Coronavirus Updates

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

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

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 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

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 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 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