Path Forward Updates
This page will be updated frequently with the most recent communication at top.
Allison Combs | 540-277-9765
Independent Living Protocols for Programming, Dining, and Guests
COVID-19 Vaccine Resources
March 31, 2020, 7 p.m.
Governor Northam’s Stay at Home Executive Order
As the Governor of Virginia has issued a temporary Executive Order requiring people to “Stay at Home” due to the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19), this is an opportunity to discuss what it means for those who live and work at The Village at Orchard Ridge. This temporary order lasts through June 10, 2020.
One category of essential businesses includes organizations that provide health care services or support. The Village at Orchard Ridge is a senior living community providing health care services to a senior population, and our employees will continue to report to work to perform assigned duties. Employees have been provided documentation that they can travel with to and from work and provide should a request be made from a law enforcement authority.
As a community, we recognize three levels of “Staying at Home.” Most residents fall into the second category, and a few will fall into category three.
I Stay at Home – for all Virginians to stay at their place of residence, exceptions include obtaining food, beverages, supplies and seeking medical attention.
II Older Persons & the immunocompromised – stay at home, have others/other services bring supplies to you. Minimize your contact with others. You are able to go outside for exercise while maintaining the six-foot social distancing order.
III Quarantine – those who have traveled or have just experienced a hospital stay. We are requiring these residents to separate themselves by staying in their apartment or cottage for a 14 day period. Meals and mail are delivered by staff.
We continue to have no confirmed cases of COVID-19 for residents or employees. Still, we ask that you continue to comply with the state-wide mandate to stay at home. I thank you all for your patience and perseverance. We are a resilient community and are all working together for the health and safety of one another.
March 17, 2020, 6:32 p.m.
Slow the Spread…additional adjustments to service delivery and visitation protocols
The coronavirus crisis in our country is changing quickly. As we aim to provide for the wellbeing of all of our residents and team members, we, too are rapidly changing our direction to apply best practices. 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 of groups no larger than 20 to groups no larger than 10. Mostly importantly, for our older adult population, the directive is to stay home and away from other people.
The need for us to apply this directive at The Village at Orchard Ridge hit close to home today, 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.
As the entire Orchard Ridge 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 taking out of an abundance of caution.
Please note the following changes until further notice:
Effective Tuesday, March 17
- As of 5 p.m., all ConnectedLiving programming will be suspended and the Engage Center will be closed.
- Outpatient physical therapy and occupational therapy appointments will continue as scheduled.
Effective Wednesday, March 18
- As of 6 a.m., residents are asked to remain in their apartment or cottage.
- As of 7 a.m., visitors to residents in independent living will be restricted to essential visitors only. Essential visitors are defined as those who are visiting or caring for residents who are in end-of-life care. Caregivers who provide support to our residents through our Aging with Choice services are not considered visitors and will be permitted to provide services. Essential visitors and caregivers must continue to enter through the Village Center lobby doors and will continue to be screened for symptoms (including a temperature check) and travel. Please share this information with your families and friends. It will make our Concierge team’s job much easier.
- Breakfast service will be available in Café 400 through March 18. Breakfast service will be suspended until further notice.
- Café 400 and the Bistro will be open during lunch and dinner hours on Wednesday, March 18, but residents are highly discouraged from utilizing services.
- The Temperature Check & Education Clinics scheduled for Wednesday, March 18 and Thursday, March 19 have been CANCELLED.
Effective Thursday, March 19
- Adjusted meal services that begin on Thursday, March 19 during the hours of 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. with the pre-assigned dining groups will REMAIN intact as planned. Café 400 is available for grab-and-go items. Residents should use these opportunities to pick up your mail and then return to their apartments and cottages after picking up their meals
Please avoid congregating in any of our social or functional areas – Library, Chapel, Fireside Lounge (any lounge), Engage Center rooms, and/or gathering areas.
You can expect additional information from ConnectedLiving in the coming days regarding creative ways to stay engaged in daily activities from your apartment or cottage, including virtual exercise classes through Touchtown. Times like these require outside-the-box thinking, so the team is working to prepare options.
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 or cottage, 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.
March 16, 2020, 9 a.m.
Orchard Ridge Service Delivery Updates Due to Coronavirus Precautions
President Trump has declared a national emergency as a result of COVID-19 (coronavirus), and Governor Ralph Northam also declared a state of emergency in the Commonwealth of Virginia. This development triggers heightened infection control practices and protocols as recommended by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). Please know that maintaining your health, wellness, and safety is our number one priority.
In collaboration with the other NLCS communities, we are taking specific steps towards protecting our community from a coronavirus exposure:
All IL Residents – Requirement of Temperature Check & Education Clinics
- WHEN: Occurring Wednesday, March 18 and Thursday, March 19
- TIME: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
- LOCATION: Board Room
In an effort to have a baseline condition of all IL residents, we’re asking that you visit the Board Room, next to Mail Depot on the first floor of the Village Center, on Wednesday, March 18 or Thursday, March 19 between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. As a best practice, we will ask you to allow a recorded temperature check (temporal or ear) and answer the coronavirus screening questions one more time (any fever, coughing, sore throat or international travel). This will assist in our effort to ask you to then self-monitor from this week forward.
Dining and Meals – Temporary Discontinuation of Communal Dining
Beginning Thursday, March 19, we will transition from seated, congregate dining to carry-out and boxed buffets. Breakfast will still be available, via carryout. For buffet service times, residents will be separated in groups of 20, per sign-ups.
- WHEN: Effective Thursday, March 19
- TIME: Meal times 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and 4 to 7:30 p.m.
- Mealtime sign-up will begin Tuesday, March 17 at the Concierge Desk from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. If you are unable to signup, a time will be assigned for you. Please stop by the Concierge Desk or call 540-431-2800.
- Meal times are from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and 4 to 7:30 p.m.
- For infection control precautions, dining team members will be serving from the buffet.
- Carryout and delivery services will be suspended, except for the qualified list maintained at the Concierge Desk.
- The Cider House Pub will not be open. However, beer and wine will be available for purchase in Café 400 to purchase to-go.
- During this time of adjusted dining services, the grocery order program will be suspended.
Please avoid congregating in groups of 20 or more in any of our social or functional areas – Library, Chapel, Fireside Lounge (any lounge), dining rooms, Engage Center rooms, and/or gathering areas/rooms. This supports social distancing.
ConnectedLiving – Temporary Adjustments to Programming
Based on current information that recommends limiting participation in activities to no more than 20 participants and maintaining at least a six-foot social distancing, ConnectedLiving programming and activities have been adjusted as follows:
- WHEN: Effective Tuesday, March 19
- 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 Orchard Ridge residents’ use of online grocery pickup services offered through local retail groceries. Updated information to follow.
- The Engage Center will remain open for fitness and aquatic classes and resident use of the Fitness Center and pools, however, the following guidelines will be
- Classes will be limited to no more than 20 participants and actual class size will be based on the number of residents that each space can accommodate to allow for at least six-foot social distancing between all participants. ConnectedLiving team members will monitor all areas closely and continue to vigilantly clean all equipment and areas. Classes are first-come, first-served and doors will open 15 minutes prior to the class start times.
- All recurring activities where residents are unable to maintain at least a six-foot social distance between participants are cancelled, e.g., Bridge, Bunco, Scrabble, etc. Residents need to self-regulate for everyone’s safety.
- Whether programs and activities listed on the March monthly calendar take place will be based on whether the program can be accomplished in conformity with the no more than 20 participants and six-foot distancing guidelines. ConnectedLiving will use Touchtown and the whiteboard to communicate which programs will continue and those that are cancelled.
- ConnectedLiving is creatively working to find ways to livestream some programs and activities through channel 971/977 and will communicate such updates through Touchtown and the whiteboard.
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 Virginia Department of Health 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 Orchard Woods Health Center until further notice. Essential visits are defined as those visits to residents or guests who experience a significant change in medical condition. Symptom screenings continue for essential visitors and team members as they enter the Health Center. ConnectedLiving has the capability to support virtual visits for residents and family to use Skype and FaceTime to visit family and friends residing at OWHC. Email Modified visitation hours of essential visits only remain in effect Orchard Woods Health Center until further notice. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule a visit. 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. Orchard Ridge 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 Michelle Key in the Administrative Office. Michelle can be reached at 540-431-2808 or at email@example.com. Primary care physicians should also be notified if the self-quarantine is enacted.
Communication is key through this dynamic and fluid time, and we will continue to update you on any news, emerging issues, or changes in our regular operations. In the meantime, please do not hesitate to contact Melissa Fortner or Missy Sellers at any time with questions or concerns you may have.
March 12, 2020, 4:16 p.m.
We continue to respond
As we continue to monitor the COVID-19 (coronavirus) situation, we recognize that the information and recommendations being provided to us by the State of Virginia and Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) are very dynamic and are being updated at a rapid pace. For the safety and well-being of our residents and team members, we have continued to take precautionary measures in our community, screening guests upon entering our buildings to ensure that guests are not exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19 or any other respiratory virus. The Village at Orchard Ridge remains free from symptoms of COVID-19 nor have there been any cases of the virus at the community.
As a continued precaution, at the recommendation of the State of Virginia and CMS and in consultation with the leadership and clinical team at National Lutheran Communities & Services, effective Thursday, March 12, The Village at Orchard Ridge has modified their visitation policy, limiting access to Orchard Woods Health Center 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 Orchard Woods 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.
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, we are now asking that any resident who travels internationally, regardless of the destination (not just countries considered hot spots), self-quarantine for 14 days upon return. As the coronavirus continues to spread, this is essential in keeping everyone healthy.
We are clearly focused on minimizing the risk of exposure of coronavirus to the most vulnerable residents and guests we serve.
In addition to multiple efforts such as planning, team member education, and stocking up on supplies, below is a timeline of Orchard Ridge’s overall response to COVID-19 thus far. If you have concerns or questions, please let me know. We continue to collaborate with the Virginia State Department of Health, the Centers for Disease Control, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, the World Health Organization and NLCS on updates daily or as they occur.
February 28, 2020
– Issued memo on COVID-19 education
– Posted initial modified visitor sign at Orchard Woods Health Center
February 29, 2020
– Participated in Virginia’s Department of Health mock emergency drill on COVID-19
March 5, 2020
– Implemented visitor log screening for COVID-19 based on information from the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services
– Began implementation of higher strength disinfectant cleaning solution across campus
– Started additional screening measure for new admissions and move ins
– Began implementation of increased supply of tissues and hand sanitizer in shared spaces
March 6, 2020
– Issued memo on measures and guidelines for Orchard Ridge
– Implemented COVID-19 symptom screening for Orchard Ridge residents
– Implemented COVID-19 symptom screening for Orchard Ridge team members
– Posted modified visitor sign at the main entrance March 12, 2020
– Implemented essential visitors only to Orchard Woods Health Center
– Posted centralized entry of visitors/guests/families sign at the IL Village Center entrance
March 9, 2020, 6:45 p.m.
Update on Potential Low Risk Exposure to COVID-19 at The Village at Rockville from Larry Bradshaw, President & CEO, NLCS
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 to 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 Orchard Ridge.
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
Update and information on the coronavirus
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. Last Saturday, we participated in a statewide coronavirus communication drill with the Virginia Department of Health. Additionally, Melissa Fortner, executive director and Missy Sellers, health care administrator met with Dr. Fite, the Orchard Woods Health Center medical director, to discuss action steps and preparation plans already occurring here at the community.
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:
- All residents and team members will be asked to complete the coronavirus screening survey, which will be sent by email. If you do not have email, please stop by the Concierge Desk to complete your screening survey. Hard copies should be returned to the Concierge Desk.
- Visitors, including vendors, and family members will be asked to complete the coronavirus screening survey when signing in with Concierge or when visiting any neighborhood at Orchard Woods Health Center. If the response to any of the screening questions is “yes,” permission to visit the community 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.
If our residents or team members answer yes to any of the screening questions, the resident should stay in their cottage or apartment until the symptoms have subsided – 24 hours fever-free, just like any other illness. Team members should follow the same protocols. Overall, we encourage everyone to take additional precautionary steps of practicing good hygiene to prevent the spread of any illness, including the coronavirus.
Additionally, we are asking residents and team members that until further notice, 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. Orchard Ridge 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 my office. Primary care physicians should also be notified if the self-quarantine is enacted.
Our community outreach liaison is screening all incoming admissions in all levels of care. Guests requesting admission to Orchard Woods for short-term stays who have traveled internationally within 14 days will not be accepted for admissions to our neighborhoods.
At this point, we will continue on with our ConnectedLiving programs, both on and off campus, as planned. Each of us should understand the risks involved when participating in events that put us in close proximity of others who could be infected. Please exercise caution at your discretion.
While there is currently no vaccine to prevent the coronavirus infection, the best way to prevent infection is to avoid being exposed to this virus. Please continue to be diligent in practicing preventive actions to help prevent the spread of this respiratory virus. Hand washing, covering your mouth and nose if sneezing or cough, and social distancing are the key elements of reducing the spread of any infection. If you begin to experience symptoms, please call your primary care physician.
Thank you in advance for doing your part to help us maintain our highest level of well-being for our community. While we’re not sure what turn this virus will take or how long it will impact our daily operations, we do know that it will take vigilance of our entire community to ensure the health and safety of our residents and team members.
February 28, 2020
Update and information on the coronavirus
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 Orchard Ridge, 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