ask each family designate one family member to receive care information and share with other family members. This allows us to assist other families in a more efficient manner.

Director of Nursing
Yetunde Johnson 443-463-7952

Assistant Director of Nursing
Terrance Ndefru 410-961-5865

Assistant Director of Nursing
Danyeal Douglas 443-545-7742

Evening Supervisor (Monday – Friday, 4 p.m. – Midnight)
Victoria Anifowoshe 443-677-1297

Weekend Supervisor (Saturday and Sunday, 8 a.m. – 9 p.m.)
443-677-1297

First Floor Extensions
North 410-486-4573, extension 111
South 410-486-4573, extension 170

Second Floor Extensions
North 410-486-4573, extension 177
South 410-486-4573, extension 266

Over the past week, we’ve received questions about COVID-19 recovery. In general, we consider a resident recovered when
• It has been at least 21 days from the onset of symptoms
• The resident has not had any symptoms for the last seven days
• The resident has not had a fever during the last three days

Each resident’s recovery is unique. Resident’s will have individualized care plans to meet the unique requirements of each resident and to protect their health and wellbeing. Each plan will include:
• Coordination of a behind-the-glass visit once it is safe for the resident to leave the COVID-19 neighborhood
• Information regarding moving from the COVID-19 neighborhood, either to their normal room or one on the first floor

We are hopeful we are starting to contain the spread of the virus, as we had no new positive cases in residents last week. As a reminder, our dashboard can be viewed here: https://www.thevillageataugsburg.org/covid-19-updates/covid-19-dashboard/.

As always, all our updates can be found here: https://www.thevillageataugsburg.org/covid-19-updates/.

We recognize the sacrifices that each resident, family and team member have made over the past 11 weeks (and counting) as we’ve faced these unprecedented times together. We are grateful for your continued patience, prayers, and encouragement as we continue making adjustments to best support the health and wellbeing of residents and team members.

May 21, 2020, 4:40 p.m.

COVID-19 Update for Skilled Nursing and Assisted Living

Since our COVID-19 update last week, we have finished universal testing for residents on all service levels and the majority of our team members. In the test results we received this week (28 thus far), no additional team members have tested positive. We have not had any residents or team members exhibit the onset of symptoms this week.

We are hopeful in the coming days we will start to see some of the residents who tested positive reach recovery. As residents recover from the virus, we will be communicating care plans with families individually.

As mentioned in our leadership transition memo last week, we have a team from National Lutheran Communities & Services (NLCS) providing support services to The Village at Augsburg team members and residents. In other areas where we have faced staffing challenges, we have been able to utilize team members from The Village at Rockville.

While we are not in a position to start opening the building for normal visitation, we are happy to announce beginning on May 26, we can start offering visitation though a glass barrier with a phone for residents who are not positive for COVID-19. While this is not ideal, we believe it is important for residents to be able to see their loved one in person rather than on an electronic device. To schedule a visit, please contact our ConnectedLiving team by emailing virtualvisit@thevillageataugsburg.org and indicate you want to schedule a through-the-glass visitation. In addition, we continue to offer virtual visits. You can still request a virtual visit by emailing virtualvisit@thevillageataugsburg.org.

As always, our COVID-19 community updates are posted online at https://www.thevillageataugsburg.org/covid-19-updates/.

As we head into Memorial Day weekend, we send our gratitude to all who have served, and our prayers to all those who have lost a loved one who served. We hope you are able to take some time to relax and enjoy the weekend. Thank you for your continued support of The Village at Augsburg.

May 18, 2020, 12:30 p.m.

COVID-19 Update for Independent Living

Late in the day on Friday, we received the remaining COVID-19 test results for independent living residents. Fortunately, we did not receive any additional positive results and the number of cases in independent living remains at six.

In order to keep everyone else healthy, we are extending the independent living quarantine until at least Friday, May 29. Augsburg team members will continue to deliver services to individual apartments and all common areas will remain closed. In addition, we will have to continue to restrict visits and ask that any deliveries are dropped off at the building 9 vestibule. Closer to May 29, we will provide additional communication regarding whether we can lift the quarantine or need to continue it. That decision will be based upon the number of additional positive cases that may occur in independent living.

We will also continue the wellness checks during the quarantine period. Due to the higher than normal amount of resident requests for assistance, we are staggering wellness visits every other day. This week, Monday, Wednesday and Friday, we will check buildings one through eight. Tuesday and Thursday we will check buildings nine through eleven. Then next week the schedule will reverse to buildings nine through eleven on Wednesday and Friday (Monday is a holiday), and buildings one through eight on Tuesday and Thursday. Team members will be using personal protective equipment and practicing proper hand hygiene between visits.

Moving to a staggered schedule increases the importance of self-symptom monitoring for residents. Please continue to monitor for a temperature above 99 degrees, a new cough, shortness of breath, chills, muscle pain, a sore throat, a new loss of taste or small, dizziness or diarrhea. As always, should you or your loved one start experience any symptoms, please alert the concierge at 410-484-3099. For your convenience, we have updated and attached a self-monitor log.

As of today, we do not know the date that Tina Minio will be returning to work. In her absence, please contact Cara Miranda at 570-470-7321 or cmiranda@thevillageataugsburg.org to assist with questions or concerns regarding care needs.

I remain grateful for the support of all our residents and families at this time. We appreciate the commitment to adhering to the quarantine so we can slow the spread of COVID-19 through the independent living neighborhoods.

 

May 15, 2020, 3:45 p.m.

COVID-19 Update for Skilled Nursing and Assisted Living

Since our previous communication, we’ve continued to receive results from our universal testing and have seen an increase of COVID-19 cases within the health center in both residents and team members. We have been able to put isolation protocols in place for individuals who are asymptomatic but have tested positive, which will help us slow the spread of the virus. We have also seen our first cases in assisted living, with two residents testing positive. Those residents have been moved to the isolation floor in skilled nursing.

We are taking additional measures to conserve our personal protective equipment (PPE) for the team members who are caring for COVID-19 positive residents. All staff are masked and using gloves, however, those caring for COVID-19 positive residents are utilizing N95 masks, gowns, shoe covers, hair covers, face shields and gloves.

Over the past week, we’ve worked on increasing communication to families if your loved one has tested positive for COVID-19. If your loved one tests positive, you can expect:

  • A call from one of our team members upon receiving the positive result
  • Social workers for SNF, and Andy Braid for assisted living will arrange a weekly update call with families/POAs as part of the resident’s individual care plan
  • The Director of Nursing and charge nurses for SNF and Andy Braid for assisted living will communicate with families/POAs if there is a change in clinical condition between weekly calls

In addition to the above, our lines of communication will remain open. Due to the higher than normal call volume we are experiencing, we appreciate your patience with non-urgent requests as we strive to fulfill emergent and urgent needs.

Earlier this week, Governor Hogan announced phase one of the process to reopen Maryland. Baltimore County has not fully moved to phase one of the reopening process (and Baltimore City has extended the stay at home order). Skilled nursing and assisted living communities like The Village at Augsburg are included in phase three, so we must continue to restrict visitation until further notice. As a reminder, we are offering virtual visits. We believe face-to-face communication is important to maintain resident’s wellness, and encourage scheduling these visits. You can do so by emailing virtualvisit@thevillageataugsburg.org.

All our COVID-19 related updates can be found online at https://www.thevillageataugsburg.org/covid-19-updates/. We know these past months have been scary and challenging. We are working our hardest to contain the spread of COVID-19 and appreciate your patience, cooperation, support and prayers at this time.

May 15, 2020, 3:15 p.m.

Augsburg Leadership Update
from Interim Executive Director Cyndi Walters

After careful thought and consideration, Joe Dawson, Executive Director at The Village at Augsburg, has made the difficult decision to resign his position due to health challenges. Although his time with us was brief, we appreciate all he did for The Village at Augsburg, especially during this time, and we wish him all the best with his health and the next journey of his career. At 3 p.m., on Friday, May 15, I will resume the position of interim executive director.

I previously served in this role prior to Joe’s arrival and have continued to work closely with him and have stayed involved in the day-to-day operations at Augsburg. You can reach me directly at 240-686-6016 or by email at cwalters@nationallutheran.org. We will share more about the search for a new executive director as it is made available.

In addition, we are excited to announce a team of individuals from the NLCS office who will be working in the community to help slow the spread of the coronavirus.

Karen Sroka, GNP-BC serves as NLCS’ clinical services director. Karen recently served as interim director of nursing at The Village at Rockville and brings a wealth of knowledge regarding infection control. She will be assisting the clinical team in providing support for COVID positive residents, as well as providing ongoing support in containing the virus.

Therese Provencher serves as NLCS’ education director. Therese and her team of clinical and social work educators are ensuring team members are informed of best practices in infection control and will be providing ongoing training and policies to control the spread of COVID-19.

Victoria Blakemore serves as NLCS’ talent and culture director. Victoria is assisting with team members as they navigate their own health during this pandemic and ensuring we have enough staff to support the community.

When NLCS began the affiliation process with Augsburg, one of the benefits identified was the added resources NLCS could provide. We believe with this added team, we will come closer to slowing the spread of COVID through Augsburg.

We have received many kind words and prayers over the past weeks and are thankful for every one of them. Your words are the bright lights in team member’s days. We look forward to the day we can see you in-person again.

May 15, 2020, 1:13 p.m.

Independent Living Update

Since our previous communication, we have completed testing for 98 independent living residents at The Village at Augsburg. We have received 67 test results back, and out of those, three residents have tested positive. We have alerted all residents who tested positive as well as their family members. In addition, there are three residents who received testing independent of our testing process who are also positive. Until we have the results of all tests, we will continue the full house quarantine. We should have more information to share on Monday, May 18.

Our goal for the coming weeks is to continue to provide as many services as we can in a safe manner to slow the spread of the virus. In order to do so, it is imperative we make operational changes and ask for the resident’s cooperation in adhering to the guidelines we are implementing. Below are frequently asked questions, which outline our processes for the coming weeks.

Who should a resident or their family contact if they go to the hospital?
If a resident goes to the hospital, please contact Cara Miranda, our Outreach Liaison, at (570) 470-7321 to provide information to include:

  • Name of hospital
  • Discharge date and discharge instructions (so we may have the apartment ready for arrival)

If a resident who is my family member tests positive for COVID-19, how will I know?
We will be contacting the resident’s POA/Emergency contact at the time we contact the resident to let them know they are positive.

How long will Augsburg continue daily wellness checks?
We will continue daily wellness checks Mondays through Fridays for at least another 2 weeks. However, residents should not consider this a replacement to their own self-monitoring of signs and symptoms.

If a resident tests positive and begins to feel unwell if they are asymptomatic, or worse if they are symptomatic, what should they do?
If the resident feels unwell or begins to have the symptoms of COVID-19, they should contact their doctor to determine appropriate interventions. If the resident needs assistance in contacting their doctor, they should call the concierge at (410) 484-3099.

How is Augsburg delivering services to independent living during this time?
Housekeeping and Maintenance Services
Right now, there are two housekeepers and one floor tech assigned to independent living. This team is performing a thorough disinfecting of the IL Village common areas and offices twice a day. To avoid the spread of the virus, we have discontinued all apartment cleaning until further notice. If a resident tests positive for COVID-19, after they reach the recovery phase, a housekeeper will complete a full cleaning while wearing personal protective equipment (PPE) to protect themselves from any lingering germs.

Dining Services
Dining services are being provided door-to-door. The dining staff is aware of the location of the positive resident to ensure they do not engage in direct contact. For reference, if a resident tests positive, meals will be left outside the door and the dining services team member will knock on the door and ensure the resident is able to receive the food. If they do not respond, the dining services team member will work with concierge to call the resident. Dining services team members are wearing appropriate PPE and using hand sanitizer between deliveries.

Laundry
For those residents who do not have a washer and dryer in your apartment, the laundry rooms are still available to you. However, to provide the necessary COVID-19 precautions, we require that you disinfect the area after use. In addition, no more than one resident at a time should be in the laundry room and as a reminder, whenever you leave your apartment, you need to be wearing a mask. In addition, laundry rooms will be disinfected by our staff twice a day. If a resident is COVID-19 positive, we will assist that resident with laundry services to ensure they remain quarantined in their apartment.

Mail and Packages
The mail, both internal mail and the USPS mail, as well as packages will be hand-delivered to residents daily by one of our team members until further notice. The postman has bundled each resident’s mail for us. If the resident doesn’t answer when we attempt to deliver the mail, we will store the mail in a secured location until we are able to successfully hand-deliver it. We will not be placing US mail in the bags outside of the apartments.

Trash
The process for collecting trash will remain the same. No resident should be taking their trash to the trash room, including residents of Building #11. We will collect it, following the schedule we have in place. The trash for a COVID-19 positive resident will be collected separately, utilizing biohazard bags.

Convenience Store
If you desire anything from our convenience store, please contact Adrienne Brown at (443) 574-7763 Monday through Friday from 10 AM to 2 PM with your order. All orders will be delivered to your apartment with your evening meal.

Transportation
Transportation services are still being provided for medical appointments and can be coordinated by contacting Concierge at 410-484-3099.

Library, Fitness Room, Chapel, Game Room, Salon and Barber Shop

All common areas in the independent living neighborhood are closed until further notice. We apologize for the inconvenience, but believe this is crucial to slow the spread of COVID-19.

I visit The Village at Augsburg to drop off groceries, medicine and other items to my loved one. Can I still do that?
Yes, however, in order for us to disinfect, we ask that items are dropped off at the table in the vestibule at the Building #9 entrance. After disinfection is complete, items will be safely delivered to your family member.

Can I visit my loved one if I access their apartment through the patio or use a side door?
No, we ask that this practice is discontinued until further notice. This is especially important as Governor Hogan and county executives ease stay at home restrictions. Our community is still extremely vulnerable to this virus and since people will be traveling outside of their homes more, allowing visitors increases the longevity of the virus in our community.

Can my loved one walk outside or spend time outdoors?
Yes, if they are negative for COVID-19. However, we ask they use patio doors to access the outdoors. If the resident does not live on ground level, access to the outside is through the main entrance to Building #9. Before leaving the apartment wash your hands thoroughly for at least 20 seconds and avoid touching anything after leaving your apartment. As soon as you return to your apartment, thoroughly wash your hands again. Additionally, if others are outside, everyone must maintain social distancing practices of remaining at least six feet apart and utilize face masks.

We thank you again for your support and prayers during this time. We know the past few weeks have been challenging and scary. Due to the higher than normal call volume we are experiencing, please leave a message on the voice mail when prompted. We will be back to you as soon as practical and appreciate your patience with non-urgent requests as we strive to fulfill emergent and urgent needs of your neighbors. We are working hard to contain COVID-19 at The Village at Augsburg and appreciate your cooperation.

May 12, 11:30 a.m.

Skilled Nursing and Assisted Living Update

Last week, The Village at Augsburg began universal testing for skilled nursing residents and assisted living residents. We have seen an increased number of positive COVID cases among asymptomatic residents in the skilled nursing neighborhoods. To date, we have no positive tests in assisted living and are awaiting the final test results from those neighborhoods.

Due to the increase, we have put all COVID positive residents on one floor in order to slow the spread to residents who tested negative. We will continue daily wellness checks on residents who are COVID negative and test again should they become symptomatic. We are hopeful learning which asymptomatic residents are positive and quarantining them will assist us in slowing the spread of the virus.

We are also starting to test all team members, starting with frontline staff. If needed, we will call on the National Guard to provide staffing support should we not have enough staff to safely support the community.

Our team members continue to utilize personal protective equipment throughout the building. We have dedicated care teams caring for those who are positive and those team members do not cross into neighborhoods without positive cases.

We have received questions about the State of Maryland’s COVID dashboard versus the dashboard hosted on Augsburg’s website. The primary difference is that Maryland’s is only updated once a week. Additionally, Maryland’s only accounts for skilled nursing and assisted living and eliminates independent living. Lastly, we are reporting the number of team members currently quarantined, due to COVID, which does not mean they are all positive for COVID. Some team members are quarantined due to exposure, some are awaiting test results, and others are precautionary. We have updated the dashboard to include service line specific information https://www.thevillageataugsburg.org/covid-19-updates/covid-19-dashboard/.

We are grateful for the assistance we have received from the state and are hopeful this will assist in slowing the spread of COVID through The Village at Augsburg. As a reminder, updates can be found at https://www.thevillageataugsburg.org/covid-19-updates/. We appreciate all your thoughts and prayers as we work through this challenging time.

 

May 12, 2020, 11:30 a.m.

Independent Living Update

Since our previous communication on May 8 regarding universal testing for independent living, we have learned that one resident has tested positive for COVID-19. To protect this resident’s privacy, we cannot reveal their name or location of residence. Resident safety and well-being are our top priority. We are doing everything we can to ensure we stop the spread of the virus within The Village at Augsburg, including staying in very close communication with local and state health officials to ensure we are taking all the appropriate steps.

As of May 8, all independent living residents are under self-quarantine. There have been signs posted in each building identifying the building as under quarantine. We continue daily wellness checks, utilizing proper personal protective equipment to protect team members and residents.

We have received multiple questions about the delivery of services and want to address them with this memo.

Dining Services 

Dining services are being provided door-to-door. The dining staff is aware of the location of the positive resident to ensure they do not engage in direct contact. For reference, if a resident tests positive, meals will be left outside the door and the dining services team member will knock on the door and ensure the resident is able to receive the food. If they do not respond, the dining services team member will work with concierge to call the resident. Dining services team members are wearing appropriate PPE and using hand sanitizer between deliveries.

Laundry 

For those residents who do not have a washer and dryer in your apartment, the laundry rooms are still available to you. However, to provide the necessary COVID precautions, we require that you disinfect the area after use. In addition, no more than one resident at a time should be in the laundry room and as a reminder, whenever you leave your apartment, you need to be wearing a mask. In addition, laundry rooms will be disinfected by our staff twice a day. If a resident is COVID-19 positive, we will assist that resident with laundry services to ensure they remain quarantined in their apartment.

Mail 

The mail, both internal mail and the USPS mail, will be hand-delivered to residents daily by one of our team members. The postman has bundled each resident’s mail for us. If the resident doesn’t answer when we attempt to deliver the mail, we will store the mail in a secured location until we are able to successfully hand-deliver it. We will not be placing US mail in the bags outside of the apartments.

Trash 

The process for collecting trash will remain the same. No resident should be taking their trash to the trash room. We will collect it, following the schedule we have in place. The trash for a COVID-19 positive resident will be collected separately, utilizing biohazard bags.

Convenience Store 

If you desire anything from our convenience store, please contact the concierge with your order and we will deliver it to your apartment.

Universal Testing 

COVID-19 testing begins tomorrow, Wednesday, May 13. Before we can test each resident, we must have the signed insurance forms and copies of your insurance card(s) as well as driver’s license. We are going door-to-door to receive this information from each resident. If we do not have your insurance information, we cannot test you. We cannot test all residents in one day. This process will take several days to complete and will take place between 10 a.m. and noon, and 1 – 5 p.m.

As a reminder, independent living residents should be wearing masks as they answer their doors. Additionally, if a resident goes outside for a walk, please utilize a mask and access via your patio and not the common entrances. Please let concierge know if you are in need of a mask.

We have received questions about the State of Maryland’s COVID dashboard versus the dashboard hosted on Augsburg’s website. The primary difference is that Maryland’s is only updated once a week. Additionally, Maryland’s only accounts for skilled nursing and assisted living and eliminates independent living. Lastly, we are reporting the number of team members currently quarantined, due to COVID, which does not mean they are all positive for COVID. Some team members are quarantined due to exposure, some are awaiting test results, and others are precautionary. We have updated the dashboard to include service line specific information https://www.thevillageataugsburg.org/covid-19-updates/covid-19-dashboard/.

We are grateful for the assistance we have received from the state and are hopeful this will assist in slowing the spread of COVID through The Village at Augsburg. As a reminder, updates can be found at https://www.thevillageataugsburg.org/covid-19-updates/. We appreciate all your thoughts and prayers as we work through this challenging time.

May 8, 2020, 5 p.m.

Universal Testing for Independent Living

We are grateful for the encouragement and support we have received over the past week as we navigate how best to test and keep independent living residents safe. Executive Director, Joe Dawson will be spending dedicated time in the independent living (IL) neighborhood next week as COVID-19 testing for IL residents gets underway.

The purpose of this message is to provide more details to the universal testing process, which will start Wednesday, May 13 in partnership with a private lab partner. While skilled nursing residents and assisted living residents are being tested by the State of Maryland, independent living was not included in the governor’s universal testing order. Given the positive cases in team members, we felt it was important to seek another avenue to ensure every independent living resident is tested.

Today we received the necessary consent forms for the tests. These will be distributed during wellness checks on Monday and Tuesday. Suzanne Roos, who will be performing the wellness checks, will have a scanner with her to scan each resident’s driver’s license or state-issued identification card and their insurance card. She will also have the consent forms with her for each resident to sign. Please note, although the form has an acknowledgement of a copay, Medicare and Medicaid cover the full cost of the test and the resident will not be responsible for a copay (for more information visit https://www.medicare.gov/medicare-coronavirus).

The lab is able to accept 50 tests per day from Augsburg and results will be available within 24-48 hours. Tests will be conducted by The Village at Rockville’s nurse practitioner Mille Jarrell. Millie will be utilizing personal protective equipment as each resident is tested.

If any resident tests positive, they will need to continue the self-quarantine, and we will evaluate how long to continue to quarantine the independent living buildings. We will also provide guidance in contacting your physician and how we will continue to provide services during recovery.

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

May 7, 2020, 9:40 a.m.

Independent Living COVID-19 Update

The Village at Augsburg remains grateful for your support, encouragement, thoughts and prayers as we face the dynamic times of the COVID-19 pandemic. Ensuring the health and welfare of residents and team members is always our number one priority. Since we alerted independent living residents and families of the positive cases in two team members, we have decided it is necessary to implement additional proactive measures to help slow the spread of the virus.

Starting today, we are requiring all independent living residents to self-quarantine in their apartments until Friday, May 15. Our team will work to ensure all residents receive their mail, newspapers, packages and meals so we can limit activity in shared spaces. If there is something you need that would require you to leave your apartment, please contact the Concierge so we may assist you. Also, in the event you do need to leave your apartment for an appointment, you are required to wear your mask in the common areas of our community.

Additionally, our team will be providing daily symptom screening at the time we perform daily door checks. Please wear your mask when answering your door to your apartment. We will not be entering your apartment. Residents will still need to self-monitor for symptoms of COVID-19 and immediately report any changes they may experience throughout the day to the Concierge who will ensure the information gets to the appropriate person. Symptoms to monitor include a fever over 99 degrees, coughing, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, chills or repeated shaking with chills, muscle pain, headache, sore throat, loss of taste or smell and diarrhea. For your convenience, we are including a symptom screening log that can be used for self-monitoring.

Throughout the coming weeks, we will complete universal COVID-19 testing for all independent living residents. The process for this will be provided in an upcoming communication as we are finalizing with the lab. However, in preparation, we will need to collect insurance information and each resident will need to complete a consent form. It will be helpful for residents to have their insurance information and photo IDs readily available.

Our team members will utilize personal protective equipment (PPE) throughout their workday and only have direct contact with residents for symptom screening and testing or any other care needs. Any resident who does not have a mask is asked to notify us immediately and we will ensure one is made available.

We are grateful for your continued patience and prayers as we navigate through this time.

May 5, 2020, 4:55 p.m.

COVID-19 Community Update

As we have continued providing transparency surrounding COVID-19 at The Village at Augsburg, we have operational updates to share.

Yesterday we learned Augsburg has been approved by the State of Maryland to receive a Strike Team with members of the National Guard to assist our efforts in slowing the spread of the virus. The Strike Team will arrive tomorrow, May 6 at 10 a.m. to perform a needs assessment. They will also provide us with enough tests kits to test all skilled nursing residents, assisted living residents and all team members.

We also recently had a surveyor from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) visit the community. The surveyor was able to give us helpful additional guidance in regards to infection control, especially in the area of properly changing personal protective equipment (PPE).

As a reminder, residents in the Health Center are being screen twice a day for symptoms of COVID-19. Additionally, team members are screened once a day. We continue to utilize PPE, practice social distancing, perform frequent handwashing and regularly disinfect surfaces.

We are grateful for the assistance we will be receiving from the state and are hopeful this will assist in slowing the spread of COVID through The Village at Augsburg. As a reminder, updates can be found at https://www.thevillageataugsburg.org/covid-19-updates/ and a dashboard can be found at https://www.thevillageataugsburg.org/covid-19-updates/covid-19-dashboard/. We appreciate all your thoughts and prayers as we work through this challenging time.

May 4, 2020, 2:15 p.m.

Independent Living COVID-19 Update

As we have continued providing transparency surrounding COVID-19 at The Village at Augsburg, we have received many questions specific to independent living. At the time of this memo, residents in independent living remain free of COVID-19, however, two team members who work in independent living have tested positive for the virus. Our prayers are with them as they recover.

In order to maintain their privacy, we cannot share the names of these individuals, however, we can assure that all independent living team members have been wearing masks throughout their workday and practicing proper infection control methods, including frequent handwashing and maintaining social distancing guidelines. Some team members who work in independent living have made the decision to self-quarantine for 14 days in their homes.

This morning, we learned Augsburg has been approved by the State of Maryland to receive a Strike Team with members of the National Guard to assist our efforts in slowing the spread of the virus. We are still waiting additional guidance from the State of Maryland regarding the universal testing of all skilled nursing and assisted living residents and team members. Although not included in Governor Hogan’s order, we are also advocating for all independent living residents and independent living team members to be tested as well. We will keep you all updated of our progress in this area as we learn more from the State of Maryland.

As a reminder, independent living residents are responsible for monitoring for any symptoms, including checking their temperatures twice a day and report any changes immediately. In addition to the onset of a fever, the Maryland Department of Health recommends monitoring for coughing, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, chills or repeated shaking with chills, muscle pain, headache, sore throat or a loss of taste or smell.

We are grateful for the assistance we will be receiving from the state and hopeful this will assist in slowing the spread of COVID through The Village at Augsburg. As a reminder, updates can be found at https://www.thevillageataugsburg.org/covid-19-updates/ and a dashboard can be found at https://www.thevillageataugsburg.org/covid-19-updates/covid-19-dashboard/. We appreciate all your thoughts and prayers as we work through this challenging time.

May 1, 2020, 9:15 a.m.

Increased COVID-19 Update

Earlier this week as the cases of COVID-19 at The Village at Augsburg increased, our clinical team made the important decision to test the entirety of one of our skilled nursing neighborhoods. Due to the increased testing, we did see an increase in the number of positive cases in our community. All residents who tested positive are under isolation protocols.

Additionally this week, as many of you have heard, Governor Larry Hogan issued an executive order mandating increased testing for skilled nursing facilities. We are working diligently with the Baltimore County Department of Health to learn more about how to operationalize this order and ensure we are in compliance. We are grateful for this decision, as we believe fewer constraints on testing will help us slow the spread of the virus through our skilled nursing neighborhoods.

At the time of this memo, the assisted living neighborhoods and independent living apartments remain free of any active COVID-19 cases. We will continue providing a report of the impact of COVID-19 in our community through our COVID-19 dashboard at www.thevillageataugsburg.org/covid-19-updates/covid-19-dashboard/.

Resident and team member safety and well-being remain our top priorities. We are taking the necessary precautions to stop the spread of COVID-19 within The Village at Augsburg. Currently, our direct care team members are utilizing face shields, KN95 masks (or greater) and gloves. Gown use is prioritized to high-risk care activities and for those under isolation protocols. For non-direct care team members, face masks are worn throughout the building at all times. Please know that we are strictly adhering to all directives and guidance from the Baltimore County and Maryland Departments of Health, the CDC, and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

We remain grateful for your support and prayers for both our residents and team members.

April 27, 2020, 1:30 p.m.

COVID-19 Update

In a continued effort to provide transparency surrounding COVID-19 at The Village at Augsburg, we are providing an update due to an increase in our positive number of cases of COVID-19. We are saddened to report two residents in our health center have passed away due to complications with COVID-19. We are heartbroken over these losses, and our sincerest prayers are with their loved ones during this time.

To provide more frequent information outside of our written communications, we have developed a dashboard that provides specific information on the impact of COVID-19 at The Village at Augsburg. The dashboard will be updated daily by 4 p.m. and can be found at this link. As we move to reporting in this way, it does not replace our weekly updates, nor does it deduct from the seriousness of the virus on the lives of residents and team members.

Thus far, all residents who have tested positive are within the health center, and we have no positive cases in independent living or assisted living.

As a reminder, we continue to monitor for COVID-19 symptoms throughout the health center and assisted living with symptom checks twice daily for residents and once daily for team members. Independent living residents are asked to monitor their own symptoms and report immediately should they notice a change. If assistance is needed with temperature checks, please contact Independent Living Resident Services Manager Tina Minio.

We have published the frequently asked questions sent out last week here. These will walk you through the day-to-day protocols we are following based on recommendations from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, the CDC, and the state and county department of health. We continue to follow isolation practices when a residents begins to show symptoms. Additionally, we are utilizing Personal Protective Equipment throughout the community to protect both residents and team members and continue to work closely with the Baltimore County Department of Health and the epidemiologists with the State of Maryland.

I know this is a challenging time for all our families, specifically as they are away from their loved ones. As we continue to keep our residents’ day as normal as possible for them, we remain grateful for all the support we’ve received from residents and their families as we work hard to slow the spread of COVID-19 throughout our community. Please reach out to me or you loved one’s care team with any questions.

April 23, 2020, 3:45 p.m.

COVID-19 Update

In a continued effort to provide transparency surrounding COVID-19 at The Village at Augsburg, we are providing an update due to an increase in our positive number of cases of COVID-19 since our previous memo yesterday, April 22. Today, we learned four additional residents in our Health Center have tested positive for the virus. In order to protect our residents’ privacy and to adhere HIPAA regulations, we are not able to disclose names or any other information, including the location of their rooms, which could be used to infer resident identity.

We continue to work closely with the Baltimore County Department of Health and the epidemiologists with the State of Maryland. In the past week, the State of Maryland and Baltimore County have received greater access to COVID-19 test kits. As such, the Department of Health has more leniency in authorizing residents to be tested. We are currently waiting on test results for three residents who are symptomatic based on guidelines provided by the Department of Health.

As a reminder, if your loved one experiences any change in medical condition, including symptoms of COVID-19, 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.

We assure you that we continue to take every precaution of slow the spread of this virus. Residents continue to adhere to stay-at-home orders and social distancing. As we are a health care setting, 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.

We know this is a difficult time for everyone. As always, we will keep you informed of any updates as we continue to navigate the unprecedented times of COVID-19. We remain grateful for your support and prayers for both our residents and team members.

April 22, 2020, 5:15 p.m.

COVID-19 Update

The Village at Augsburg has continually taken proactive measures to protect our residents and team members from COVID-19. Today, we learned two residents in our isolation neighborhood have tested positive for COVID-19 (coronavirus). Both residents have been under strict isolation protocols since the onset of symptoms prior to testing confirmation, and residents and their families are being kept up-to date with the latest information by our care team.

Unfortunately, to protect the residents’ privacy and to adhere HIPAA regulations, we are not able to disclose names or any other information, which could be used to infer resident identity. As we continue to care for these residents, we ask for your thoughts and prayers for them.

Resident safety and well-being are our top priority. We are doing everything we can to ensure we stop the spread of the virus at The Village at Augsburg, including staying in very close communication with local and state health officials to ensure we are taking all the appropriate steps.

We will continue to monitor for COVID-19 symptoms throughout the building with symptom checks twice daily for our residents and once daily for our team members. Additionally, our team members are assigned to designated neighborhoods in the building.

We anticipate one of the questions we will receive in light of this information is if it is safe for your loved one to remain in our care. Based on the knowledge that we have currently, we do not believe that there is an advantage to taking your loved one from The Village at Augsburg. As the virus continues to spread throughout the greater Maryland region, we believe that your loved one is in the best place to get the most appropriate care.

We thank you for your all your prayers and thoughtfulness during this unprecedented time.

April 21, 2020, 3 p.m.

COVID-19 Update
From Executive Director, Joe Dawson

In a previous communication, Cyndi Walters, chief operating officer for National Lutheran Communities & Services introduced me as the new Executive Director at The Village at Augsburg. I never imagined joining a new community during a global pandemic was something I would experience. However, joining this community in a time of uncertainty has given me the opportunity to see how strong Augsburg is and what a caring group of residents and team members we have. I am also grateful for Cyndi’s leadership. Although she is not on campus day-to-day, I am still working closely with her while I continue to onboard.

I will be working to provide you with updates at least once a week on COVID-19, and will update you immediately should the situation at Augsburg change. As of writing this memo, we have two team members positive for COVID-19. These team members are quarantined in their home and will only return to the community after receiving clearance from a physician. Our thoughts and prayers are with these team members as they recover.

We do continue to monitor for COVID-19 symptoms throughout assisted living and skilled nursing with symptom checks twice daily for our residents and once daily for our team members. Independent living residents are asked to notify their health care practitioner if they are experiencing symptoms. We are following the State of Maryland epidemiologist’s guidance for testing residents based on their symptoms.

In light of questions from residents and family members related to The Village at Augsburg and COVID-19, we thought it best to share this same information with everyone. You will find those questions and responses on the reverse of this memo.

We do hope that you and your family remain well during this time. We look forward to seeing everyone as soon as it is safe to open the building to visitors.

Knowing that residents have been asked to “stay at home” in their rooms, what’s being done to minimize staff movement throughout the building?
As an added precaution, where we can, our team members have been assigned to specific sections of the building, not just in providing care and services to our residents, but also where they take their breaks to minimize interaction. Any team members working with individuals in the isolation unit do not work with residents in other areas of the building.

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 began wearing face masks throughout their work day prior to Governor Hogan’s PPE mandate. This practice continues, but in an effort to preserve our supply, the distribution of the masks is very deliberate. 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 experiencing 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 Village at Augsburg?
We continually evaluate admissions to the community based on room 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, are quarantined for a minimum of 14 days under observation protocols.

What does isolation protocol mean?
As we are a health care setting, 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.

Knowing that many of the residents at the community have therapy services as part of their daily schedule, how is therapy being provided to the residents?
Although the therapy gym is closed during this time, we have assigned our therapists to specific neighborhoods to provide therapy services in the residents’ rooms. If you’d like to consider adding physical therapy or occupational therapy to your loved ones daily schedule, please contact your loved one’s nurse.

I’ve heard about the Strike Teams from Governor Hogan. Have there been any Strike Teams at The Village at Augsburg?
No, there have not been any Strike Teams at The Village at Augsburg. These Strike Teams would act in partnership with us if requested by us, the local health department, or Maryland Department of Health (MDH) infectious disease experts.

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 Village at Augsburg 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 free 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.

April 10, 2020, 10:30 a.m.

COVID-19 Update

The Village at Augsburg has continually taken proactive measures to protect our residents and team members from COVID-19. The afternoon of April 9, 2020, we learned one of our direct care team members assigned to our short-term rehab neighborhood tested positive for the coronavirus. The team member reported symptoms on April 4, the date they last worked in the community. Additionally, in the days leading up to April 4, the team member followed personal protective equipment protocol by wearing a mask while in the building and gloves and a gown when caring for residents.

The team member reports that they are doing well and will continue with self-quarantine measures in their home. Our prayers and thoughts are with this team member for a continued strong recovery. There are no residents or other team members showing symptoms of COVID-19 at this time.

Resident and team member safety and well-being are our top priorities. Prior to March 31, The Village at Augsburg implemented personal protective equipment protocols for our short-term rehab neighborhood to include the use of surgical masks, gloves and gowns. Because our direct care team members are assigned to designated residents in specific neighborhoods, this team member did not interact with other residents outside of the short-term rehab neighborhood. As an additional precaution, symptoms screenings for residents in the neighborhood where the team member worked will be increased to three times daily. We will continue with our twice daily screenings for all other health center residents and daily screenings for team members.

We are taking the most appropriate measures to ensure we stop the spread of COVID-19 within The Village at Augsburg, including staying in very close communication with local and state health officials. Please know that we are strictly adhering to all directives from the Baltimore County Department of Health, the Maryland Department of Health, the CDC, and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

We understand that you are concerned about your loved ones and that connecting with family members is incredibly important to our residents. Families and friends are encouraged to connect with their loved ones through a virtual visit. You can schedule a virtual visit at www.thevillageataugsburg.org/covid-19-updates/schedule-a-virtual-visit/.

We know this is a difficult time for everyone. As always, we will keep you informed of any updates as we continue to navigate the unprecedented times of COVID-19. We remain grateful for your support and prayers for both our residents and team members.

March 30, 2020, noon

Essential Workers

Because the work we do is essential to the lives of the seniors we serve, we are prepared for Governor Hogan’s COVID-19 related Executive Order requiring people to “Shelter at their Place of Residence.” An exception to this order is made for individuals that perform work for an essential business, such as senior living communities.

One category of essential businesses includes organizations that provide healthcare services or support. The Village at Augsburg is a senior living community providing healthcare services to a senior population and it is requested that even in a time of a “Shelter at their Place of Residence” order you continue to report to work to perform your assigned duties. Please note, this exception will only apply for travel to and from work. We ask that you continue to comply with any state-wide mandate to shelter in place. If you are asked to provide documentation for the need for you to leave your residence for work purposes, please share this memorandum with the requesting party along with your name badge.

We thank you for your attention to this matter. We value the health and safety of our team and are grateful for your dedication and understanding during this time.

Should you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to reach out to your coach or me.

March 19, 2020, 1:25 p.m.

Virtual Visits

In previous communications, we mentioned the ability for families to virtually visit with loved ones using either FaceTime or Google Duo (for Android phones).

On Monday, March 16, 2020, we began providing virtual visits in our Health Center and have received positive feedback from families and residents. That said, we wanted to ensure all family members and residents know the process for scheduling virtual visits.

Please email virtualvisit@thevillageataugsburg.org and provide the following information in the email message:

  • Requested Date and Time for Visit (please allow flexibility, if possible)
  • Name of Resident and Room #
  • Your Name and Relationship to Resident
  • iPhone or Android phone? (determines FaceTime or Google Duo)
  • Cell Phone Number
  • Email address
  • Any other special instructions

You may also request a virtual visit online by visiting www.thevillageataugsburg.org/covid-19-updates/schedule-a-virtual-visit

To allow for the demand, we will need to limit the visit to no more than 30 minutes. Also, we cannot guarantee the date and time you request, but will do our very best to accommodate you.  Lastly, due to the increased demand for these virtual visits, coupled with our desire to engage residents in individual enrichment activities in their rooms at the Health Center, we ask that you schedule only one virtual visit per week. Of course, you can communicate via phone as often as you’d like.

An email confirmation will be provided in response to your request.

Thank you for your patience with the rapidly changing protocols and we are happy to offer this service to give you an opportunity to interact with your loved one.

March 19, 2020, 1:20 p.m.

Visitor Deliveries to Residents

The Village at Augsburg continues to take precautions to prevent the potential spread of COVID-19 (coronavirus) throughout our community. To help protect the health of the vulnerable members of our Health Center (includes SNF and AL), in addition to the visitor restrictions mandated by Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and by Governor Hogan, we are also implementing a restriction on all items delivered to our facility from outside sources. This restriction is to protect our community from the potential transfer of the coronavirus from outside sources.

Effective immediately and until further notice, we can no longer accept any items brought to our community from outside sources. This includes food for residents, reading materials, clothing, etc., however, we will work with families to provide loved ones with their requests as best we can.

To be clear, this restriction does not included items ordered by The Village at Augsburg to meet the needs of our residents.

As always, the safety and well-being of our residents and other community members is our highest priority. We are grateful for your trust in allowing us to care for you and/or your loved one.

Thank you in advance for your patience and cooperation as we respond to this rapidly evolving situation.

Wednesday, March 18, 2020, 6:50 p.m.

Augsburg Service Delivery Updates Due to Coronavirus Precautions

President Trump has declared a national emergency as a result of COVID-19 (coronavirus), and Governor Hogan also declared a state of emergency in the State of Maryland. On Monday afternoon, President Trump’s Coronavirus Task Force shared detailed guidelines for Americans to slow the spread of the virus. Information shared during their press conference took the early recommendation from groups no larger than 20 to groups no large than 10. Most importantly, for our older adult population, the directive is to stay home and away from people.

The need for us to apply this directive at The Village at Augsburg hit close to home this week, as a CCRC in Richmond announced that an independent living resident who recently traveled to Florida was diagnosed and hospitalized with COVID-19. Their community is requiring all residents to remain in their apartments.

Please know that maintaining your health, wellness, and safety is our number one priority. As the entire Augsburg community works to do our part to slow the spread of the coronavirus in the greater community and to continue to safeguard our residents and team members, we are implementing additional precautions to protect our community from the virus. Although to our knowledge, we do not have residents or team members with symptoms of the virus, these additional precautions are being taken out of an abundance of caution.

In collaboration with the other NLCS communities, we are taking specific steps towards protecting our community from a coronavirus exposure:

All IL Residents – Temperature Check & Health Screening

WHEN: Occurring Thursday, March 19 and Friday, March 20
TIME: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
LOCATION: In Your Apartment

In an effort to have a baseline condition of all IL residents, we’re asking that you allow us to visit with you in your apartment on Thursday, March 19 or Friday, March 20 between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. As a best practice, we will ask you to allow a recorded temperature check and answer the coronavirus screening questions one more time (any fever, coughing, sore throat, shortness of breath or travel). This will assist in our effort to ask you to then self-monitor from this week forward.

Anyone in the future who doesn’t have a thermometer and would like us to check your temperature can let the Concierge know and they will have someone come to your apartment.

Visitor Restrictions
Similar to the visitor restrictions imposed in the Health Center, we are also restricting all non-essential visits to the Village. However, we will allow visits that are necessary to the overall health and well-being of the IL resident. This includes home care, home health, and hospice caregivers as well as family who are providing healthcare services to their loved one.

Dining and Meals – Temporary Discontinuation of Communal Dining
Beginning this week, we transitioned from seated, congregate dining to carry-out and room service.

Monday through Friday
Lunch service
“To go” lunch service will be available for Buildings 1-10 from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and for Building 11 from 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m.

Temporary preventative measures we have implemented are as follows:

• All beverages are served in single use disposable cups and will be kept behind the counter and handed out by the Dining Services staff.
This includes creamers and lids as well as condiments.
• All self-service bars have been eliminated and replaced with single serve “grab and go.”
• Carrying trays have been removed from service.
• Hand sanitizers are located at the entrance to the IL Café and should be used prior to entering the serving area.
• We cannot allow any food sampling or refills.

Dinner Service
• We are delivering dinner directly to your apartment between 4:30 and 6:30 p.m.
• Seating in all IL dining venues will not be available for the foreseeable future.

Weekend delivery of your meal will be between 3 and 5 p.m. We strongly encourage you to participate in weekend dining to lessen the burden on your families and to ensure you have access to a nutritious meal daily.

We have moved to all disposable plates, utensils, etc. and all should be discarded after each use.

Selection menus for the following day are delivered with the prior day’s meal delivery. Once your menu selections have been completed, please place your menu outside your apartment door. Menus will be collected the next morning during the door latch check.

Meal credits will remain the same. Dining Services will enter into the computer and produce a receipt which will be delivered with the meal. Please keep the receipt for your records.

Congregate Areas
Please avoid congregating in groups of 10 or more in any of our social or functional areas – Library, Worship Chapel, Village Lounge (any lounge), dining room, community room, and/or gathering areas/rooms. This supports social distancing.

Activities and Events – Temporary Adjustments to Programming
Based on current information that recommends limiting participation in activities to no more than 10 participants and maintaining at least a six-foot social distancing, programming and activities have been adjusted as follows:

• Transportation is limited to vital medical appointments and trips to meet medical needs. Residents are encouraged to use discretion and be
conservative to outside community exposure.
• All special event trips have been cancelled through March 31.
• Transportation Services is exploring opportunities for transportation to support Augsburg residents’ use of online grocery pickup services offered
through local retail groceries. Updated information to follow.
• Classes have been cancelled until we receive further notice from the State of Maryland that we can begin to congregate safely.

Through these changes in our service delivery protocols, we are looking to balance the continuation of services while taking the best precautions possible. We apologize in advance for any inconvenience this may cause. NLCS is implementing the best practices as determined by our Operations Leadership Team and Clinical Team to keep everyone healthy. We continue to monitor information and guidance from the Maryland Department of Health, Maryland Department of Aging, and the CDC to prevent the illness and strengthen our preparation for and response to an outbreak. A couple of reminders from previous communications:

Modified visitation hours of essential visits only remain in effect at the Health Center until further notice. Essential visits are defined as those visits to residents or guests who are in an “end of life” situation. Symptom screenings continue for essential visitors and team members as they enter the Health Center. Therapeutic Recreation has the capability to support virtual visits for residents and family to use Google Duo and FaceTime to visit family and friends residing at the Health Center. Email virtualvisit@thevillageataugsburg.org to schedule a visit.

Residents returning from travels, regardless of the destination (not just countries or U.S. areas of hot spots), should self-quarantine and self-monitor for coronavirus symptoms for 14 days upon return. Augsburg 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 Tina Minio. Tina can be reached at (410) 484-3099 or at tminio@thevillageataugsburg.org. Primary care physicians should also be notified if the self-quarantine is enacted.

We know that restricting visitors and restricting your interaction with one another are the toughest parts of these adjustments. As we circle back to the U.S. Coronavirus Task Force’s recommendation of staying home and away from other people, we implore you to remain in your apartment, including reducing or eliminating your trips into the greater community. We are a thriving community of friends and we believe that taking these steps will help us protect one another from exposure to COVID-19.

Communication is key through this dynamic and fluid time, and we will continue to update you on any news, emerging issues, or other changes in our regular operations. In the meantime, please do not hesitate to contact me or Tina Minio at any time with questions or concerns you may have.

March 12, 2020, 10:40 a.m.

Augsburg Modified Visitation Hours for the Assisted Living and Health Center, effective March 12

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 Maryland 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 Village at Augsburg 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 Maryland and CMS and in consultation with the leadership and clinical team at National Lutheran Communities & Services, effective Thursday, March 12, The Village at Augsburg 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 our Assisted Living and Health Center residents and rehab guests 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. Additionally, we will make laundry service available to our residents and rehab guests 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.

Lastly, in an effort to continue educating our community about the coronavirus and at the request of the Maryland Department of Aging, we are providing the attached Frequently Asked Questions: Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) and Older Adults to each of our residents and rehab guests.

We are clearly focused on minimizing the risk of exposure of coronavirus to the most vulnerable residents and guests we serve. If you have concerns or questions, please call Andy Braid, assisted living program manager, or Marc Goldstein-Smith, skilled nursing administrator, who will be happy to speak with you.

Essential Visits Protocol

If you are visiting a loved one for essential reasons, please follow the guidelines below after being screened upon entering:

  1. Before entering The Village at Augsburg and residents’ rooms, please wash hands with soap vigorously with friction for at least 20 seconds.
  2. While in the building, please limit surfaces touched, and if you do touch a surface, please use hand sanitizer or wash hands with soap frequently.
  3. If asked to put on Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), do so according to The Village at Augsburg policy while in the resident’s room. Our staff will educate you.
  4. Limit your movement within the Health Center to directly to the resident’s room (e.g., reduce walking the halls, avoid going to dining room, etc.).
  5. To promote safe visitation, please limited physical contact by practicing social distances with no handshaking or hugging, and remaining six feet apart.
  6. Please report to The Village at Augsburg any signs and symptoms of COVID-19 or acute illness within 14 days after visiting the facility.

March 9, 2020

As many of you are aware from media coverage of the confirmed coronavirus cases (COVID-19) in Montgomery County, Maryland, people attending a Shiva at The Village at Rockville experienced a potential LOW RISK exposure to COVID-19 on Friday, February 28 as one Montgomery County resident who tested positive for COVID-19 also attended the Shiva. The Village at Rockville was notified by the Maryland Department of Health (MDH), Infectious Disease and Office of Health Care Quality the afternoon of Friday, March 6.

There have been no cases of coronavirus at The Village at Rockville, and residents and team members at the community are not experiencing any symptoms of the coronavirus. Understanding the nature of NLCS office team members’ duties includes travel to all of our communities, we did not have NLCS team members at the event on February 28. Additionally, as of the March 6 notification, we have asked NLCS team members who have visited Rockville since February 28 to not visit our other communities until after March 14.

Following the guidelines of the MDH, through March 14, the community will continue to screen all residents of the main building for symptoms twice a day. Screening protocols include temperature checks and questions surrounding coughs and change in respiratory conditions. We are grateful for our team members at Rockville who continue to provide excellent care to our residents.

On March 5, all of our NLCS communities initiated a screening for all guests as they enter our buildings, as recommended by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Team members and residents throughout the organization have also been asked to complete a coronavirus screening, to inform us of any expected international travel, and to self-quarantine for 14 days after international travel. We believe that this is the best practice that we can put in place that ensures the protection of our communities.

We have added this webpage provide regular updates for residents, family members and team members. Please share this with your family so that they are aware of the most current information, as it pertains to The Village at Augsburg.

We encourage everyone to continue to practice proper hygiene – hand washing, covering your mouth or nose when coughing or sneezing, social distancing, and avoiding touching your eyes, nose and mouth. Most importantly, if you are experiencing any symptoms of COVID-19 or another illness, seek medical attention from your health care provider.

March 7, 2020, 5:30 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.

Effective immediately, we are implementing a three-question coronavirus screening for the entire campus in the following ways:

  1. All residents are asked to complete the coronavirus screening survey, which is attached to this memo. IL residents should return the survey to Tina Minio. For our AL and Health Center residents, the team members will complete the survey with the residents in their neighborhood. If residents answer yes to any of the screening questions, the resident should stay in their apartment until the symptoms have subsided – 24 hours fever-free, just like any other illness.
  2. Team members have been sent the survey electronically. Team members should follow the same protocols as residents.
  3. Visitors, including vendors and family members, will be asked to complete the coronavirus screening survey when signing in at our front entrances 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 will include information regarding recent international travel and symptoms such as cough, sore throat or fever. It will also question if there has been any contact with someone who has been diagnosed with coronavirus.

Additionally, until further notice, we are asking residents and team members, if you have international travel plans that you inform us before your trip, and then upon your return, you practice a 14-day self-quarantine in your home. Augsburg 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 Tina Minio. Primary care physicians should also be notified if the self-quarantine is enacted.

So that we can more effectively monitor guests entering our buildings, visitors, including vendors and family members, are asked to enter the building only at our main entrance at Augsburg Circle or at our entrance at Building #9 where they will be asked to complete the coronavirus screening survey. We do understand that these may not be the most convenient entrances for our IL families, but out of the abundance of caution for our community, we do need all visitors to complete the coronavirus screening on each visit.

At this point, we have exercised caution in the cancellation of our some of our activities on and off campus. We will continue to make decisions depending on the event and will provide plenty of notice of any future cancellations. 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 health care provider.

This week Montgomery County confirmed that three area residents have tested positive for the virus. It’s also been reported that all three are in their homes under self-quarantine. We also know that one of these area residents did visit The Village at Rockville for a public event. Because of this, our colleagues at The Village at Rockville are working closely with the Maryland Department of Health to monitor residents and team members who attended the same event for coronavirus symptoms. We will continue to monitor and will provide updates if there is additional change in our region.

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 Village at Augsburg, 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.

Source: Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and World Health Organization (WHO) websites