1330 India Hook Road
Rock Hill, South Carolina
(803) 328-5000
 

Covid-19

04/19/21

DATE: 4/19/2021

SUBJECT: Administrator Update

 

Greetings Westminster Health and Rehab Family,

I pray that this message finds you well. Visitation has returned to the community and it is an absolute pleasure to see everyone reconnecting with their loved ones in person. With the Spring weather upon us, please feel free to take your loved one outside to enjoy some fresh air and sunshine. If you or your loved one is sensitive to the pollen or have other allergies (Dust, grass etc.) you may wish to enjoy indoor visits until the levels of yellow subsides. As you enjoy your visit please ensure that your mask remains on at all times to reduce the likelihood and transmitting COVID-19 or any other illness. Please see the information below for an overall review of what’s happening at the community.

KEY COVID-19 UPDATE

Currently there are no new positive cases of COVID-19 in residents or staff. We continue to closely monitor our residents and staff members for any signs and symptoms of COVID-19.

VACCINE UPDATE

DHEC performed two educational sessions about the vaccine for our community on Friday 04/16/2021. We are very grateful and appreciative of their partnership. We continue to encourage staff and residents to receive the vaccine to help protect themselves and others as COVID-19 infections and deaths continue to increase. Our pharmacy partners at Neil Medical Group have access to the vaccine and will administer it to staff members and residents. Newly admitted residents and staff will have the ability to receive the vaccine on an ongoing basis. Please call (803) 326-3100 and ask to speak to Malou Shukla our Infection Control Preventionist to learn more.

TESTING

We are currently testing staff once a week utilizing the 15 minute rapid test kits. We have the availability to test as needed when there is any suspected exposure or visible signs and symptoms in staff or residents. We are currently exploring options with Andor Labs to serve as our testing partners in which this group would come onsite to perform PCR testing.  Consistently testing allows us to quickly identify positive residents and staff taking the appropriate course of action expediently. The frequency of testing is subject to change as the South Carolina community rate adjusts.

COVID-19 PREVALENCE

The threat of COVID-19 remains very real despite many people receiving the vaccine. It is critically important to continue doing your part to help stop the spread of COVID-19 as the numbers of confirmed cases and deaths continue to increase. South Carolina sits at 475,601 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 8,222 confirmed deaths. The community positivity rate is currently 7.6%.

*We continue to stay current with CDC, DHEC and CMS guidelines while also practicing the “The Three Biggies” which include:

  1. Wearing a mask
  2. Social distancing
  3. Frequent handwashing with soap and water and utilizing alcohol based hand rubs

VISITATION

Visitation is BACK! Please follow the protocol below to enjoy a visit with your loved one.

  • Visiting hours will be held from 8:30 AM – 4:30 PM Monday-Sunday.

NOTE: Reasonable exceptions to these hours shall be granted per DHEC regulation 61-17 section 1003 Part J.

  • All visits will take place in the resident room at all times.
  • There will be no more than two visitors allowed in a residents room at one time.

The Core Principles of COVID-19 Infection Prevention must be adhered to and followed at ALL times to ensure that our residents enjoy a safe visit. The Core Principles of COVID-19 Infection Prevention are as follows:

  • Screening of all who enter the facility for signs and symptoms of COVID-19 (e.g., temperature checks, questions about and observations of signs or symptoms), and denial of entry of those with signs or symptoms or those who have had close contact with someone with COVID-19 infection in the prior 14 days (regardless of the visitor’s vaccination status)
  • Hand hygiene (use of alcohol-based hand rub is preferred)
  • Face covering or masks (covering mouth and nose)
  • Social distancing of at least six feet between persons
  • Instructional signage throughout the facility and proper visitor education on COVID-19 signs and symptoms, infection control precautions, other applicable facility practices (e.g., use of face covering or mask, specified entries, exits and routes to designated areas, hand hygiene)
  • Cleaning and disinfecting of frequently touched surfaces often and of visitation areas after each visit
  • Appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) use by staff
  • Effective cohorting of residents (e.g., separate areas dedicated COVID-19 care)
  • Resident and staff testing performed in accordance with CMS guidance

*I encourage you to visit the CDC website and the DHEC website for the latest information and guidance related to COVID-19:

Thank you so much for your continued support and guidance! We couldn’t do this without you!  Please don’t hesitate to contact me directly with any questions or comments:

OFFICE: (803) 326-3114

EMAIL: ewhitehead@westminstertowers.org

Thank you,

Efren Z. Whitehead, Jr.

Administrator


03/31/21

Independent Living Update:

Residents in Independent Living are welcome to have visitors now! Visitors will have their temperature taken by the receptionist and must wear a mask. Residents must meet their visitors at the front desk and escort them to their apartment. Visitors are not allowed to gather in common areas.


03/26/21

DATE: 03/26/2021

SUBJECT: Administrator Update (Visitation)  – Health & Rehab Center

 

Greetings Westminster Health and Rehab Family,

I pray that this message finds you strong, healthy and encouraged as we have phenomenal news to share! Effective Friday, 03/26/2021 we will begin allowing visitation per the new guidance issued by DHEC on 03/19/2021. CMS revised visitation guidance on 03/10/2021 and DHEC issued guidance for all nursing homes to follow which states “All facilities are required to allow visitation at all times and for all residents.” I have attached our new visitation policy/procedure for your review.

This has been long awaited by our staff, residents and families. I reflect back to when visitation was originally restricted which began 03/13/2020 (More than a year ago). We turned visitor after visitor away at the doors following the executive order issued by Governor Henry McMaster which was painful for all of us. It was a very long year filled with challenges, adversity, loss, pain, joy, stress, tensions and uncertainty. The year of 2020 was also filled with tremendous growth, strength, triumph, joy, faith, compassion and bravery.  While we are not at the finish line just yet we can’t thank you all enough for your patience, resilience, commitment dedication and support.

I want to extend a special thanks to my team for continuing to dig deep providing phenomenal care and upholding our mission despite the circumstances, sacrificing their own health and safety to serve others daily. Every team member from every department are truly selfless warriors. Please thank these heroes as you reconnect with your loved ones in the facility.

Key Visiting Information

  • Please read the attached Visitation Policy/Procedure carefully (Please feel free to request the policy if you have not read the document in its entirety).
  • Visiting hours will be held from 8:30 AM – 4:30 PM Monday-Sunday.

NOTE: Reasonable exceptions to these hours shall be granted per DHEC regulation 61-17 section 1003 Part J.

  • All visits will take place in the resident room at all times.
  • There will be no more than two visitors allowed in a residents room at one time.

The Core Principles of COVID-19 Infection Prevention must be adhered to and followed at ALL times to ensure that our residents enjoy a safe visit. The Core Principles of COVID-19 Infection Prevention are as follows:

  • Screening of all who enter the facility for signs and symptoms of COVID-19 (e.g., temperature checks, questions about and observations of signs or symptoms), and denial of entry of those with signs or symptoms or those who have had close contact with someone with COVID-19 infection in the prior 14 days (regardless of the visitor’s vaccination status)
  • Hand hygiene (use of alcohol-based hand rub is preferred)
  • Face covering or masks (covering mouth and nose)
  • Social distancing of at least six feet between persons
  • Instructional signage throughout the facility and proper visitor education on COVID-19 signs and symptoms, infection control precautions, other applicable facility practices (e.g., use of face covering or mask, specified entries, exits and routes to designated areas, hand hygiene)
  • Cleaning and disinfecting of frequently touched surfaces often and of visitation areas after each visit
  • Appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) use by staff
  • Effective cohorting of residents (e.g., separate areas dedicated COVID-19 care)
  • Resident and staff testing performed in accordance with CMS guidance

Cumulatively the state of South Carolina sits at 461,418 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 8,021 confirmed deaths. COVID-19 remains a potentially deadly virus combined with new variants it is extremely wise to stay safe by following the guidance set forth by the CDC. You must continue to do your part!

*I strongly encourage you to visit the CDC website and the DHEC website for the latest information and guidance related to COVID-19:

Please don’t hesitate to contact me directly with any questions or comments:

OFFICE: (803) 326-3114

EMAIL: ewhitehead@westminstertowers.org

Thank you,

Efren Z. Whitehead, Jr.

Administrator

 

Visitation Policy/Procedures

BACKGROUND: On 03/19/2021 DHEC issued visitation guidelines which supersedes all previously released versions of visitation guidance. All facilities are required to allow indoor visitation at all times and for all residents. The following procedures below describes and identifies actions to be followed so that you can fully enjoy your visit with your loved one in a safe fashion following the Core Principles of COVID-19 Infection Prevention.

ATTENTION: Unfortunately, visitors that are unable to adhere to the policy and procedures along with the Core Principles of COVID-19 Infection Prevention described below shall not be permitted to visit or will be asked to leave the facility.

NOTE: Visiting hours will be from 8:30 AM – 4:30 PM Monday-Sunday. Reasonable exceptions to these hours shall be granted per DHEC regulation 61-17 section 1003 Part J.

PROCESS

  1. Arrive at the facility to have your temperature taken at the front desk.

NOTE: You must be wearing a mask covering your nose and mouth to enter the facility. Wearing only a face shield will not replace the need to wear a mask.

  1. Complete a signs and symptoms screening questionnaire.

NOTE: Please complete the questionnaire accurately and completely.

  1. All visits will take place in the resident room at all times.

NOTE: Visitors should refrain from walking and sitting in the common resident areas, corridors or visiting with other residents. Visitors may report to the nurse’s station for any support, guidance, or questions that need to be addressed.

NOTE: If your loved one resides in a semiprivate room and has a roommate, accommodations will be made to provide a safe and private visit for all parties.

  1. There will be no more than two visitors in the resident room at one time.

NOTE: Please coordinate visitation times accordingly with your family members so that the times can be distributed evenly.

NOTE: Fully vaccinated residents have the option to have close contact (including touch) with their visitor if they both wear well-fitting face masks, perform hand hygiene before and after, and the resident and their visitor are physically distanced (maintaining at least 6 feet between people) from all other residents and facility staff. Visitors shall physically distance from other residents and staff in the facility.

  1. Please exit the facility as your visit concludes.

 

The Core Principles of COVID-19 Infection Prevention

The Core Principles of COVID-19 Infection Prevention must be adhered to and followed at ALL times to ensure that our residents enjoy a safe visit. The Core Principles of COVID-19 Infection Prevention are as follows:

  • Screening of all who enter the facility for signs and symptoms of COVID-19 (e.g., temperature checks, questions about and observations of signs or symptoms), and denial of entry of those with signs or symptoms or those who have had close contact with someone with COVID-19 infection in the prior 14 days (regardless of the visitor’s vaccination status)
  • Hand hygiene (use of alcohol-based hand rub is preferred)
  • Face covering or masks (covering mouth and nose)
  • Social distancing of at least six feet between persons
  • Instructional signage throughout the facility and proper visitor education on COVID-19 signs and symptoms, infection control precautions, other applicable facility practices (e.g., use of face covering or mask, specified entries, exits and routes to designated areas, hand hygiene)
  • Cleaning and disinfecting of frequently touched surfaces often and of visitation areas after each visit
  • Appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) use by staff
  • Effective cohorting of residents (e.g., separate areas dedicated COVID-19 care)
  • Resident and staff testing performed in accordance with CMS guidance

03/16/21

DATE: 03/16/2021

SUBJECT: Administrator Update

 

Greetings Westminster Health and Rehab Family,

 

I pray that this message finds you well. Happy Women’s History Month! Thank you ladies for being awesome and leading the charge on a daily basis. We appreciate your boldness, strength, resilience and caring hearts that have made the world a better place. As we approach Spring and flowers prepare to bloom we also brace for changes as new regulatory guidance is blooming and shifting day to day operations within the Health Center. Please play close attention to the “Visitation” section within this update.

KEY COVID-19 UPDATE

Currently there are no new positive cases of COVID-19 in residents or staff. We continue to closely monitor our residents and staff members for any signs and symptoms of COVID-19. We have gone 6 weeks with any new cases of COVID-19 in our staff or residents which is phenomenal!

VACCINE UPDATE

All three clinics of the vaccination with our CVS partners have been successfully completed. The Moderna vaccine was administered here for those residents and staff members that wished to receive the two dose series.

We now have access to the vaccine through our pharmacy partners at Neil Medical Group! Newly admitted residents and staff will have the ability to receive the vaccine which is exciting news! Please contact the facility at (803) 326-3100 to be routed to our Infection Control Preventionist to get more information on vaccinations.

TESTING

We continue to test twice a week utilizing our lab partners ThrivePoint Laboratories at the current moment. We are testing our residents and staff utilizing PCR testing which is the gold standard. If residents display signs and symptoms of COVID-19, we have multiple rapid test kits (Antigen Test kits) at our disposal which produce results in 15 minutes. Consistently testing continues to allow us to quickly identify positive residents and staff taking the appropriate course of action expediently. We will continue to test twice a week to ensure that we all remain as safe as possible. The frequency of testing is subject to change as the South Carolina community rate adjusts.

COVID-19 PREVALENCE

We urge you to continue exercising caution as the pandemic is still alive and well. We are not at the finish line yet however we can begin to hear faint cheers from the crowd. We have all worked too hard and endured too many challenges to trip during this marathon. Cumulatively the state of South Carolina sits at 455,088 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 7,850 confirmed deaths. COVID-19 remains a potentially deadly virus combined with new variants it is extremely wise to stay safe by following the guidance below.

*We continue to stay current with CDC, DHEC and CMS guidelines while also practicing the “The Three Biggies” which include:

  1. Wearing a mask
  2. Social distancing
  3. Frequent handwashing with soap and water and utilizing alcohol based hand rubs

VISITATION

CMS has recently revised visitation guidance updated the evening of 03/10/2021 and was addressed to “State Survey Agency Directors. We currently await official guidance from DHEC which will be coming relatively soon (I would foresee the guidance being distributed this week which will describe altered/updated visitation however we do not know the exact date this information will be released). As we receive the new guidance from DHEC we will adopt and mold the parameters to our community and communicate this with both residents and family. The revised CMS guidance heavily focuses on the importance of following and adhering to “Core Principles of COVID-19 Infection Prevention” which include the following:

  • Screening of all who enter the facility for signs and symptoms of COVID-19 (e.g., temperature checks, questions about and observations of signs or symptoms), and denial of entry of those with signs or symptoms or those who have had close contact with someone with COVID-19 infection in the prior 14 days (regardless of the visitor’s vaccination status)
  • Hand hygiene (use of alcohol-based hand rub is preferred)
  • Face covering or mask (covering mouth and nose)
  • Social distancing at least six feet between persons
  • Instructional signage throughout the facility and proper visitor education on COVID19 signs and symptoms, infection control precautions, other applicable facility practices (e.g., use of face covering or mask, specified entries, exits and routes to designated areas, hand hygiene)
  • Cleaning and disinfecting high-frequency touched surfaces in the facility often, and designated visitation areas after each visit
  • Appropriate staff use of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
  • Effective cohorting of residents (e.g., separate areas dedicated to COVID-19 care)
  • Resident and staff testing conducted as required

We are currently offering multiple visitation options for our residents and families. We would ask that all exercise good judgment before deciding to participate in an in person visit and adhere to CDC guidance and recommendations that I refer to as “The Three Biggies” Please continue to schedule visits through our Life Enrichment Department at (803) 326-3141.

ITEM DROP OFF SERVICE

  • (ITEMS )
    • 8:00 AM-11:30 AM and from 1:00 PM-3:00 PM Monday-Friday (Weekday Only)
  • (LAUNDRY)
    • PICKUPS Monday and Thursday à 8:00 AM-11:30 AM & 1:00 PM-3:00 PM
    • DROP OFFS Tuesdays and Fridays à 8:00 AM-11:30 AM & 1:00 PM-3:00 PM
  • Your items should be clearly labeled with the resident name and room number so that each package can be delivered accurately and timely.
  • Adhering to the Item Drop Off timeframes allows our staff to be readily available to serve you and deliver your loved ones items as efficiently and quickly as possible.

*I encourage you to visit the CDC website and the DHEC website for the latest information and guidance related to COVID-19:

We greatly appreciate your unwavering support, and patience as we continue to navigate through the pandemic together.

Please don’t hesitate to contact me directly with any questions or comments:

OFFICE: (803) 326-3114

EMAIL: ewhitehead@westminstertowers.org

 

Thank you,

Efren Whitehead, Jr.

Administrator


02/19/21

DATE: 02/19/2021

SUBJECT: Administrator Update

Greetings Westminster Health and Rehab Family,

I pray that this message finds you well. We are officially vaccinated and it feels so good! We are thankful that our residents and staff that desired to be vaccinated have received both doses of the Moderna vaccine providing 94.1% protection as we continue to navigate through this pandemic together. We must continue to be safe, observant and cautious with our day to day routines. The new variants of COVID-19 bring a certain degree of uncertainly and unknowns to the mix, however, sticking to the tried and true practices of social distancing, wearing a mask and hand washing will keep us all as safe as possible. The vaccine increases protection at 94.1%, not 100% so we must all continue to do our part as we continue to press towards the finish line.

KEY COVID-19 UPDATE

Currently there are no new positive cases of COVID-19 in residents or staff. We continue to closely monitor our residents and staff members for any signs and symptoms of COVID-19.

VACCINE UPDATE

The second dose of the Moderna vaccine was made available to residents and staff after partnering with CVS who successfully administered the second round for those that elected to receive it on 02/02/2021. Our anniversary for being fully vaccinated came into effect on 02/16/2021. While this doesn’t mean that COVID-19 disappears, the chances of getting COVID-19 significantly decrease along with the severity if you contract the virus.

The third clinic is scheduled during the month of March (Please see details below). We will have access to the vaccine even after our third CVS clinic through our pharmacy partners at Neil Medical Group within the coming weeks. Newly admitted residents and staff will have the ability to receive the vaccine which is exciting news!

Dates and times of the third vaccine administration have been assigned for the health center listed below:

  • 03/02/2021 10:00 AM-4:00 PM (Westminster Health and Rehabilitation Clinic 3A)

TESTING

We continue to test twice a week utilizing our lab partners ThrivePoint Laboratories. We are testing our residents and staff utilizing PCR testing which is the gold standard. If residents display signs and symptoms we have multiple rapid test kits (Antigen Test kits) at our disposal which produce results in 15 minutes.

Consistently testing continues to allow us to quickly identify positive residents and staff taking the appropriate course of action expediently. We will continue to test twice a week to ensure that we all remain as safe as possible. The frequency of testing is subject to change as the South Carolina community rate adjusts.

COVID-19 PREVALENCE

York County has seen 24,923 confirmed COVID-19 cases while cumulatively the state of South Carolina sits at 431,074 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 7,277 confirmed deaths. The community positivity rate is currently 10%.

*We continue to stay current with CDC, DHEC and CMS guidelines while also practicing the “The Three Biggies” which include:

  1. Wearing a mask
  2. Social distancing
  3. Frequent handwashing with soap and water and utilizing alcohol based hand rubs

VISITATION

We are currently offering multiple visitation options for our residents and families. We would ask that all exercise good judgment before deciding to participate in an in person visit and adhere to CDC guidance and recommendations that I refer to as “The Three Biggies” Please continue to schedule visits through our Life Enrichment Department at (803) 326-3141.

 ITEM DROP OFF SERVICE

  • (ITEMS )
    • 8:00 AM-11:30 AM and from 1:00 PM-3:00 PM Monday-Friday (Weekday Only)
  • (LAUNDRY)
    • PICKUPS Monday and Thursday – 8:00 AM-11:30 AM & 1:00 PM-3:00 PM
    • DROP OFFS Tuesdays and Fridays – 8:00 AM-11:30 AM & 1:00 PM-3:00 PM
  • Your items should be clearly labeled with the resident name and room number so that each package can be delivered accurately and timely.

*I encourage you to visit the CDC website and the DHEC website for the latest information and guidance related to COVID-19:

Stay focused, stay motivated and stay strong. We will only get to where we need to be with everyone’s cooperation and support. I’m more than thankful for each of you.

Please don’t hesitate to contact me directly with any questions or comments:

OFFICE: (803) 326-3114

EMAIL: ewhitehead@westminstertowers.org

Thank you,

Efren Whitehead, Jr.

Administrator


 

02/12/21

Friday, February 12, 2021

From:   James R. Thomason, CEO; Angela Elliott, Resident Services Director; Resident Association Officers: Spencer Anderson, Lynn Hornsby, Edmund and Jody FitzGerald, Nancy Anderson

 

Dear Residents,

Thank you for how well we have continued to journey through these challenging times of COVID-19. We have had many questions about changes after our second vaccination. The Towers have always relied heavily on the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) for guidance because these organizations rely on science to inform the public and institutions. We are following guidelines issued by the CDC for retirement communities and follow guidelines for post vaccination guidance. We are blending the aspects of community living and individuals who have been vaccinated. All of this is fluid and can change based on community spread (positivity rates in York County,) impact of the UK, Brazil, South African mutant spread in the USA and our area and effectiveness of the Moderna vaccine.

Below is the current CDC guidance for activities for persons who have had both vaccinations. The document by the CDC provides much positive information and hopefulness around increased immunity with being vaccinated. Having said that, the CDC is not prepared to declare vaccinated persons are totally immune from COVID-19 nor unable to transmit it to family, friends or other residents who live at the Towers. However, there are great benefits for those of you who have gotten the vaccine.

 

Do I need to wear a mask and avoid close contact with others if I have gotten 2 doses of the vaccine?

Yes. Not enough information is currently available to say if or when CDC will stop recommending that people wear masks and avoid close contact with others to help prevent the spread of the virus that causes COVID-19.

Experts need to understand more about the protection that COVID-19 vaccines provide in real-world conditions before making that decision. Other factors, including how many people get vaccinated and how the virus is spreading in communities, will also affect this decision.

We also don’t yet know whether getting a COVID-19 vaccine will prevent you from spreading the virus that causes COVID-19 to other people, even if you don’t get sick yourself. CDC will continue to update this page as we learn more.

While experts learn more about the protection that COVID-19 vaccines provide under real-life conditions, it will be important for everyone to continue using all the tools available to help stop this pandemic.

To protect yourself and others, follow these recommendations:

·         Wear a mask over your nose and mouth

·         Stay at least 6 feet away from others

·         Avoid crowds

·         Avoid poorly ventilated spaces

·         Wash your hands often

Together, COVID-19 vaccination and following CDC’s recommendations for how to protect yourself and others will offer the best protection from getting and spreading COVID-19.

Source: Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC);Last Updated Jan. 25, 2021

 

Below are some modifications to Towers guidelines written with the above CDC guidance. Still in effect are wearing masks, social distancing, frequent handwashing, avoiding large crowds, staying in well ventilated areas and staying in your apartment when ill. These public health measures are for the protection of your friends and family members who have not been vaccinated. The following will be effective March 1, 2021. This will allow the immunity to build from the second vaccination, see the trending on positivity rate in York County and monitor the COVID-19 variant impact. Please know the below can also be modified between now and March 1 based on additional information. These guidelines will help all of us be good citizens toward each other at The Towers and your family.

  • Residents can visit family members and close friends in small gatherings off campus practicing CDC guidelines as outlined in the CDC guidance above. Patio visits will continue in its current format. Residents will not have to be quarantined after a visit. You are safest if you are visiting people who have been vaccinated. Family visits inside the Towers will not occur at this time unless on a pre-arranged, exception basis. Contact Jennifer Tucker with questions.
  • If any resident has a known exposure to COVID-19, it must be reported to our Infection Control Nurse, Malou Shukla or Campus Social Worker, Jennifer Tucker, immediately to discuss safety measures.
  • For now, we recommend shopping at Publix and will continue in its current format due to the time of day and the avoidance of crowds per the guidance. If you choose to shop elsewhere, please avoid crowds and shop in a store that is clean and adheres to CDC guidance for your protection.
  • In order to have safe gatherings for worship, we are scheduling midweek services with area pastors for worship in Heritage Hall.
  • Our Life Enrichment, Dining and Transportation programs will remain in place in its current structure.

We are all learning daily. It is important for us to make decisions based on as much evidence as possible. Please remember the vaccination has greatly increased your immunity but has not eliminated your chance of getting the virus. Moderna has a 94% effective rate, not 100%. The success of vaccinations is so dependent on population participation and variant responses to the virus. We are doing wonderful here at the Towers and we have confidence we will continue to take one step at a time to successfully return to a more normal way of life.

These updated guidelines have been discussed at length with Resident Association Officers, senior management staff and reviewing relevant CDC, DHEC and CCRC industry information.

Again, thank you residents for all your patience and understanding. We are pacing change at a “safe pace” to help protect our community and doing it based on public health science. We will stay abreast of the pandemic and adjust as needed. All of us want to increase a normal way of living but in a safe way.


02/01/21

DATE: 02/01/2021

SUBJECT: Administrator Update

Greetings Westminster Health and Rehab Family,

February is here which marks a few significant and exciting events for us here in the community. Cupid is in the air as we prepare to share and spread love celebrating Valentine’s Day. We get to reflect, acknowledge and celebrate the many great pioneers, innovators and leaders in African American history. Lastly we will create history right here on campus administering our second round of the COVID-19 vaccine! Brighter days are just ahead, stay encouraged.

KEY COVID-19 UPDATE

We currently have one resident and one staff member that have tested positive for COVID-19 in the health center. Both the resident and the staff member tested positive on 01/26/2021 utilizing PCR testing. We are pleased to announce that there were no new positives identified with our second batch of testing which occurred on 01/28/2021. We continue to closely monitor our residents and staff members for any signs and symptoms of COVID-19.

VACCINE UPDATE

We are thrilled to administer the second dose of the Moderna vaccine after partnering with CVS who has successfully administered the first round to residents and staff on 01/05/2021. After receiving the second dose of the vaccine a simple countdown of 14 days begins and then you are considered fully vaccinated! While this doesn’t mean that COVID-19 disappears, the chances of getting COVID-19 significantly decrease along with the severity if you contract the virus. The second clinic will be held tomorrow (Please see details below).

Dates and times of vaccine administration have been assigned for the health center listed below:

  • 02/02/2021 10:00 AM-4:00 PM (Westminster Health and Rehabilitation Clinic 2A)

TESTING

We continue to test twice a week utilizing our lab partners ThrivePoint Laboratories. We are testing our residents and staff utilizing PCR testing which is the gold standard. If residents display signs and symptoms we have multiple rapid test kits (Antigen Test kits) at our disposal which produce results in 15 minutes.

Consistently testing continues to allow us to quickly identify positive residents and staff taking the appropriate course of action expediently. We will continue to test twice a week to ensure that we all remain as safe as possible.

COVID-19 PREVALENCE

York County has seen 22,190 confirmed COVID-19 cases while cumulatively the state of South Carolina sits at 396,712 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 6,355 confirmed deaths.

*We continue to stay current with CDC, DHEC and CMS guidelines while also practicing the “The Three Biggies” which include:

  1. Wearing a mask
  2. Social distancing
  3. Frequent handwashing with soap and water and utilizing alcohol based hand rubs

VISITATION

We are currently offering multiple visitation options for our residents and families. We would ask that all exercise good judgment before deciding to participate in an in person visit and adhere to CDC guidance and recommendations that I refer to as “The Three Biggies” Please continue to schedule visits through our Life Enrichment Department at (803) 326-3141.

(NEW!) ITEM DROP OFF SERVICE

  • (ITEMS )
    • 8:00 AM-11:30 AM and from 1:00 PM-3:00 PM Monday-Friday (Weekday Only)
  • (LAUNDRY)
    • PICKUPS Monday and Thursday – 8:00 AM-11:30 AM & 1:00 PM-3:00 PM
    • DROP OFFS Tuesdays and Fridays – 8:00 AM-11:30 AM & 1:00 PM-3:00 PM
  • Your items should be clearly labeled with the resident name and room number so that each package can be delivered accurately and timely.

*I encourage you to visit the CDC website and the DHEC website for the latest information and guidance related to COVID-19:

We thank you greatly for your courage, commitment and unwavering support displayed on a daily basis.

Please don’t hesitate to contact me directly with any questions or comments:

OFFICE: (803) 326-3114

EMAIL: ewhitehead@westminstertowers.org

Thank you,

Efren Z. Whitehead

Administrator


01/15/21

Date: Friday, January 15, 2021

From: Jim Thomason, CEO

Subject: CEO Update

 

Dear Westminster Towers’ Residents,

 

I hope you all have had a good Friday under the circumstances with all that is going on in our community and world. I wanted to update you on a couple of items:

  • The reason the fire alarm went off today was a smoke detector set off the alarm in the North Elevator mechanical room due to smoke. There was no fire at all. Some belts slipped creating heat, friction and then smoke. Hence, the elevator has been put out of service. The parts have been ordered and will be here as soon as possible. In the meantime, the elevator is non- operational. The Fire Department investigated the situation and cleared us. Southern Elevator responded immediately to diagnose the problem. We will keep you updated, but the parts have to be ordered before being installed. We are working on getting the parts available this evening, but will have to wait and see if everything comes together.
  • We have had one other resident test positive in the Health Center and one other resident test positive here in the Towers. Clearly, going into quarantine is the safest approach for us at this time.
  • Residents can now park in the North Parking Lot. When we strip the parking spaces, however, cars will have to be moved during that time. We will let you know when that happens. Weather conditions have to be better for us to schedule the project.
  • The outdoor painting is not complete. They are working on their punch list for details and will work based on weather conditions.
  • The upgrade to our WIFI system is complete and is at the testing phase. We (computer engineers) cannot test the veracity of the system during the quarantine until the situation throughout the campus with COVID is more predictable.
  • Don’t forget our next COVID vaccinations will be on February 2 and 4.

Thank you everyone for your patience and understanding.

 


DATE: 01/15/21

SUBJECT: Administrator Update

Greetings Westminster Health and Rehab Family,

I pray that your 2021 is off to a great start as we are all prepared to have another year focused on keeping our residents safe, meeting their needs and striving to exceed their expectations.

KEY COVID-19 UPDATE

We currently have three residents that have tested positive for COVID-19 in the Health Center.

Two of the residents were tested on 01/12/2021 using our PCR testing. One resident tested positive on 01/15/2021 using our rapid test kit or antigen testing. We currently have no positive staff members in the Health Center.

We have contacted all residents and families that have come in direct contact with a COVID-19 positive Towers employee. We continue to closely monitor our residents that have COVID-19 and those residents that have been exposed for any signs and symptoms.

VACCINE UPDATE

We have partnered with CVS who has successfully administered the first round of our Moderna vaccine to residents and staff on 01/05/2021. I’m incredibly thankful for the staff that worked so hard to organize and oversee the logistics of the clinic. The second clinic will be held in February (See details below).

Dates and times of vaccine administration have been assigned for the Health Center listed below:

  • 02/02/2021 10:00 AM- 4:00 PM (Westminster Health and Rehabilitation Clinic 2A)

TESTING

We continue to test twice a week utilizing our lab partners ThrivePoint Laboratories. We are testing our residents and staff utilizing PCR testing which is the gold standard. If residents display signs and symptoms we have multiple rapid test kits (Antigen Test kits) at our disposal which produce results in 15 minutes.

Consistently testing has allowed us to quickly identify positive residents and staff and take the appropriate course of action timely. We will continue to test twice a week to ensure that we are all as safe as possible.

COVID-19 PREVALENCE

York County has seen 18,576 confirmed COVID-19 cases while cumulatively the state of South Carolina sits at 337,845 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 5,420 confirmed deaths.

*We continue to stay current with CDC, DHEC and CMS guidelines while also practicing the “The Three Biggies” which include:

  1. Wearing a mask
  2. Social distancing
  3. Frequent handwashing with soap and water and utilizing alcohol based hand rubs

VISITATION

We are currently offering multiple visitation options for our residents and families. We would ask that all exercise good judgment before deciding to participate in an in person visit and adhere to CDC guidance and recommendations that I refer to as “The Three Biggies” Please continue to schedule visits through our Life Enrichment Department at (803) 326-3141.

ITEM DROP OFF SERVICE

  • 8:00 AM- 10:00 AM and from 1:00 PM – 4:00 PM Monday-Friday (Weekday Only)
  • Your items should be clearly labeled with the resident name and room number so that each package can be delivered accurately and timely.

*I encourage you to visit the CDC website and the DHEC website for the latest information and guidance related to COVID-19:

Thank you family members for being patient and understanding during this much longer than anticipated season of this Pandemic. We thank you so much for your continued support! I’m excited for the new chapter! Blessings to each of you.

Please don’t hesitate to contact me directly with any questions or comments:

OFFICE: (803) 326-3114

EMAIL: ewhitehead@westminstertowers.org

 

Thank you,

Efren Z. Whitehead, Jr.

Administrator

 


01/14/21

Date: Thursday, January 14, 2021

From: Jim Thomason, CEO

Subject: CEO Update

 

Dear Westminster Towers Residents,

Thank you for your patience and understanding during this time of quarantine. I wish we were not having to do this, but we are doing the best we can to contain COVID-19. Here is a very brief update.

  • Our PCR testing on Tuesday, January 12, 2021 resulted in positives with two Health Center residents, no staff, no new Manor residents, or staff. We did have two staff members and one resident in the Towers test positive.
  • For those of you we know or suspect had direct exposure are being contacted this afternoon by one of our staff members to be tested at your apartment from ThrivePoint Lab who tests our residents and staff. Angela Conrade Elliott, our new Resident Services Director is contacting many of you.
  • Please remember that we cannot disclose anyone testing positive- be it a resident or staff member (even those who had an exposure as to the identity of that person.) Individuals who are positive for COVID-19 have legal rights to privacy and we respect and protect those rights.
  • It is very important for everyone to remember to fully mask (over the mouth, completely above the nose), stay six feet apart and wash your hands frequently. These measures practiced consistently are the best public health preventions. If anyone does not do this you are at risk, as well as others. Once the quarantine is lifted, we must continue practicing these guidelines. I know it is very hard with the aging challenges of hearing to stay six feet apart. We are social by nature and it is tempting to not fully wear masks but urge everyone to do this. We have been extremely fortunate for many months not to be in quarantine; and it is my sincere hope for this duration to be as brief as possible. Quarantine measures will be lifted when it is deemed safe.

Thank you for taking the time to read this update.  As always reach out to staff with any comments or concerns.

 


01/13/21

From: Jim Thomason, CEO

Dear Residents,

Thank you all for reading the letter and the attachments that were delivered to you yesterday. It was important that we get the letter out as soon as possible. Of course, it was difficult to send the letter with its restrictions knowing the impact. For that I am very sorry. I knew that sending the letter would raise more questions and I was prepared for additional feedback. Please understand that yesterday’s messaging for the sake of speed was to get the word out. It was not the final word for sure. We have a wonderfully diverse group of residents. It is human nature that some residents read the letter through the lens of safety and are grateful. Others view the letter through the lens of restrictions and a tone of me being overly prescriptive. I accept both views and understand both. For those of you who are frustrated with both the restrictions and tone, I sincerely apologize. In life, everyone sees through their own lens. I can share honestly that my goal is to contain COVID as I know it can spread rapidly. Here are a few clarifications for those who have asked good questions and others who have appropriately confronted me directly with issues. All deserve a response. Here you go…

  • I apologize if I seemed harsh on citing the Residency Agreement and violating the rules as a contract violation. Some of you view me saying that as not necessary or demoralizing. I can see that perspective. The reason I placed it in the letter is to be on the record as it is policy and is part of the contract that is referenced. If there is a contract violation (which we have from time to time and had to issue such notices) I need to have written documentation of “notice” given. Again, sorry if I offended anyone.
  • A reference was made about me consulting both Management and Resident Association Officers. I want to do an editorial comment to clarify. Word use is important. One Officer took issue with me on the issue of “consulting.” A better use of the term for both management and officers was I “informed” both of the decision to go into quarantine and the general parameters of such that was sent out. I invited the Officers to the Manager’s meeting. I take full ownership and responsibility for the letter sent. It is all on me and nobody else. I apologize for a poor choice of wording. I have worked very hard during this Pandemic to communicate effectively with Staff, Officers and Residents. I am going to continue doing such. I meet with the Officers frequently and we discuss many issues affecting life here at the Towers. Sometimes leadership requires action and dealing with details later as in this case. Please accept my apology and editorial correction/clarification.
  • Regarding physician visits – Since I did not state as clearly as I should have, let me be more clear. It is up to you and your physician if your medical appointment is needed and warranted under the circumstances. We do not interfere with that at all. We just want you to be safe.
  • Patio visits are to be done as per your judgment and reasons for a visit are for you and your family to decide. I purposely worded it to not overly define a visit. I just don’t want a patio visit to risk COVID for anyone participating in a visit.
  • After discussion with clinical staff, we do not think it is wise to use the filtered water cooler in the lobby due to the risk of congregating and the touch surfaces. Bottled water is an option with your meal each day. As you know, COVID can spread with surfaces and very small droplets through your respiratory system with coughing and sneezing.
  • Questions have come up about going off campus for car rides. I am pondering that and will get back on that as an option. Stay tuned.
  • I am working with the Wellness staff about scheduled exercise options in the Hallways and Fitness Room that has a high degree of sanitation. It is why I worded the closing of the pool and fitness room “at this time” to give time to plan for options.
  • If any of you are showing signs and symptoms of COVID 19, please contact the receptionist. You can also contact our Infection Control Nurse, Malou Shukla at 326-3107. We have some Rapid COVID tests she can administer. They are not as reliable as the PCR nasal swab but are helpful in symptomatic individuals. The gold standard test is the PCR nasal swab which is administered on Tuesdays and Thursdays in the Garden Room of our Health Center. If you want to be tested again call Malou Shukla, RN and she can arrange for a PCR test in your apartment or the Garden Room, depending on your situation. This is done through our Home Health Agency.
  • Please remember that we do offer Medicare Part B – approved Physical and Occupational Therapy in your apartment. We have found these services to be helpful to prevent decline. They can also provide individual exercises. Call our Rehab Manager Bridget Conway at 326-3117.

Thank you for being patient through this Pandemic. I will keep you informed of any new cases. I hope our cases are isolated, but we will know soon. In the meantime, we want everyone safe. Please call on us if you have any concerns. Our entire staff are here for you. I have chosen a conservative path during this Pandemic to keep the virus out of the building. Some residents prefer less restrictions and more freedom, others feel safer with restrictions. All of us want to be free of the virus. Thankfully our first vaccine was given last week and on February 2 and 4, the second and last dose will be given. Many CCRCs in their independent living section have not gotten their first dose yet, so we are fortunate. We are a wonderful community. I am so proud to serve as your CEO.


01/12/21

Dear Westminster Towers Residents,

Westminster Towers has a deep commitment to ensuring the health and safety of our residents and staff during this pandemic. We appreciate all your sacrifices during this unprecedented time, and we rely on you to continue to follow guidelines to prevent further transmission to yourself and others. We have three confirmed Covid-19 cases in the Towers. As you all know, the positivity rate in SC is very high and the virus is raging.

After careful consideration and in consultation with our management team and our Resident Associations Officers it has been decided that due to positive Covid-19 tests in Westminster Towers Independent Living that we will institute a 14-day quarantine for your protection.

Newly Revised Restrictions

Effective Immediately Westminster Towers has initiated a 14-day quarantine for Independent Living residents due to an outbreak in the towers. We do not wish to undue alarm and with the mitigation measures outlined below, we will hopefully limit cases and will be able to move back into our new normal.

All Independent Living residents are required to follow the quarantine rules and stay in your apartments effective immediately. Please review the guidelines for your safety and begin to follow them until notified otherwise.

  1. You may leave your apartment only to go to the laundry room or trash chute. We must insist that only one person utilize the laundry at a time. You must wear your mask and maintain the recommended 6′ distancing while leaving your apartment for these functions.
  2. The Fitness Room and Pool are closed at this time.
  3. All common areas are closed at this time.
  4. Mail and meals will be delivered to you. Please do not leave your apartment to check your mail or to socialize in the lobby.
  5. Packages and supplies dropped off by family members will be delivered to you. Please do not leave your apartment to meet them at the front door.
  6. For the time being if you have questions please call the appropriate staff member. For example, for housekeeping questions you would call Cindy Ashworth at 5010 or Jennifer Tucker 5077 for Social Services questions.
  7. You may opt to have personal laundry services provided. Should you utilize this, you will need to put your personal laundry out on the same day as your linens. There will be an additional charge of $6.75 per load. Whites and colored items will be in separate loads.
  8. Only one resident should be on an elevator at any time. (This excludes residents who live together, they may utilize the elevator at the same time.)
  9. J-Lu and Daniel can pick up your groceries/supplies on a pre-planned/scheduled, limited basis. A family member or friend may drop them off as well. We ask that your list be in a legible format. Please do not leave the apartment to get groceries, medications or supplies.
  10. Housekeeping services will be suspended for the duration of the quarantine. Emergency housekeeping will be dealt with on a case-by-case basis. Please contact Cindy Ashworth at 5010 for specific questions.
  11. Life Enrichment will televise activities as appropriate as there will be no in person activities. Please check TV-99 as we will provide updates to keep you informed of changes to the restrictions as they arise.
  12. Home Bridge services will continue with increased use of Personal Protective Equipment for the staff members.
  13. Salon services are suspended at this time.
  14. Patio visits with family are allowed as needed but are not encouraged due to community Covid-19 spread. Please contact Christy O’Connor at 5018 to schedule these visits.
  15. Walking outside is allowed for exercise.
  16. No one should leave the campus. If you do, you are a threat to the safety of others. Please be mindful that you can be positive for Covid-19 with no symptoms and you are able to transmit the virus to others.

Many residents had questions about doctor’s appointments. I encourage you to call your doctor, explain that you are under quarantine due to an outbreak and ask if you can safely postpone your visit.

Non-adherence to these temporary safety measures risks the termination of your contract as defined by the Sponsor termination agreement of the Residency Agreement, Section 8.A.3. As previously reported, some formal contract violation notices have already been issued.

This memo is to be considered Westminster’s policies, rules, regulations under your Residency Agreement.

We have attached the CDC Covid-19 Facts information for your review. This is the most updated guidance and may be helpful in understanding the virus.

Lastly, I am very pleased to introduce to you Ms. Angela Elliott who is our Resident Services Director, replacing Amy Laughlin. Angela started on January 8, 2021 and what a start it has been for her! Although new at Westminster Towers, Angela has extensive experience in Long Term Care management spanning 30 years in various roles including Regional Director of Operations, Chief Compliance Officer and Executive Director/Administrator roles. She will be directing Life Enrichment, Dining Services, Home Bridge, and the manor among other duties.

She is a graduate of Pfeiffer University with a degree in Health Administration. Angela has been an integral part of the development of this plan and is working very closely with me on all of this. She will be a great point of contact for any questions or concerns. She can be reached at 5014 and would be happy to assist you.

James R. Thomason

CEO/President

12/31/20

Greetings Westminster Residents,

As we wind down 2020 and turn the page to 2021, I am so grateful for our journey together during the Pandemic crisis and how well we have gone through this together. I marvel at your endurance and your ability to own your feelings of frustration and aggravation while at the same time embracing reality. Our Christmas at the Towers was so meaningful. For those of you who attended our Christmas Eve services, thank you for attending and to our residents who led our music, Carole Partridge, vocalist and Nancy Anderson, pianist. The music was beautiful, worshipful, and sacred while the atmosphere was in the traditional sense of quiet reverence.

Now to some updates:

  • COVID testing was completed by our lab December 21, 23 and 28. In addition, we have performed rapid tests as needed. Our lab tests on average just shy of 200 residents and staff each time. Combined over all tests since my last update we have had the following test positive: 2 HomeBridge staff, 2 Manor staff, 1 Towers Resident, and 1 Manor Resident. In ALL cases, our policies have been fully implemented to protect the positive resident as well as all staff and residents. COVID-19 is widespread throughout the state and the community as you see on TV. Even with our isolated and contained cases at Westminster Towers we have been extremely fortunate thus far. And any resident in the Towers, Manor or Health Center are being extremely cooperative, compliant and has communicated extremely well with us in Administration and the clinical staff.
  • Please make sure if you experience any symptoms to stay in your apartment and notify your primary care provider and our front desk. Please stay away from others. We also test on Mondays and Thursdays and can test in your apartment by appointment.
  • CVS COVID-19 clinic is coming to Westminster on January 5 to vaccinate Health Center residents and staff. On January 7, they will vaccinate the Manor residents and staff. As you know, we have maintained all along independent living residents should be included in the clinic and we have provided forms for everyone. I am pleased to say 96 of you have signed up already. We do not have a definite clear-cut answer yet, but I am proceeding with a positive approach with CVS and preparing as if you will get the vaccine, but making no promises whatsoever. Hence, as much as I would like to be “definite” I have to be honest and say “we’ll see.” Having said that we have placed the order for January 7 for independent living residents. In the event there is leftover vaccines on January 5, there could be some stand-by doses given. Jennifer Allen Tucker, on staff, is providing to you an instruction sheet in anticipation the vaccine will be given. Stay tuned and stay alert to any updates! I am doing the best I can with a massive rollout to advocate for all residents. CVS is doing the same. Be patient.
  • As you can see our outside painting is continuing as weather permits and it makes a big difference in appearance and the overall upkeep of our building. In addition, the WIFI upgrade work is ongoing perhaps more slowly than hoped and more complications, but proceeding nicely. Thank you all for your patience.
  • We will be conducting in the near future our annual Resident Satisfaction Survey for all residents across the campus by service line. It will be done again by paper with a mail in envelope. Please be open and honest. Please don’t give positive scoring if not deserved, nor negative scoring if undeserved or from one poor experience but take your experiences as a whole. We take all feedback to heart and take it seriously as it is our way to learn, grow and make the Towers a better place. The survey also serves as a way to know how well we are doing things.
  • It has been a challenging year indeed. We have made it together and it will be the same in 2021. Hard times bring us together. I feel closer to all of you in the midst of our challenges. Always remember that my door is open and my phone is available to reach out to me anytime.

 

Blessings to you on this last day of the year.

James R. Thomason

CEO/President


12/22/20

DATE: 12/22/2020

SUBJECT: Westminster Health Center Administrator Update

 

Greetings Westminster Health and Rehab Family,

As you are aware we continue to conduct COVID-19 testing twice a week as the number of positive cases continues to increase nationally. We conducted our standard PCR testing on Monday 12/21/2020 using ThrivePoint Laboratories and we are currently awaiting the results. Today we utilized a rapid antigen test kit for an employee in the Health Center and the results were positive.

We have quarantined the area impacted and communicated with those residents that have had close contact and potential exposure. Our team is following strict infection control protocols and practices while closely monitoring residents and staff members for any signs and symptoms of COVID-19. I will keep all abreast as we stay on top of this developing situation.

South Carolina sits at 257,340 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 4,602 confirmed deaths. York County has 13,613 confirmed cases of COVID-19. As the numbers increase around us so must our efforts to protect ourselves, and our loved ones.

*We continue to stay current with CDC, DHEC and CMS guidelines while also practicing the “The Three Biggies” which include:

  1. Wearing a mask
  2. Social distancing
  3. Frequent handwashing with soap and water and utilizing alcohol based hand rubs

*I encourage you to visit the CDC website and the DHEC website for the latest information and guidance related to COVID-19:

We greatly appreciate your support during this time. Please don’t hesitate to contact me directly with any questions or comments.

I am providing a copy of this update to Towers apartment’s residents at the request of Jim Thomason.

OFFICE: (803) 326-3114

EMAIL: ewhitehead@westminstertowers.org

 

Thank you,

Efren Z. Whitehead, Jr.

Administrator


12/18/20

DATE: 12/18/2020

SUBJECT: Administrator Update

 

Greetings Westminster Health and Rehab Family,

As the number of cases of COVID-19 continually increases, I’m aware that there is great interest in the rollout plans for the recently released COVID-19 vaccine. We are excited about the recent Emergency Use Authorization for the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine. The Moderna vaccine is undergoing review and could be approved for use within the next few days.

We have enrolled with CVS who will be distributing the vaccine to our community. The vaccine will be a two dose series to be administered three weeks apart for our resident and staff population. We have been working closely with CVS who has developed and coordinated a plan to deliver, store and administer the vaccine to our residents and staff members.

Tentative dates and times of administration have been assigned for the Health Center listed below:

  • 01/05/2021 10:00 AM- 4:00 PM (Westminster Health and Rehabilitation Clinic 1A)
  • 02/02/2021 10:00 AM- 4:00 PM (Westminster Health and Rehabilitation Clinic 2A)

The information regarding distribution is updated frequently and we plan to remain in close communication throughout this process as we follow guidance from the CDC, DHEC and await instructions from CVS on our path forward.

As the Holidays approach rapidly there is a greater need to step up and increase your efforts to prevent and stop the spread of COVID-19. The vaccine rollout does not mean to let your guards down but rather understand it to serve as an additional layer of protection for you and your loved ones once administered.

York County has seen 12,763 confirmed COVID-19 cases while cumulatively the state of South Carolina sits at 243,583 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 4,484 confirmed deaths. This deadly virus continues to spread rapidly and in some cases without signs or symptoms. I urge you to do all that you can to stay safe.

As a facility we advise against in-person holiday gatherings for our residents due to the sharp increase in the community rate of COVID-19. I’ve attached the web link for further information on Winter Holidays and safe steps that you and your loved ones can take as a reference:

(Please read this carefully) https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/daily-life-coping/holidays.html

We strongly encourage that family members participate in a virtual Holiday visit being that our elderly population are the most vulnerable when it comes to increased risk of COVID-19 transmission. Please determine your in person visits based on community spread and your risk of exposure to anyone. Please continue to schedule visits through our Life Enrichment Department at (803) 326-3141.

*We continue to stay current with CDC, DHEC and CMS guidelines while also practicing the “The Three Biggies” which include:

  1. Wearing a mask
  2. Social distancing
  3. Frequent handwashing with soap and water and utilizing alcohol based hand rubs

*Please don’t forget our Item Drop-off service. Drop your loved ones items off and allow us to do the rest!  Item drop off takes place from 8:00 AM- 10:00 AM and from 1:00 PM – 3:00 PM Monday-Friday (Weekday Only) Your items should be clearly labeled with the resident name and room number so that each package can be delivered accurately and timely. NOTE: The item drop off time periods are not visitation hours, we will simply have staff available to transport your items to your family member on your behalf.

*I encourage you to visit the CDC website and the DHEC website for the latest information and guidance related to COVID-19:

We greatly appreciate your courage, support and commitment during this time. Keep pressing forward.

Please don’t hesitate to contact me directly with any questions or comments:

OFFICE: (803) 326-3114

EMAIL: ewhitehead@westminstertowers.org

 

Thank you,

Efren Z. Whitehead, Jr.

Administrator

 


12/14/20

DATE: 12/14/2020

SUBJECT: Administrator Update

Season’s Greetings Westminster Health and Rehab Family,

We are currently testing employees and residents twice a week per DHEC guidance which has continued to go well for us. Our results from Tuesday 12/08/2020 and Thursday 12/10/2020 have returned and one employee and one resident have tested positive for COVID-19 at this time. We continue to practice the necessary protocols to ensure that our residents and staff remain as safe as possible with any newly identified positive case.

We have recently completed a Federal Medicare/Medicaid Infection Control Focused Survey which took place from 12/08-12/09. During the course of the survey, the inspector analyzed each area of the operation for compliance from an infection control standpoint ensuring that our COVID-19 precautions, policies, procedures and practices are up to standard. I’m pleased to announce that this was a deficiency free survey with no findings or citations. HUGE Kudos to a phenomenal team that continues to place resident safety at the forefront every day. I couldn’t be more proud of the team we have here providing care for your loved ones, Bravo again COVID-Crushers!

York County has seen 11,488 confirmed COVID-19 cases while cumulatively the state of South Carolina sits at 225,053 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 4,291 confirmed deaths. The prevalence of COVID-19 has not slowed down yet and decreasing the rate is heavily dependent upon your compliance.

COVID-19 cases continue to climb rapidly and we are expecting to see steady increases as we round off the year. As the Holidays are here many family members will be tempted to have their loved ones join them in their homes. As a facility we advise against in-person holiday gatherings for our residents due to the sharp increase in the community rate of COVID-19. I’ve attached the web link for further information on Winter Holidays and safe steps that you and your loved ones can take as a reference:

(Please read this carefully) https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/daily-life-coping/holidays.html

We strongly encourage that family members participate in a virtual Holiday visit or in person compassionate care visit at the facility being that our elderly population are the most vulnerable when it comes to increased risk of COVID-19 transmission.

*We continue to stay current with CDC, DHEC and CMS guidelines while also practicing the “The Three Biggies” which include:
1. Wearing a mask
2. Social distancing
3. Frequent handwashing with soap and water and utilizing alcohol based hand rubs

Compassionate Care Visits have begun at our facility and any and all forms of visitation should be scheduled through our Life Enrichment Department at (803) 326-3141.

*Please don’t forget our Item Drop-off service. Drop your loved ones items off and allow us to do the rest! Item drop off takes place from 8:00 AM- 10:00 AM and from 1:00 PM – 3:00 PM Monday-Friday (Weekdays Only) Your items should be clearly labeled with the resident name and room number so that each package can be delivered accurately and timely. NOTE: The item drop off time periods are not visitation hours, we will simply have staff available to transport your items to your family member on your behalf.

*I encourage you to visit the CDC website and the DHEC website for the latest information and guidance related to COVID-19:
https://www.cdc.gov/
https://www.scdhec.gov/

May you be filled with joy, gratitude and remain steadfast during this time
Please don’t hesitate to contact me directly with any questions or comments:

OFFICE: (803) 326-3114
EMAIL: ewhitehead@westminstertowers.org

Thank you,
Efren Z. Whitehead, Jr.

Administrator


12/11/20

Dear Residents,

Greetings on a beautiful Friday afternoon. I trust and hope your week has been enjoyable and meaningful. It is beginning to look a lot like Christmas around the Towers! We have numerous Christmas programs scheduled and the sign-up sheets are full!

Here are several updates for all of us:

  • Please remember to respect the number of attendees during Life Enrichment Events, along with masking and social distancing. Following the often-repeating guidelines of masking, distancing, hand hygiene and avoiding large crowds has worked so far here in the Towers. Please keep it up!
  • In the Health Care Center, we had an unannounced Federal COVID-19 Infection Control Survey. All such surveys nationwide are unannounced by regulation, and surveys like this are happening all over the country. It was focused on our Medicare-Certified Beds in the Health Center and lasted for two full days by a trained Federal Surveyor. She was very pleased with our infection control practices and did not issue any deficiencies (citations). She surveys facilities in a number of different states.
  • We have received the results of our COVID-19 testing on Tuesday of this week. We had one staff member test positive and one Towers Apartment resident test positive. The resident who tested positive has been self-isolating and will continue to quarantine. I commend the resident for being diligent in following our isolation procedures, both prior to, and after testing positive. This is a very classic reminder to all of us to self-monitor for symptoms and follow CDC guidelines.
  • COVID-19 testing will be available for Towers’ residents on Tuesday and Thursday from 8:00am-11:00am on the Patio outside the Dining Room where patio visits occur. As well as in the Health Center and through our Home Health Care Agency. It is completely voluntary, but if you have had a known exposure or are experiencing any symptoms, please get tested.
  • We have many in our midst in self-isolation due to the holidays and family gatherings. The Dining Room has been very busy serving residents in the Dining Room and delivering meals to apartments. Please be patient with their service. They are working hard to keep up with everything. Additionally, we are delivering the mail as you know and committed to getting the mail delivered as promptly as possible. I am very grateful for all our staff who have been flexible with their duties and have had to cover for one another when co-workers are out due to the virus or having been exposed to the virus.
  • Thank you all for enduring the balcony furniture removal during our painting! We hope our portico roof will be repaired next week. There have been the “come to be expected” delays on those repairs! I have much appreciated the compliments on our exterior projects of painting, landscaping, flowers and road repairs. All were scheduled projects in our Capital Plan but were moved up a bit because of the pandemic.

The Apostle Paul describes patience as one of the fruits of the Spirit. I appreciate everyone’s patience during this year of the pandemic: patience in waiting on your meal, waiting on the elevator, waiting to get a seat for an activity, waiting for the van, waiting for this all to be over. Thank you all for practicing patience even when it is the last thing we want to do.

It is a joy to serve as your CEO and spend my days with you.

 

Blessings,

Jim Thomason

CEO and President


12/8/20

Subject: CEO Update

Dear Residents, Families, Staff,

Holy Scripture calls us to proclaim, “This is the Day the Lord hath made let us rejoice and be glad in it.” Note the verse does not condition the circumstances of the day, but to look at the day and find reason(s) for rejoicing and gladness. I, nor you, are naive that there is much to grieve in life, especially as we age and suffer loss in our personal lives. But to view life through the lens of God’s goodness and blessings, and to find what is good about life, helps us all to keep life in a healthy perspective. Let’s not be in denial about life’s struggles, but at the same time, let’s see the goodness in all of life.

Now to an update!

  • Our testing of residents and staff is going extremely well. Over the last three testing cycles, we have only had one health center resident and a few staff test as new-known positives. We have had some staff who reported exposure in their personal lives and removed themselves from the schedule, which is how the system should work!
  • Our testing on Thursday, December 3, returned with zero new positives from our entire testing! The Manor residents are now out of isolation. The staff have done a tremendous job of containment. COVID-19 spread is so rapid. Consistent with what we all read and see on TV, we have had a very small number of residents in the hospital. With COVID-19 competing with other underlying medical conditions, many have seemingly made it through without complications at this time.  With other situations it is so complex and personally private to individuals, families, and physicians regarding treatment and outcomes. Let us give thanks for those who get through this unaffected and lift up all those who face adversity and difficult decisions  with wisdom, strength, hope.  The Manor residents, family and staff are so connected  and hurt for one another when one suffers. There is such a strong knit community of residents and staff .
  • I URGE AGAIN for all residents to always wear masks fully (including patio visits), remain six feet apart, constantly wash hands/use hand sanitizer. There are many retirement communities that have suspended dining room service and social events in exchange for open comings and goings in the community and family visits. We cannot do both safely. Hence, with our current program of  limited and safe “life within the Towers” it is imperative all follow safety guidelines. We must always protect the frail in our midst.
  • Given the above, those who leave campus must please follow our quarantine guidelines fully to protect everyone within the Towers. CDC warnings are very clear about risks. Please be extra careful.
  • Please report any COVID-19 exposure you experience during a family, patio or community visit. I am extremely grateful for those family members and residents who are transparent with us, even if the exposure is brief and the risk is low. It warms and strengthens my heart when there is such openness for a resident or family member to call and self-report for the good of all residents.
  • Please welcome Christy Finn O’Connor as our Life Enrichment Director. You will see her around campus starting December 7th.
  • We are entering the most dangerous time with the explosion of cases. We cannot let up. Together with safety practices, we can have a quality of life, albeit, with restrictions, but it takes us all.

I feel very honored to serve as your CEO. We are a diverse and wonderful community of residents who care for one another deeply, look after one another, and reach out to each other when in need. Thank you for caring for each other so very well. Thank you for giving to the Staff Christmas Fund, thus, showing in a tangible way your respect and admiration for the staff’s work. Thank you for being patient with me as I travel the road of this Pandemic, balancing community life and safety.

My door is always open and when you see me around on campus feel free to reach out to me. My days are full, but my #1 priority is our residents.

James R. Thomason

President/CEO


11/20/20 

DATE: 11/20/2020

SUBJECT: Administrator Update

Greetings Westminster Health and Rehab Family,

We are currently testing employees and residents twice a week per DHEC guidance. Our results from Tuesday 11/17/2020 have returned and there are no positive cases of COVID-19 at this time. COVID-19 cases continue to rise across the country and will very likely increase sharply after the holidays.

York County has seen 8,629 confirmed COVID-19 cases while cumulatively the state of South Carolina sits at 189,251 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 3,924 confirmed deaths.

As the Holidays approach many family members will be tempted to have their loved ones join them in their homes which is not encouraged by the CDC. As a facility we advise against in-person holiday gatherings for our residents due to the sharp increase in the community rate of COVID-19. The CDC says “The following people should not attend in-person holiday gatherings, if you’re an older adult or person with certain medical conditions”. I’ve attached the web link for further information as a reference:

(Please read this carefully) https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/daily-life-coping/holidays.html

We strongly encourage that family members participate in a virtual Holiday visit or in person compassionate care visit at the facility being that our elderly population are the most vulnerable when it comes to increased risk of COVID-19 transmission.

With the number of cases increasing by the day, it is extremely important that we all continue to do our part to help with stopping the spread of COVID-19. This virus is extremely contagious and potentially fatal. Infection control, proper hand hygiene, awareness and selfless decision making will preserve lives this holiday season.

*We continue to stay current with CDC, DHEC and CMS guidelines while also practicing the “The Three Biggies” which include:

  1. Wearing a mask
  2. Social distancing
  3. Frequent handwashing with soap and water and utilizing alcohol based hand rubs

Compassionate Care Visits have begun at our facility (Please see attached policy). Any and all forms of visitation should be scheduled through our Life Enrichment Department at (803) 326-3141.

*Please don’t forget our Item Drop-off service. Drop your loved ones items off and allow us to do the rest!  Item drop off takes place from 8:00 AM- 10:00 AM and from 1:00 PM – 3:00 PM Monday-Friday (Weekday Only) Your items should be clearly labeled with the resident name and room number so that each package can be delivered accurately and timely. NOTE: The item drop off time periods are not visitation hours, we will simply have staff available to transport your items to your family member on your behalf.

*I encourage you to visit the CDC website and the DHEC website for the latest information and guidance related to COVID-19:

I am wishing everyone a happy and blessed Thanksgiving filled with gratitude, laughs and safety at the forefront. Be smart!

Please don’t hesitate to contact me directly with any questions or comments:

 

OFFICE: (803) 326-3114

EMAIL: ewhitehead@westminstertowers.org

Thank you,

Efren Whitehead, Jr.

Administrator


11/19/20

Dear Westminster Towers Residents,

I wanted to update you on a number of important topics. Some are new, while others are simple reminders.

  • Last evening, we have learned from our COVID-19 testing lab, that 13 residents and 4 staff members in the Manor have unfortunately tested positive for Coronavirus. All staff had a negative result on November 12th, and several became ill over last weekend. This demonstrates how rapidly the virus can spread.
  • We are studying and learning from this experience. As you know, there is no way to know factually exactly how the virus entered and how it spread. What we do know is the virus spreads rapidly and spreads often with individuals who show no symptoms. Staff come in from the community, a limited number of medical providers must come in, such as primary care providers, labs, x-ray, medical transportation. DHEC requires family visitation. Given the Manor results and the raging Pandemic, I implore everyone to wear your mask fully, while in common areas, social distance with 6-feet, and wash your hands regularly. If other residents are not compliant, remind them, or move to another area where you feel safer. Please give your support and prayers to your fellow residents in the Manor as well as the Manor staff. Be assured that they are receiving an abundance of love, support, and care.
  • The Wi-Fi upgrades have been postponed until December 2nd to the other side of Thanksgiving, to have the team that we have selected, do the work. Thank you for your patience and understanding with all the heavy-duty equipment due to our painting and portico roof repairs. All of this will be pleasing to you.
  • The Residents’ Association Officers, met with me on Tuesday of this week and we have recommended that anyone who leaves campus for a Holiday visit, in addition to their 14-day quarantine, that you be tested for Coronavirus 7 days after your return on the following Tuesday or Thursday. This will not shorten the 14-day quarantine but will give you information of your COVID status. We know family gatherings are going to occur, at the same time there is risk in gathering, according to CDC guidelines.
  • I am pleased to announce our new Life Enrichment Director, Christy O’Connor will begin on December 7th. Attached is an introduction letter Christy prepared for residents and staff. Once she arrives, Jennifer Allen-Tucker will be full-time in her Campus-Wide Social Work position.
  • COVID testing is available on Tuesdays and Thursdays on Campus.

Thank you for taking the time to read through this update, please feel free to give me any feedback or questions.

– Jim Thomason President/CEO


11/13/20

DATE: 11/13/2020

SUBJECT: Administrator Update

 

Greetings Westminster Health and Rehab Family,

We are currently testing employees and residents twice a week per DHEC guidance. Our results from Tuesday 11/10/2020 have returned and there are no positive cases of COVID-19 at this time. COVID-19 cases are on a dramatic rise across the country and it’s showing no signs of slowing down at the moment.

Unfortunately the nation passed a grim milestone on Thursday 11/12/2020 setting a record for cases and hospitalizations with 152,391 new cases of COVID-19 and 66,606 people currently hospitalized.

York County has seen 7,835 confirmed COVID-19 cases while cumulatively the state of South Carolina sits at 179,832 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 3,817 confirmed deaths.

As the Holidays approach many family members will be tempted to have their loved ones join them in their homes which is not encouraged by the CDC. As a facility we advise against in-person holiday gatherings for our residents due to the sharp increase in the community rate of COVID-19. The CDC says “The following people should not attend in-person holiday gatherings, if you’re an older adult or person with certain medical conditions”. I’ve attached the web link for further information as a reference:

(Please read this carefully) https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/daily-life-coping/holidays.html

We strongly encourage that family members participate in a virtual Holiday visit or in person compassionate visit at the facility being that our elderly population are the most vulnerable when it comes to increased risk of COVID-19 transmission.

DHEC has not released specific guidance regarding residents participating in in-person holiday visits at this time. Facilities have been encouraged to create a specific policy and procedure which will be distributed once finalized.

With the number of cases increasing by the day, it is extremely important that we all continue to do our part to help with stopping the spread of COVID-19. This virus is extremely contagious and potentially fatal. Infection control, proper hand hygiene, awareness and selfless decision making will preserve lives this holiday season.

*We continue to stay current with CDC, DHEC and CMS guidelines while also practicing the “The Three Biggies” which include:

  1. Wearing a mask
  2. Social distancing
  3. Frequent handwashing with soap and water and utilizing alcohol based hand rubs

Compassionate Care Visits have begun at our facility and I’m hopeful that you take the opportunity to connect with your loved ones following the implemented guidelines. Any and all forms of visitation should be scheduled through our Life Enrichment Department at (803) 326-3141.

*Please don’t forget our Item Drop-off service. Drop your loved ones items off and allow us to do the rest!  Item drop off takes place from 8:00 AM- 10:00 AM and from 1:00 PM – 3:00 PM Monday-Friday (Weekday Only) Your items should be clearly labeled with the resident name and room number so that each package can be delivered accurately and timely. NOTE: The item drop off time periods are not visitation hours, we will simply have staff available to transport your items to your family member on your behalf.

*I encourage you to visit the CDC website and the DHEC website for the latest information and guidance related to COVID-19:

We are more than grateful for your continued support and patience during this time.

As always, please don’t hesitate to contact me directly with any questions or comments:

OFFICE: (803) 326-3114

EMAIL: ewhitehead@westminstertowers.org

Thank you,

Efren Whitehead, Jr.

Administrator


11/12/20

Subject: Resident Update

From: Jim Thomason, CEO

Greetings Residents on a rainy fall day here in Rock Hill. It is a good day to stay indoors and enjoy the amenities of the Towers and the fellowship of residents and staff! I want to provide a few more updates in addition to yesterday’s updates to keep you current:

  • With our round of testing staff and residents on Tuesday November 10, 2020 we had two staff who work in the Towers side of the Campus test positive. We did not have any Health Center residents test positive and no staff in the Manor, HomeBridge or the Health Center test positive. Anytime there is a positive staff member, they are taken off the schedule until they test negative for COVID. Please remember them in your thoughts and prayers. We continue to test as that is the best way to determine resident and staff positives as early as possible as oftentimes testing detects the virus prior to any symptoms. Remember you or others can always have the virus and not know it so please practice the CDC guidelines.
  • On Monday you will see some workers in the Towers doing some needed upgrades to our computer/WIFI infrastructure system. They will be screened prior to being allowed in the building. I would ask that you not get within six feet of them as an extra precautionary measure for infection control purposes. We limit outside contractors in the building as you know but must maintain a building that is used 24/7/365, that never closes.
  • There are some copies at the bulletin board from the CDC guidance on holiday gatherings. It is not encouraging but the CDC is the most reliable source for COVID information based upon science and research. Feel free to pick one up if you are interested.
  • I so much appreciate our resident’s endurance during this pandemic. Our staff are doing the very best they can to serve your needs in the midst of the disruption of the pandemic. I feel for each of you and your families. I also want all of you to be safe.
  • When we have staff, who test positive it creates an immediate staffing challenge as workers are immediately off work and supervisors have to regroup on their scheduling which also means staff have to work extra days and shifts. We cannot predict who is going to test positive. We also are challenged with staff that have an active exposure to someone in their home who tests positive for COVID and have to be off work. I share all of this to say try to have an extra measure of patience and understanding if service is a bit slower at times especially when a positive test comes in as it requires immediate action. By law we cannot disclose any details about anyone who tests positive. It is forthrightly prohibited by law and we have a legal requirement to protect staff from any form of discrimination or harassment. Hence, our best path is not to ask, but to keep them in our thoughts and be understanding of other co-workers filling in shifts.

Thank you one and all for being a part of Westminster Towers. I enjoy our fellowship and the rich diversity of personalities and perspectives on life and faith!!

Jim Thomason
President/CEO

11/11/20

Subject: CEO Update for Residents of Westminster Towers

From: Jim Thomason, CEO

On this Veteran’s Day an authentic thank you to all the Veteran’s here at Westminster Towers who have served our country and defended our freedoms.  Thank you for your service, sacrifice and the love you have shown for the United States of America. For all those soldiers who did not survive and have been laid to rest or their families do not know what happened to them we trust God in His Infinite Mercy to provide grace, comfort, strength to all who loved them.

I want to provide a recap of several items below. Feel free to contact me or any management staff member with any questions or comments:

  • Our Piano Fund Goal of $2400 for the steel dollies to secure our pianos in Heritage Hall and the Front Lobby thus far has brought in $3620 ! Thank you to all the donors who enthusiastically supported this project which will protect, secure and allow our pianos to be moved safely to position for the audience and performers and maintain the tuning of each piano. The equipment will be installed this week and pianos tuned. The excess amount given will be used for future piano concerts, upgrades as needed for the pianos.
  • Remember for those of you who live on the North side of the building to move your cars and clear your balconies as per the notice that went out this week to prepare for the painting of our medal roofing and your balcony. We’ll communicate other sections of the Towers as progress is made and the weather permits progress.
  • Residents are welcomed to be COVID tested on Tuesdays and Thursdays in front of the Health Center (7:00-12:00 and 1:00-3:00) which are the days our staff are tested. We will have the form to complete at the Front Desk with the required information if interested. If you cannot get to the front of the Health Center we can have one of our  nurses do the swab in your apartment on those days and we will charge you a Home Health Agency fee for the visit and place on your bill.
  • The Executive Committee of the Resident Association have developed guidelines for the use of the Luggage Cart they purchased in the Front Lobby. It is attached to this update.
  • The Centers for Disease Control has published specific guidelines for “Holiday Celebrations and Small Gatherings” updated on November 9, 2020. We will have limited copies at the front desk if you want to read it and it is also available on the CDC website at the following site:  https://www.cdc.gov.coronavirus/2019-ncov/daily-life-coping/holidays.html
  • Please comply consistently  with all the requirements for your fellow residents by 1. Wearing a mask fully covering your face 2. Staying six feet apart 3. Washing your hands frequently and using hand sanitizer. We want to keep Westminster Towers safe for everyone.
  • We do not have any positive cases with any residents in the Towers, Manor or Health Center as of this writing. We are grateful to you for helping us stay safe and to our staff and their work. We have one staff member test positive in the last two weeks of testing. Staff in the Health Center are tested twice a week and in the Manor and Towers weekly. Any positive results for staff or residents are immediately reported to us and CDC  and DHEC guidelines immediately implemented.

It is a joy to serve as your CEO . Westminster Towers is blessing with a diverse group of residents who enrich the lives of residents and staff alike. Thank you for making the Towers your home.

 


11/06/20

SUBJECT: Administrator Update

Happy November Westminster Health and Rehab Family,

We are currently testing employees and residents twice a week per DHEC guidance. Our results from Tuesday 11/03/2020 have returned and there are no positive cases of COVID-19. The team continues to monitor all residents and staff for signs and symptoms of COVID-19 taking the appropriate course of action to match any situation that presents itself. We continue to receive rapid testing kits by mail which can produce COVID-19 results in 15 minutes. The rapid test kits would be used in any event where COVID-19 is suspected with a staff member or resident

York County has seen 7,245 confirmed COVID-19 cases while cumulatively the state of South Carolina sits at 172,216 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 3,736 confirmed deaths.

With the number of cases increasing steadily, it is extremely important that we all continue to do our part to help with stopping the spread of COVID-19. This virus is extremely contagious and potentially fatal. The recent increases in cases of COVID-19 comes at a time where Flu is common. This perfect storm makes infection control, proper hand hygiene and vigilance that much more important.

*We continue to stay current with CDC, DHEC and CMS guidelines while also practicing the “The Three Biggies” which include:

  1. Wearing a mask
  2. Social distancing
  3. Frequent handwashing with soap and water and utilizing alcohol based hand rubs

Compassionate Care Visits have begun at our facility and I’m hopeful that you take the opportunity to connect with your loved ones following the implemented guidelines. Any and all forms of visitation should be scheduled through our Life Enrichment Department at (803) 326-3141.

I recently submitted a request to understand more about Holiday visitation has been to our regulatory agency DHEC. As guidance, direction and feedback is submitted by DHEC the steps will be implemented and communicated to both residents and families.

*Please don’t forget our Item Drop-off service. Drop your loved ones items off and allow us to do the rest!  Item drop off takes place from 8:00 AM- 10:00 AM and from 1:00 PM – 3:00 PM Monday-Friday (Weekdays Only) Your items should be clearly labeled with the resident name and room number so that each package can be delivered accurately and timely. NOTE: The item drop off time periods are not visitation hours, we will simply have staff available to transport your items to your family member on your behalf.

*I encourage you to visit the CDC website and the DHEC website for the latest information and guidance related to COVID-19:

I wish you all nothing but the best and I’m continuing to pray for your strength, endurance and wellbeing during this time.

As always, please don’t hesitate to contact me directly with any questions or comments:

OFFICE: (803) 326-3114

EMAIL: ewhitehead@westminstertowers.org

Thank you,

Efren Z. Whitehead, Jr.

Administrator

 


10/30/20

SUBJECT: Administrator Update

Greetings Westminster Health and Rehab Family,

We are currently testing employees and residents twice a week per DHEC guidance. Our results from 10/27/2020 have returned and two staff members tested positive along with one resident testing positive for COVID-19. We have notified all individuals that have tested positive along with the resident’s family representative. We have currently entered into a quarantine period on both Unit 1 and Unit 2 until additional test results are received from our laboratory partners at ThrivePoint Medical. The staff immediately implemented our infection control protocols as we focus on containment combined with continual monitoring and surveillance. We continue to pray for and offer support in all ways possible for those affected by COVID-19 at the moment.
DHEC issued a memorandum on 10/20/2020 which defines Compassionate Care Visits which have been implemented at our facility (Please see the attached policy). Any and all forms of visitation should be scheduled through our Life Enrichment Department at (803) 326-3141.

York County has seen 6,777 confirmed COVID-19 cases while cumulatively the state of South Carolina sits at 166,344 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 3,645 confirmed deaths.
It is extremely important that we all continue to do our part to help with stopping the spread of COVID-19. This virus is extremely contagious and potentially fatal.

*Please don’t forget our Item Drop-off service. Drop your loved ones items off and allow us to do the rest! Item drop off takes place from 8:00 AM- 10:00 AM and from 1:00 PM – 3:00 PM Monday-Friday (Weekday Only) Your items should be clearly labeled with the resident name and room number so that each package can be delivered accurately and timely. NOTE: The item drop off time periods are not visitation hours, we will simply have staff available to transport your items to your family member on your behalf.
*We continue to stay current with CDC, DHEC and CMS guidelines while also practicing the “The Three Biggies” which include:
1. Wearing a mask
2. Social distancing
3. Frequent handwashing with soap and water and utilizing alcohol based hand rubs

*I encourage you to visit the CDC website and the DHEC website for the latest information and guidance related to COVID-19:
https://www.cdc.gov/
https://www.scdhec.gov/

Please don’t hesitate to contact me directly with any questions or comments:
OFFICE: (803) 326-3114
EMAIL: ewhitehead@westminstertowers.org

Thank you,

Efren Z. Whitehead Jr.

Administrator

 

Compassionate Care Visits Policy

ATTENTION: Situations may arise which warrant visit (s) outside of the normal schedule. When such situations arise, they will be handled on a case by case basis in consultation with the Administrator or his designee taking into consideration the specific resident situation. Case by case considerations will be made taking appropriate staffing on duty both in skills, education, experience, and numbers of staff available along with the overall health of the facility and residents.

Compassionate Care Visits Policy

BACKGROUND:  On 10/09/2020 DHEC released new guidance which described facilities ability to offer indoor and outdoor visitation. On 10/20/2020 DHEC released a memorandum which described Health Care facilities establishing a policy addressing compassionate care visits. “Compassionate Care Visits” are referenced in the 10/09/2020 correspondence previously submitted by DHEC.

We are in a position to offer compassionate care visits in accordance with DHEC guidelines and will continue to follow DHEC guidance as we receive new updates. The following information explains the parameters that you will need to follow while enjoying a Compassionate Care Visits with your loved one and is subject to change based on updates from DHEC.

STEP 1: Please schedule a time to visit your loved one with the Life Enrichment Department at

OFFICE: (803) 326-3141

NOTE: Compassionate Care Visits will be held on Tuesdays and Thursdays during the following times:

10:00 AM 11:00AM 2:00 PM

NOTE: Timeslots may be adjusted based on scheduling conflicts. Appointments will be staggered for all visitors to allow time for sanitizing and restocking between sessions as necessary.

NOTE: A visit may be scheduled 1 time a week per family representative. Depending on the specific situation, this may be altered on a case by case basis as determined by the interdisciplinary team.

STEP 2: Report to the facility 10 minutes prior to your scheduled appointment to complete the check in process/screening.

NOTE: Alcohol based hand rub must be utilized during check in and at check out.

NOTE: Copies of COVID-19 results must be presented within the specified dates aligning with DHEC guidance if applicable.

STEP 3: You will be directed to the designated area for your scheduled visit by a staff member.

NOTE: The designated are for a Compassionate Care Visit is the Chapel. Depending on the situation the location may be altered on a case by case basis as determined by the interdisciplinary team.

STEP 4: Compassionate Care Visits will last for a duration of 30 minutes.

STEP 5: Proceed to the front entrance for check out.

ATTENTION: Situations that would warrant a compassionate care visit include but are not limited to: a significant change in condition of a resident, newly admitted resident facing traumatic experience due to the changes in environment and people, family who meet the needs of the resident (including religious leaders), support for a resident that has recently lost a friend or family member (heartache).

KEY REQUIREMENTS

  • A mask or cloth covering must be utilized by both the resident and visitors for the duration of the visit. At no point in time should the mask be altered or removed. The mask should cover your nose and mouth at all times.
  • Please remain social distanced for the duration of the visit which is 6 feet or greater (Markers will help you identify the spacing requirements).
  • Visitors are not permitted to have any physical contact with residents including hugging, kissing, holding hands, or any other physical contact.
  • A maximum of 2 visitors are permitted to visit a resident at one time.

 


10/20/20

MEMORANDUM
TO: Community Residential Care Facilities Nursing Homes
FROM: DHEC Healthcare Quality

SUBJECT: Compassionate Care Visits

The Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) strongly recommends that licensed community residential care facilities and nursing homes in South Carolina establish a policy addressing compassionate care visits for each facility. This policy should adhere to both DHEC’s Guidelines for Outdoor and Indoor Visitation and CMS’s guidance for reopening nursing homes.

The policy should clearly outline:
• What situations are included in a compassionate care visit;
• How often will a visitor in a compassionate care situation be allowed to visit;
• The length of time for a compassionate care visit;
• How the compassionate care visit will take place;
• Alternate ways to conduct a visit if a resident has a roommate; and
• If a designated area of the facility will be used for compassionate care visits.

Compassionate care visits by family, religious leaders, or other persons who meet the needs of the resident are permitted regardless of the facility’s visitation status.

CMS’s Nursing Home Visitation FAQs clarifies that it is imperative for facilities to know that, while end-of-life situations were used as examples of compassionate care situations in previous CMS memoranda, the term “compassionate care situations” does not exclusively refer to end-of-life situations. An example of an eligible compassionate care visit that is not an end-of-life situation is if a resident who was living with family before recently being admitted to a nursing home is facing a traumatic experience due to the changes in environment and people. According to CMS, allowing a visit from a family member in this situation would be consistent with the intent of the term “compassionate care situations.” Similarly, allowing someone to visit a resident whose loved one recently passed away would also be consistent with the intent of these situations.

We encourage facilities to consult with residents and their families to help determine if a visit should be conducted for compassionate care as there are a myriad of situations that can constitute a compassionate care visit. Also, while CMS acknowledges that compassionate care situations may extend past end-of-life situations, it is still recommended that these visits should not be routine and should be allowed on a limited basis as an exception to restricting visitation.

DHEC, in adherence with CMS guidance, also reminds facilities and visitors that all actions to prevent the transmission of COVID-19 should be taken when these visits are allowed.

Infection control and prevention actions should be integrated into the policy, such as:
• Screening all visitors for symptoms of COVID-19;
• Practicing social distancing;
• Performing hand hygiene (e.g., use alcohol-based hand rub upon entry); and
• Having both residents and visitors wear a cloth face covering or facemask for the duration of the visit.

Community residential care facilities and nursing homes can also create a safe space within each facility specifically reserved for compassionate care visits and may consider setting up appointment times to ensure control of the number of visitors at any given time. Additionally, facilities should continue to limit the number of visitors allowed in the building at the same time and limit the number of individuals visiting with any one resident (e.g., two visitors for one resident visit). The compassionate care visit policy for each facility should clearly define what situations are eligible for such visits and what measures both staff and visitors are expected to take to ensure the health and safety of everyone.
Facilities can contact acc-healthreg@dhec.sc.gov with questions about compassionate care visits.

 


10/29/20

Date: October 29, 2020

To: Residents, Family, and Staff

From: Jim Thomason, President/CEO

Subject: CEO Update

The following serves as an update on some important matters:

  • As you know, we test staff and residents of the Health Center for Coronavirus, regularly. When we tested on Tuesday October 27th, we had two staff members and one resident in the Health Care Center test positive. We immediately notified the individuals involved and other residents who could have potentially been exposed to COVID-19 positive staff. We immediately put in place our policies that deal with a COVID-19 positive resident in a Health Care setting. All residents and staff will continue to be monitored. Please pray for our residents and staff during this challenging time.
  • Related to the above, it is why the Towers insists on strict guidelines throughout the campus for mask wearing, six-foot social distancing and hand washing. Many individuals who test positive for Coronavirus show no symptoms. Hence, precautions are imperative across campus.
  • Within the next month, we will be painting the metal awnings and roofing on the Towers building. This will be a major project given the distance from the ground to the top of the building but as you can see, is long overdue. As a reminder, due to the Coronavirus, our planned Capital Projects have been shifted from inside projects, to outside projects. There will be instructions for residents forthcoming about this project, in the near future.
  • As a reminder, residents are free to come and go from the Towers but upon return, are required to self-isolate for 14-days and refrain from being in any common areas such as; lobbies, dining room, and social activities.
  • We are saddened that individuals have tested positive. Be assured, we test regularly to find positive cases early and we immediately put our plan into place. Together we will manage through this Pandemic.

 


10/19/20

Date: October 19, 2020

To: Independent Living Residents

From: Jennifer Allen, Campus Social Worker

Subject: Life Enrichment Updates

Greetings Towers Residents!

I have seen many of you enjoying this beautiful fall weather – whether you have been visiting with families on the patio, walking around campus, or just sitting outside to get some fresh air.  I believe this is one of the best and most beautiful times of year, and I love seeing each of you enjoying the fall weather also!

I wanted to pass along some updates in response to questions and requests the management team and I have received.  While our ultimate goal is to keep each of you healthy and safe from COVID-19, we also listen to your ideas and requests.

  • Activity Capacity: For several weeks, we have limited activities in Heritage Hall to 20 participants at a time. We hear your concerns over not getting a seat at the popular performances, so we have decided to up that number to a maximum of 30 participants in an activity.  With a higher number in a gathering, there is more potential for the spread of a virus.  Therefore, we must remain even more diligent in properly wearing masks, washing hands, and remaining socially distanced at six feet apart.  Please do not congregate in the hallways and lobby; and if you do come to the lobby, be sure you are wearing your mask properly, covering your nose and mouth, and remaining six feet apart.
  • Fitness Room Scheduling: To currently use the fitness room or pool, one must sign up for an appointment. We will do away with appointment times, and you can now come to the fitness room and pool as you wish during the open hours!  For distancing reasons, the fitness room is limited to 3 residents at a time.  If you are the fourth resident to arrive, you will need to come back at a later time.  At the same time, please limit your machine use time if someone is waiting.  You will need to wipe down your machines after each use, and I advise you wipe them before each use as well.
  • Family Patio Visits: I hope you all have enjoyed the patio visits with families! I have received some great feedback from you and your loved ones about how wonderful it is to see each other!  Beginning next week, we will be opening the patio up for you to set your own visits with family. You will still need to sign up for a time at the bulletin board, so as not to have multiple families trying for the same timeslot, and you will be responsible for keeping your appointment time with your family. During the visit, you must still remain socially distanced at six feet apart, everyone wear masks covering your nose and mouth, and no physical contact.  I advise you to let the receptionist know when you plan to visit to help with not overlapping another residents’ time.  However, this will not guarantee your time on the patio – it will be first-come-first-serve.  You will need to wipe down your own chairs after each visit with the provided sanitizer.  We will provide cleaning cloths and EPA disinfectant for your use and protection.  If we get rain and you wish to visit, you can use the benches under the portico at the front of the Towers – IF no other residents are sitting out there.  We realize the cold weather is right around the corner, and we are working on a plan for indoor visits when this arrives.
  • Doctor Visits: JLu has done an excellent job ensuring each of you gets to your necessary doctor’s appointments! Good news: No longer will you need to worry about the blue sheets!  You can go to doctor’s appointments without getting a sheet signed and not have to quarantine when you return.  In addition to this, family members may now take you to doctor’s appointments without quarantine.  I urge you to use extra caution when riding in a car with a loved one – wear your masks, both of you wash your hands before entering and after exiting the vehicle, have your loved one sanitize their car before you enter if possible, sit as far away as possible from your loved one.  We all have a duty to each other to be as safe as we can so as not to spread diseases among our community and beloved fellow residents.
  • Beauty Salon: I hope each of you read Jim’s letter regarding the beauty salon. Jim was able to reinstate our salon license with the South Carolina Board of Cosmetology.  Therefore, we will be able to reopen the salon!  Our stylist will be in touch with getting each of you rescheduled.  If you did not have a missed appointment but would like to schedule, please call the beauty salon at 5128 and leave a message with your name, number, and the service you request.

We trust that each of you will follow all guidelines, as they exist to keep us all safe and healthy.  Changes to our guidelines do not diminish our all-out effort to keep COVID-19 out of the Towers. These changes mean that residents individually will take full responsibility for their decisions to keep yourself and your fellow residents safe by following these important rules. Please make sure you are always practicing social distancing of six feet, wearing your mask properly by fully covering your nose and mouth, frequent hand washing, monitoring your temperature, and monitoring yourself for any symptoms for COVID-19.  Please make sure any family member taking you to the doctor has an extremely high confidence level of being negative for COVID-19.  With rising rates of COVID-19 in the country, all of us must be self-responsible for our safety and health.

We thank you for the safety precautions you have been taking over the past several months, and I remind you that we cannot let up now!  COVID-19 is still very present in our community, and we must each do our part to keep it out of the Westminster Towers community.  Thank you all for your help in this goal thus far – keep it up!

Sincerely,

Jennifer Allen

Campus Social Worker

Westminster Towers

 


10/15/20

DATE: 10/15/2020
SUBJECT: INDOOR/OUTDOOR VISITATION AND MORE

Greetings Westminster Health and Rehab Family,

I pray that this message finds you all well.

Several items to call to your attention:
*Most importantly, at long last we are permitted to implement an indoor and outdoor visitation program under guidance from DHEC. The team has worked incredibly hard to roll out a program this week which aligns with the guidance allowing visitors to connect with their loved ones. This is a big shift for our facility and we are thankful that we have an opportunity to offer safe visits that are monitored within a designated area. We are collectively responsible as providers and visitors to do our parts in ensuing that we keep this program running smoothly creating a pleasurable experience for both residents and families.

I have attached three additional supporting documents which provide details on our new program for your review/reference:
 Westminster Indoor/Outdoor Visitation Orientation
 Official DHEC Indoor/Outdoor Visitation Guidance
 Acknowledgment Form for you to complete and return

Please review each of these documents to understand our visitation process. As stated, all visits will be scheduled through the Life Enrichment Department.
*We have begun to receive the results from our COVID-19 tests on 10/13/2020 and we are scheduled for testing today 10/15/2020. We continue to test twice a week for COVID-19 per DHEC recommendations and at this time there are no positive cases in residents nor staff reported.
We are EXTREMELY PROUD of our team for what they have accomplished up to this point. All departments continue to work hard to keep residents, families and themselves healthy. I welcome and encourage you to submit notes, letters and cards of support, recognition and prayers as we will always gladly welcome the additional motivation and inspiration!

York County has seen 5,827 confirmed COVID-19 cases while cumulatively the state of South Carolina sits at 159,809 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 3,387 confirmed deaths.

COVID-19 is still here and is dangerous and potentially deadly. With that in mind we must all exercise extreme caution to remain on this very fortunate path. It is not easy and requires sacrifices from staff, families and residents. We are so thankful and appreciative of your continuous support and patience.

*Please don’t forget our Item Drop-off service. Drop your loved ones items off and allow us to do the rest! Item drop off takes place from 8:00 AM- 10:00 AM and from 1:00 PM – 3:00 PM Monday-Friday (Weekdays Only) Your items should be clearly labeled with the resident name and room number so that each package can be delivered accurately and timely. NOTE: The item drop off time periods are not visitation hours, we will simply have staff available to transport your items to your family member on your behalf.

*We continue to stay current with CDC, DHEC and CMS guidelines while also practicing the “The Three Biggies” which include:
1. Wearing a mask
2. Social distancing
3. Frequent handwashing with soap and water and utilizing alcohol based hand rubs

*I encourage you to visit the CDC website and the DHEC website for the latest information and guidance related to COVID-19:
https://www.cdc.gov/
https://www.scdhec.gov/

Please don’t hesitate to contact me directly with any questions or comments:
OFFICE: (803) 326-3114
EMAIL: ewhitehead@westminstertowers.org

Thank you,

Efren Z. Whitehead Jr.

Administrator

 


10/14/20

From: Heather Miller, RN, BSN, Assisted Living (Manor) Nurse Manager and Director of Professional Services for Home Health

Good Morning!

We are still currently under “quarantine” until Sunday. All residents are eating in their rooms and confined to their rooms with limited, spaced times to walk in the halls and sit on the porches. I will be testing all the staff today, as well as myself, and as long as we stay negative, we will be out of quarantine Sunday for breakfast!

Exciting news on the visitation front. While outdoor visits and window visits are still options,  DHEC has sent guidance for us to allow limited indoor visits. They are called “compassion care” visits. These visits provide for time with your loved based on DHEC criteria. I have attached the visitation procedure. Please note that we still encourage extreme caution, require masks, require hand sanitation, etc. Please read through the attached as you will be responsible for the content  and we will ask you sign that you have read and understand it. As always, I am here for any and all questions you have. I am navigating through the daily changes as are you!

Outdoor/Indoor Visitation Orientation

BACKGROUND:  On 10/09/2020 DHEC released new guidance which described facilities ability to offer indoor and outdoor visitation. We are in a position to offer both indoor and outdoor visitation in accordance with DHEC guidelines. We know that your loved ones mean so much to you and we are fortunate to care for them just the same. It is critically important that we keep safety and compliance at the forefront of each visit for the wellbeing of all involved. As always, if you are sick or present signs and symptoms of ANY illness please refrain from visiting the facility. The following information serves as a gentle reminder and explains the parameters that you will need to follow while enjoying your visit with your loved one.

STEP 1: Please schedule a time to visit your loved one with Eladio. You can reach Eladio by phone, his number is (843)-683-2512 or by email at EWilkinson@westminstertowers.org

Times: 8:45am-9:15am; 11:45am-12:15pm; 12:30pm-1pm; 3pm-3:30pm; 4:30pm-5pm

Visits will be available Monday-Friday, and every other weekend starting this upcoming weekend, Saturday, Oct. 17th.

*Times for weekend visits are limited from 8:45am – 1:00pm. Visits are not available after 1:00pm on the weekends.

NOTE: Timeslots may be adjusted based on scheduling conflicts. Appointments will be staggered for all visitors to allow time for sanitizing and restocking between sessions as necessary. Also, visitation indoors may be restricted with certain criteria: positive cases among staff or residents, core principles not being maintained (face masks, hand sanitation, social distancing), and county positivity rate above 10%.

STEP 2: Report to the facility 5 minutes prior to your scheduled appointment to complete the check in process/screening. You will enter through the brown door before the porch entrance.

NOTE: Alcohol based hand rub must be utilized during check in and at check out.

NOTE: Copies of COVID-19 results must be presented within the specified dates aligning with DHEC guidance (if applicable).

STEP 3: You will be directed to the designated area for your scheduled visit by a staff member. This will be the area outside Heather’s office in the “sitting area”.

STEP 4: Enjoy the visit with your loved one for the allocated period of time that applies to your individual circumstances.

NOTE: Times of visits will vary based on your COVID-19 testing status.

STEP 5: Proceed to the exit.

KEY REQUIREMENTS

  • A mask or cloth covering must be utilized by both the resident and visitors for the duration of the visit. At no point in time should the mask be altered or removed. The mask should cover your nose and mouth at all times.
  • Please remain social distanced for the duration of the visit which is 6 feet or greater (Markers will help you identify the spacing requirements).
  • Visitors are not permitted to have any physical contact with residents including hugging, kissing, holding hands, or any other physical contact.
  • A maximum of 2 visitors are permitted to visit a resident at one time.
  • ENJOY THE TIME RECONNECTING WITH YOUR LOVED ONE!

 


10/02/20

Family Patio Visits!!

We have some exciting updated information for patio visits. Please see below!

What you need to know:

· You will need to sign up for your desired time slot. The sign up sheet will be put out at the main Bulletin Board on Friday evening or Saturday morning.

· Visits will occur on the patio outside the Dining Room.

· While visiting, you and your family MUST wear masks.

· While visiting, you and your family MUST remain 6 feet apart – no physical contact.

· Children are now able to come visit!! However, please be reminded that resident and family are responsible for children’s behavior. Children must follow all rules that adults follow.

· You may have up to 4 family members at the visit.

· You and your family members must remain in your designated areas.

· Visits will last 20 minutes.

· The area will be sanitized by staff between family visits.

· Sarah Cha works Wednesday – Saturday during the designated visit times. She will answer phone calls as soon as she can!

What you need to do:

· Check the list to see what slots are open.

· Contract your family to set up a time for the visit.

· Write your name down for the time you and your family wish to visit.

· Do not arrive to the patio more than 5 minutes early, as well will be sanitizing the area from the previous family.

· Be sure your family remembers their masks!

· Don’t forget your mask!

· Enjoy the beautiful weather and a nice visit with loved ones!

Contact Sarah Cha at 5477 or Jennifer Allen at 5077 with any questions!

 


10/02/20

Dear Residents,

Greetings on a beautiful afternoon in early autumn. I enjoy seeing so many of you out and about in the lobby, the dining room, and out enjoying fresh air. Thank you for your patience and understanding during this long pandemic season. Your perseverance and understanding are encouraging.

I want to update you on several issues as follows.

  • Jennifer Allen is currently modifying the reservation system for outdoor patio visits, based on the feedback, we are going to adopt a simpler system. You will be signing up for the visits on behalf of your family. Details to follow from Jennifer Allen very soon.
  • We tested our entire staff for COVID-19 on Thursday, September 24, and there were no positive results in staff. We repeated these tests for Health Center staff Tuesday, September 29 and there were no positive results with that round of testing. The frequency of testing is directly related to government guidance on the prevalence of Coronavirus within the surrounding area.
  • Thank you for supporting PS Salon. Jennifer Allen is communicating your concerns with their District Leader. Thank you for your positive comments about Liz, the stylist. She has been very busy serving our residents.
  • A huge thank you to everyone for cooperating with the blue sheets with your visits to medical providers.
  • The Flu clinic from CVS Pharmacy was a huge success! CVS may be contacting a few of your regarding your insurance information.
  • Your Residents’ Association Executive Committee and I meet on a regular basis to discuss both issues of concern as well as celebrate our successes during this pandemic. I very much appreciate their commitment to serving you as residents and the feedback and suggestions that you give to them.

Thank you for the calling the Towers your home. It is a pleasure to serve as your CEO. I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend.

Jim Thomason, CEO

 


08/31/20

Greetings Westminster Health and Rehab Family,

We most recently conducted COVID-19 testing for all Health Center employees and residents on 08/27/2020 with ThrivePoint Medical Laboratories. We have been in contact with the lab over the weekend and results have been arriving and so far there have been no positive results but more results are still pending and we will continue to update everyone. We are following testing guidelines recommended by DHEC both residents and staff on both our first and second floor.

We previously tested employees and residents specific to our rehabilitation unit (Floor 1) on 08/17/2020 and the results that came in indicated that one employee was positive and no additional residents were found positive. Westminster Health and Rehab will continue conducting weekly testing per DHEC guidance, adjusting the frequency of testing with the prevalence of COVID-19.

On 08/28/2020 we had an employee self-report that they were positive with COVID-19 after testing was conducted at an alternate location. We continue to monitor this situation closely and reinforce the importance of wearing PPE, frequently washing hands and social distancing.
South Carolina currently has about 115,661 Positive COVID-19 cases resulting in 2,563 deaths. York County has 4,228 Positive COVID-19 cases. We urge you to do your part in staying safe in order to continue protecting yourself and those around you. Follow “The Three Biggies” and encourage your loved ones to do the same.
1. Wearing a mask
2. Social distancing
3. Frequent handwashing with soap and water and utilizing alcohol based hand rubs.

Please don’t hesitate to contact me directly with any questions or comments:

OFFICE: (803) 326-3114
EMAIL: ewhitehead@westminstertowers.org

Efren Z. Whitehead Jr.,  Administrator

 


08/26/20

Independent Living Phase III Re-Opening Update

I am pleased to announce that on September 1, 2020, Westminster Towers Independent Living will move into Phase III of our Re-Opening. Please note that this is not the same Phase III that was originally outlined in the Re-Opening Guide distributed at the end of May, although it has some similar themes. Also, if COVID-19 cases in the local community increase or we have cases of COVID-19 at the Towers, it is very likely that additional restrictions will return. But now for the good news:

Grocery Shopping

On Tuesday and Friday mornings beginning at 8:00am, the Westminster Towers buses will transport residents to do their own grocery shopping at the Publix at Wedgewood (intersection of Heckle and Herlong). Publix will be prepared for an influx of Towers residents and will ensure that everything is extra clean and ready for you. The buses will provide a socially-distanced shuttle service back and forth beginning at 8:00am and ending with the last trip back from Publix at 10:30am. I know this is early for some people, but this is the time Publix assured is that the store is quietest and cleanest.

In addition, residents who drive their own cars may drive themselves to Publix during this time frame to do their shopping without incurring quarantine.

Please note that at this time we will only be providing transportation to Publix and only on these days and times.

Driving for Other Essential Services & Outdoor Recreation

Residents may drive themselves to use the drive-thru of an essential service provider i.e. bank, pharmacy, dry cleaner etc.

Residents may drive themselves to participate in outside solo/duo activities such as walking, cycling, hiking or kayaking.

Residents may drive themselves “go for a drive”.

The 14-day quarantine will still be in effect for residents who leave campus for any other reason – such as to spend time with family or friends. It is also still in effect if a family member or friend transports you to a medical appointment.

Towers Errand Service

J-Lu and Daniel will cease to provide grocery and errand service for free, except for the residents who are truly self-isolating for health reasons. These individuals will need to call me to confirm that they are still self-isolating and get approval for complimentary errand service.

Families/friends may still drop-off your needed supplies and we will deliver them to your apartment.

HomeBridge can provide grocery/errand service for a fee; please call 5145 for more information or to set up services.

Outings on Fridays

On Fridays in September the Life Enrichment department are planning some “Picnics in the Park”. Residents will be able to sign up to go out to a local park for a picnic and some outside time away from the Towers. There will be a fee for the picnic – more details to come.

PS Salon

Next week the salon will officially transition to being operated by our new contracted salon and spa service, PS Salon. Later this week you will receive information in your mailbox including a menu of services and pricing, and how to sign up for an account and an appointment. Feel free to share this information with your families so that they can assist you – or maybe even add a gift to your salon account!

Approved Visitors & Contractors

A number of residents have expressed concern about seeing individuals in the building who are not employees or residents. While general visitation and non-essential services are still prohibited, you may see people for some of the following reasons:

  • Family members and moving companies moving residents in or out of our community.
  • Family members of a resident has been deemed by a medical professional as being at end-of-life.
  • Private caregivers who do not work for HomeBridge – there are currently 8 approved to come into the building, and these are the same individuals who have been providing services to their clients for the past 5 months.
  • Essential contractors – those providing needed installation, repairs or preventative maintenance to our building, utilities and/or equipment.
  • Essential vendors – those providing necessary deliveries of food or supplies.

You will start seeing these approved vendors/visitors wearing nametags designating if they are a “Contractor”, “Caregiver” or “Visitor”. If they are wearing a nametag they have been temperature screened upon entry, checked to ensure they are wearing a facemask and have been approved to enter the building. Please continue to report anyone not wearing a nametag to the Front Desk for follow-up. Thank you.

Outside Projects

The glass company contracted to provide the Towers front window replacement has experienced some supply chain issues due to COVID-19. The window replacement is now scheduled for September 2-4. Please remember that the front drive and portico will be closed during this time while the crane is stationed there.

The campus paving repair work will also be completed during the first week of September.

The new landscaping company has begun working on beautifying our campus and I’ve been pleased to hear the positive responses from residents who have already noticed the difference. Thank you!

COVID-19 Testing

There are a handful of Independent Living residents who are currently undergoing testing for COVID-19 due to an exposure to an employee who was later confirmed to test positive for the virus. I appreciate each of these residents for their patience during a frustrating time: they were exposed to the virus not because of a decision they made but because of a service they were receiving, in an environment that we have all come to consider as “safe”. This demonstrates that despite all the precautions we have put into place, all the sanitizing we do daily, and all the temperature checks and screening of employees and essential vendors we do, COVID-19 still found its way into our building. We must stay vigilant with our infection control protocols to ensure no other residents are put at risk. Please continue to wear your face masks correctly, keep 6 feet from your Towers friends when socializing and practice good hand hygiene.

This is a lot of information for one memo! Please let me know if you have any furthers. Additional reminders will be given in the coming days too.

Stay well!

– Amy Laughlin, Director of Resident Services

 


08/07/20

Family Update

GREETINGS WESTMINSTER HEALTH AND REHAB FAMILY,

Over the weekend a resident located on the rehabilitation unit (first floor) was exhibiting signs and symptoms of COVID-19 and was immediately sent out to the hospital for assessment on 08/15/2020. The resident unfortunately tested positive for COVID-19. We followed our procedures for monitoring per CDC guidance and acted promptly as we discovered the residents’ signs and symptoms.

We are actively investigating this situation and acted quickly having coordinated and completed testing for all residents on the rehabilitation unit and all staff that may have come in contact with the resident today 08/17/2020.

ThrivePoint Medical Laboratories conducted the tests which took place outside of the Health Center at testing tables set up to expedite the process allowing staff to flow through in a smooth, orderly and safe fashion. Currently all residents that reside in our rehabilitation unit are quarantining in their rooms. We have made operational adjustments until further information is unveiled. We are currently actively monitoring any other residents for signs and symptoms along with increased monitoring for staff that have completed the test.

We have notified DHEC and reported our very first resident case of COVID-19. At the current moment we have no other residents or staff exhibiting any signs or symptoms consistent with COVID-19.

We continue to stay current with CDC, DHEC and CMS guidelines while also practicing the “The Three Biggies” which include:

  • Wearing a mask
  • Social distancing
  • Frequent handwashing with soap and water and utilizing alcohol based hand rubs.

There will be additional information to follow.

Please don’t hesitate to contact me directly with any questions or comments:

OFFICE: (803) 326-3114
EMAIL: ewhitehead@westminstertowers.org

– Efren Z. Whitehead Jr., Administrator
 

 


Memo To Residents

CAMPUS PROJECTS

As you are aware, many of our internal campus projects and refurbishments are currently on hold due to COVID-19, as we are not permitting outside vendors/contractors in the building unless it is a necessary repair or preventative maintenance. However, over the next few weeks we will be working on some campus improvements outside:

  • On Friday, August 7, the front drive will be blocked with a crane while some of the iconic windows of the Towers building are removed and measured. The week of August 17-21, the front drive will be blocked again for two days while all these windows are replaced. I will ensure resident receive notification of these days in advance. Please note the front entrance will still be open and usable, it is just the drive-through/drop-off area that will be closed.
  • The remaining drainage issues on the campus will be resolved and pavement repaired, including at the Towers front entrance. Date TBA.
  • All the exterior windows of the building will be cleaned. Date TBA.

RECYCLING

Unfortunately we are not currently able to take items to be recycled at a local recycling center. We are looking at options for recycling pick-up at the Towers, but until this occurs, please throw your cans and bottles in the trash. I know this is not ideal and we hope to have another recycling option for you soon.

ABSENTEE BALLOTS

You should have received information in your mailbox about how to sign up for an absentee ballot. We strongly recommend all residents vote by absentee ballot in the November 3 election, as it is likely that our current restrictions will still be place and anyone who chooses to vote in person at the polls will be subject to the 14-day quarantine. Please contact Daniel Williams at ext. 5211 for more information or assistance with signing up for an absentee ballot.

LIFE ENRICHMENT PROGRAM

Good news! Beginning this weekend, outside entertainers and speakers will be permitted to enter the building to provide programs for IL residents in the Heritage Hall. These individuals will be temperature checked and required to complete the COVID-19 risk questionnaire upon entering the building, and will enter and exit via the Heritage Hall side door and not come through the building. The entertainer/speaker must remain at least 10 feet from residents at all times, and further if they are singing. Towers favorite Patrick Hudson will be here on Saturday to kick-off this new phase of our re-opening, and we anticipate being able to add a lot more music programs and educational lectures in the coming weeks.

EMPLOYEE VACATION COMMITTEE

Many of our employees have sacrificed planned leisure activities and fun-in-the-sun with their families this summer to ensure that they are doing their part to keep themselves (and all of you) safe. We understand and value the importance of rest and relaxation, especially as our staff have been working tirelessly over the past five months with increased or different job responsibilities. We have implemented a “Vacation Committee” of four department leaders who analyze the risk factors associated with each employee vacation request and determine if a 14-day quarantine is warranted upon return. Please be assured that we take your safety very seriously and a number of employees have self-quarantined at home following a vacation instead of immediately returning to work.

I am pleased that we continue to have zero confirmed resident cases of COVID-19 at Westminster Towers. We have also gone from having an average of 50 residents on quarantine at a time to having around 10, thanks to the introduction of the Medical Appointment Pledge at the beginning of July and the elimination of quarantine for scheduled medical/dental appointments. We also have a handful of residents who have chosen to self-isolate for health reasons, and they continue to receive their meals and mail delivered to them at no charge. I encourage you to stay focused on the three basic pillars of infection control: wearing your face mask correctly when around people, staying at least 6 feet away from others and washing your hands frequently.

Stay well!

– Amy Laughlin, Director of Resident Services

Family Update

GREETINGS WESTMINSTER HEALTH AND REHAB FAMILY,

As we head into August we celebrate another month where our facility has remained free of resident cases since March when COVID-19 began to spread throughout the United States. The base/foundation of our methodology remains the same, consistently tuning into the latest CDC, CMS and DHEC guidance. We are also carefully practicing and monitoring what I refer to as “The Three Biggies” which includes wearing a mask, social distancing and frequently washing our hands. We continue to remain flexible while making many sacrifices to ensure our residents and staff stay safe during this time.

We welcome Rhonda Devinney to the team who is our Director of Admissions. Rhonda comes to us with a wealth of knowledge and experience. Her role will be managing the flow of our admissions, marketing our community allowing us to serve more residents who require our service offerings. She is a hospitality champion and has hit the ground running. Please congratulate and celebrate her as we are thrilled she is a part of the Westminster family.

At the current moment Executive Order No. 2020-08 issued March 13, 2020 continues to be in effect which restricts visitation “except for end of life situations”. We are currently operating under that executive order and DHEC guidance which will remain in place until otherwise communicated from the Governor and DHEC.

At this time there are no confirmed resident cases of COVID-19 nor are any residents exhibiting any signs or symptoms.

South Carolina currently has about 96,132 Positive COVID-19 cases resulting in 1,863 deaths. York County has 3,381 Positive COVID-19 cases and 20,769 estimated cases. The numbers are sharply increasing as we rapidly approach 100,000 cases of COVID-19 in South Carolina. We urge you to do your part in staying safe in order to continue protecting yourself and those around you. Follow “The Three Biggies” and encourage your loved ones to do the same.

WHAT WE ARE DOING TO STOP COVID-19 FROM IMPACTING OUR FACILITY:

  • Staying current with CDC guidelines
  • Staying current with DHEC Regulations and Guidance
  • Communal Style Dining has been restricted per CDC guidance
  • Group activities have been restricted per CDC guidance
  • ALL staff are wearing masks
  • Hospice restrictions implemented until further notice
  • Private sitters restricted until further notice
  • Daily temperature checks and screening for ALL EMPLOYEES
  • Restricted visitation per Executive Order No. 2020-08 (End of Life only)
  • Disinfecting high touch areas with hospital grade disinfectants (Wipes, solutions etc.)
  • Implemented a “Vacation Committee”

WHAT YOU CAN DO TO HELP STOP COVID-19

  • Wash your hands frequently using soap and water for 20 seconds or more
  • Cover mouth or nose with tissue when coughing or sneezing (Cough into elbow if no tissue is available)
  • Don’t touch your face
  • Keep a safe distance (At least 6 feet apart)
  • Stay at home if you can
  • Wear a mask or cloth if you must go out

Stay focused and don’t get complacent when it comes to you and your loved ones safety. It is easy to experience fatigue with the measures implemented and our new way of life, however now is the time to dig deeper. We know this has caused a huge sacrifice for both residents and family members and we are so grateful for everyone’s cooperation, understanding during these extremely challenging times that we initially thought would last shorter in duration.

We encourage you to visit the CDC website and the DHEC website for the latest information and guidance related to COVID-19:

Please don’t hesitate to reach out with any questions comments or concerns.

– Efren Z. Whitehead Jr., Administrator

 

 


07/30/20

INDEPENDENT LIVING FAMILY PARADES

Save the Date for the Independent Living Family Car Parades! Over 5 days in August, each floor of the Towers will have one opportunity to gather along the front entrance/driveway (in a socially-distanced manner) and watch their family members drive through in their cars and wave.

Each Parade will be held at 8:30am to beat the heat of the day, and also so family members may participate before going to work. Cars will be able to drive through several times. We encourage family members to decorate their cars and wave signs! Have fun with this event! Residents are also encouraged to make signs or posters, or wave flags. Cars will not be permitted to stop, and residents/families will not be able to touch each other. There will be a drop-off area for any items/supplies/gifts families need to drop-off for you.

  • Monday, August 10 – Second Floor
  • Tuesday, August 11 – Third Floor
  • Wednesday, August 12 – Fourth Floor
  • Thursday, August 13 – Fifth Floor
  • Friday, August 14 – Sixth Floor

More information coming soon!

COMMON AREA REMINDERS

There has been some crowding in the Lobby and at the Front Entrance recently, especially in the late afternoons and early evenings. Please remember that benches and couches may only have one resident sitting on them for distancing purposes. Some furniture has been removed to ensure there is space between chairs. Walkers should not be parked between chairs and used as extra seating, as social distancing cannot be maintained. Please do not move the chairs; they have been intentionally measured and spaced to try to keep you safe.

Keep up the good work with wearing facemasks correctly! Don’t forget that you should also wear a face mask in your apartment if there is anyone else in your apartment with you i.e. a housekeeper, another staff member or a visiting resident.

REALITY OF COVID AT THE TOWERS

We continue to be very thankful to have not had any confirmed resident cases of COVID-19 on our campus. On the other side of this memo I have listed other local senior living communities and the number of resident cases and deaths they have had. This information is reportable to DHEC by every licensed Assisted Living and Skilled Nursing Facility and available publicly on their website, but public reporting of Independent Living cases and deaths is not required. However, often in a retirement community setting a resident may contract the virus in Independent Living but transfer to the Health Center, which is where they pass away.

Remember that if/when we have resident cases, there will people who are seriously ill, perhaps even a number of deaths. This is why we have worked so hard to keep the virus out of the Towers – to protect you. If we have cases in Independent Living, we will have to go back to full restrictions during the virus’s incubation period, so for at least 14 days. This will mean that residents will have to remain in their apartments again, and communal dining and life enrichment programs will be temporarily cancelled. All common areas will also shut down. Meals and mail will be delivered to you. You will still be able to go to medical appointments per the current policy.

This would represent a significant step backwards, and it is not something we would want to implement. The CDC guidance for retirement communities still recommends cancelling all non-essential group programs and not having communal dining, but we have worked hard to be able to offer you these services safely. Many of our peer retirement communities in South Carolina are considerably more conservative in their re-opening approach, with many still only offering meal delivery, maintaining closure of all common areas and not having any group activities or events.

I encourage you to take good care of yourself by limiting your contact with people who do not live/work at the Towers, continuing to wear a face mask when around others, maintaining social distance and using good hand hygiene frequently. I am grateful for everyone’s compliance with Towers rules and for your tolerance for change. These are challenging times for all.

Number of Resident Cases and Deaths in local Communities:

  • Carolina Gardens of Rock Hill
    • # of Cases: 4
    • # of Deaths: 2
  • Chandler Place Assisted Living
    • # of Cases: 5
    • # of Deaths: 1
  • HarborChase of Rock Hill
    • # of Cases: 4
    • # of Deaths: 1
  • Lodge at Wellmore
    • # of Cases: 2
    • # of Deaths: 2
  • Magnolia Manor of Rock Hill
    • # of Cases: 49
    • # of Deaths: 3
  • The Pearl at Fort Mill
    • # of Cases: 5
    • # of Deaths: 0
  • Pruitt of Rock Hill
    • # of Cases: 12
    • # of Deaths: 2
  • Rock Hill Post Acute Care
    • # of Cases: 12
    • # of Deaths: 2
  • White Oak Manor – Rock Hill
    • # of Cases: 1
    • # of Deaths: 0
  • Westminster Manor Assisted Living
    • # of Cases: 0
    • # of Deaths: 0
  • Westminster Health & Rehab Center
    • # of Cases: 0
    • # of Deaths: 0

 

 


07/24/20

Greetings Westminster Family, 

We thank you for your endurance, support and strength that you continue to show during these difficult times. We have collectively stood firm since early March with implementing restrictions, navigating through waves of guidance and developing organizational policies and procedures swiftly to keep staff and residents safe. 

We are well into Summer and one would think that spells for gatherings, travel, BBQ’s, beach vacations and more. However, many staff members have sacrificed planned leisure activities and fun in the sun with families to ensure that they are doing their part to keep themselves and our residents safe. We understand and value the importance of rest and relaxation especially as our staff have been working tirelessly so we have recently implemented a “Vacation Committee”. The Vacation Committee consists of four members that analyze the risk factors associated with every employee vacation request and determine if a 14-day quarantine is warranted upon return. This new program has gone incredibly well and keeps safety at the forefront of our employees minds if they should chose to take a vacation. The measures taken show that we stand in this side by side and are prepared to do what is necessary to keep the community safe. 

At the current moment, Executive Order No. 2020-08 issued March 13, 2020 continues to be in effect which restricts visitation “except for end of life situations”. We are currently operating under that executive order and DHEC guidance which will remain in place until otherwise communicated from the Governor and DHEC.  

At this time there are no confirmed resident cases of COVID-19 nor are any residents exhibiting any signs or symptoms.   

South Carolina currently has about 76,315 Positive COVID-19 cases resulting in 1,294 deaths. York County has 2,656 Positive COVID-19 cases and 16,315 estimated cases. The numbers are drastically climbing by the day.  We urge you to do your part in staying safe in order to continue protecting yourself and those around you.    

 

WHAT WE ARE DOING TO STOP COVID-19 FROM IMPACTING OUR FACILITY:

  • Staying current with CDC guidelines 
  • Staying current with DHEC Regulations and Guidance  
  • Communal Style Dining has been restricted per CDC guidance  
  • Group activities have been restricted per CDC guidance 
  • ALL staff are wearing masks 
  • Hospice restrictions implemented until further notice
  • Private sitters restricted until further notice 
  • Daily temperature checks and screening for ALL EMPLOYEES
  • Restricted visitation per Executive Order No. 2020-08 (End of Life only)
  • Disinfecting high touch areas with hospital grade disinfectants (Wipes, solutions etc.)
  • Implemented a “Vacation Committee”

 

WHAT YOU CAN DO TO HELP STOP COVID-19

  • Wash your hands frequently using soap and water for 20 seconds or more
  • Cover mouth or nose with tissue when coughing or sneezing (Cough into elbow if no tissue is available)
  • Don’t touch your face 
  • Keep a safe distance (At least 6 feet apart)  
  • Stay at home if you can 
  • Wear a mask or cloth if you must go out

 

We thank you greatly for your continued trust, belief and patience. We will get through this standing united  along the way.  

  

We encourage you to visit the CDC website and the DHEC website for the latest information and guidance related to COVID-19: 

 

Please don’t hesitate to reach out with any questions comments or concerns.

 

Jim Thomason, CEO

Amy Laughlin, Director of Resident Services

Efren Z. Whitehead Jr., Associate Administrator

 

 


07/01/20

RE-OPENING PHASE II PART B – NEW RULES

 

  • Changes to the Quarantine Restrictions

 

Effective July 1, 2020, residents on a 14-day quarantine will be able to: 

  • Receive Housekeeping and Laundry services (on your usual day/time) 
  • Use the Fitness Room, Swimming Pool and Putting Green (by appointment)
  • Receive services in the Beauty Salon

Please note that quarantined residents will still not be permitted to eat in the Dining Room, socialize in common areas or participate in group activities or wellness classes.

 

 

  • Changes to the Quarantine

 

Effective July 1, 2020, residents who leave the campus for a scheduled medical appointment will not be subject to the 14-day quarantine IF they comply with the following guidelines:

  • You drive yourself to your appointment, the person with whom you share an apartment drives you, or you use Westminster Towers or HomeBridge provided transportation (i.e. if an outside family or friend takes you, you would still be quarantined upon your return)
  • You fill out and require the nurse or doctor to sign the attached Medical Appointment Pledge and return this form to the Receptionist upon your return to the Towers.
  • You do not run other errands while you are off campus but only go to the appointment and back.

All medical, dental and vision appointments are included with the exception of:

  • Emergency Room or Urgent Care visits, except to Riverview at the Towers
  • Off-campus Physical Therapy, Occupational Therapy, or other therapies where sharing of equipment is possible
  • Mental Health visits (counselors, psychologists etc)  

If you leave campus for reasons other than a medical appointment (for example, to spend time with friends or family, go to church, go shopping, run errands, pick up food or go out to eat), you will still be subject to the 14-day quarantine when you return. 

 

 

  • Re-Opening Other Common Areas

 

Effective July 1, 2020, the floor lounges will be unlocked and open for resident use. This includes the Movie Theater and the Game Room. 

  • Due to social distancing requirements, the maximum occupancy for these rooms is 6 persons. 
  • Residents will be required to wear face masks when in these rooms. 
  • Bleach cleaner will be provided in each lounge and residents are strongly encouraged to wipe down hard surfaces after use, such as the tables, arms of the chairs, pool cues and balls etc. Please be careful not to get bleach on the upholstered furniture or on the pool table!

 


07/01/20

To: Independent Living Residents

From: Nancy Anderson, Spencer Anderson, Ed FitzGerald, Lynn Hornsby, Jody Rankin, Jim Thomason & Amy Laughlin

Re: Re-Opening Plan, Phase II Part B

 

When Jim, Allison and Amy met with the Executive Committee of the Residents’ Association last week, we discussed the longevity of the COVID-19 pandemic, and how to best balance resident safety and autonomy. When we shut down our campus back in mid-March, no one had any idea that the virus outbreak would extend well into the summer, and quite possibly beyond. We could not conceive that South Carolina would flatten the curve, then be opened again, and still not yet see its peak in cases after 3 ½ months. We did not foresee that our plan designed to protect the vulnerable individuals who live at the Towers would be in effect for months and that some residents would be consistently quarantined due to receiving ongoing medical treatments. 

It is our hope that the attached changes to the restrictions will make a significant difference to the number of people who are on quarantine, and it will make the quarantine itself a little more tolerable. There will be more indoor areas for residents the gather and socialize, especially now the hot summer weather means less people are walking and sitting outside. We will continue to stress the requirement of wearing masks, maintaining social distance and using good hand hygiene, as these are the measures advocated by the Centers for Disease Control to control and contain the virus.

We recognize that there are residents who will be dismayed by these changes, as they are very worried about their health and the health of their neighbors in an area when COVID-19 cases are spiking. We are fully aware there have been many restrictions and some residents have described them as “punishment”. Our goal has been to keep our residents safe. This group will continue to review our guidelines with intense discussions and keep all residents updated. It is impossible to write guidelines that will please everyone; we strive to serve all as best we can. Remember that you may continue to self-isolate if you are worried about contracting the virus, and we will make sure you have what you need delivered to you. 

Senior management extends much gratitude to the Residents’ Association Executive Committee: Spencer Anderson, Jody Rankin, Ed Fitzgerald, Nancy Anderson and Lynn Hornsby. We appreciate their ideas and their open discussion and encourage Independent Living residents to reach out to their officers if they have questions or suggestions. 

 


06/30/20

SUBJECT: COVID-19 Update for the Health Center and Manor: Governor’s Orders related to Visitation.

 

Greetings Westminster Health Center, Manor and Towers’ Residents and Families,

 

On Friday 06/26/2020 Governor Henry McMaster announced that the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) will be drafting a plan to allow immediate family members to visit their loved ones in Assisted Living facilities and skilled nursing facilities. Simultaneously the Governors emergency order has been extended as the number of COVID-19 cases continues to dramatically increase in the state of South Carolina as a whole. 

 

The Westminster team is fully aware of the Governors announcement and we await official guidance from DHEC before implementing any changes. At the current moment Executive Order No. 2020-08 issued March 13, 2020 continues to be in effect which restricts visitation “except for end of life situations”. We are currently operating under that executive order and DHEC guidance which will remain in place until otherwise communicated from the Governor and DHEC.  

 

Currently two employees have tested positive for COVID-19. One staff member works in the Health Center and the other in the Towers/Manor section of the Campus. Neither staff members have been at work since they have self-reported concerns and are working with us as we are strictly following CDC and DHEC guidelines. This serves as a reminder for everyone residents and staff alike to wear a mask, maintain a physical distance and maintain hand hygiene and be very careful. At this time there are no suspected or confirmed resident cases of COVID-19.

South Carolina currently has about 34,546 Positive COVID-19 cases resulting in 717 deaths. York County has 1,155 Positive COVID-19 cases and 7,095 estimated cases. The numbers have increased significantly and sharply. The number of positive COVID-19 cases will continue to rise as restrictions are loosened and preventive measures like wearing a mask is intermittent in the greater community. 

 

When the official visitation guidance is released from DHEC specific for nursing homes and assisted living facilities, we will communicate updates with residents and families. It is our desire to have all loved ones reconnect during this time as touch, interaction and social stimulation are all essential elements to our overall wellness. We juggle the longing to reconnect with following official guidance to the letter in order to ensure we have an organized and structured method to safely allow visitation. 

 

We will move forward in a synchronized fashion with the DHEC guidance to be developed and be sure to operate within those established parameters.  

Visitation in the Health Center and Manor are under the direction of the Governor and DHEC. Please note this does not impact the Towers Apartments. Any changes in the Apartments will be communicated at that time.

 

With warm regards, 

Jim Thomason, CEO

Amy Laughlin, Director of Resident Services

Efren Z. Whitehead Jr., Associate Administrator

 


06/25/20

Hello Westminster Health and Rehab family, 

As we continue to deal with restrictions, encouraged quarantines and carefully monitoring infection control practices it’s easy to grow tired and weary. Please remember that the cases of COVID-19 are increasing rapidly day after day and week after week. From my last update 06/19/2020 we have seen an increase with an added 7,429 (1,061 new cases a day) total SC cases as of 06/26/2020. The numbers clearly show us that COVID-19 remains a threat and we must continue protecting ourselves practicing safe infection control measures to shift the narrative. 

South Carolina currently has about 28,962 COVID-19 cases resulting in 691 deaths. York County has 946 Positive COVID-19 cases and 5,811estimated cases.  

At this time we do not have any residents or staff positive for COVID-19 nor exhibiting signs or symptoms. It is critically important that we all continue to do our part to stop the spread of this deadly virus. 

  

WHAT WE ARE DOING TO STOP COVID-19 FROM IMPACTING OUR FACILITY:

        Staying current with CDC guidelines 

        Staying current with DHEC Regulations and Guidance  

        Communal Style Dining has been restricted per CDC guidance 

        Repositioned our Infection Control/Preventionist Nurse to focus and monitor Infection Control strategies solely. 

        Group activities have been restricted per CDC guidance 

        ALL staff are wearing masks 

        Hospice restrictions implemented until further notice

        Private sitters restricted until further notice 

        Daily temperature checks and screening for ALL EMPLOYEES and ESSENTIAL STAFF

        Restricted visitation per Executive Order No. 2020-08 (End of Life only)

        Disinfecting high touch areas with hospital grade disinfectants (Wipes, solutions etc.)

 

WHAT YOU CAN DO TO HELP STOP COVID-19

        Wash your hands frequently using soap and water for 20 seconds or more

        Cover mouth or nose with tissue when coughing or sneezing (Cough into elbow if no tissue is available)

        Don’t touch your face 

        Keep a safe distance (At least 6 feet apart)  

        Stay at home if you can 

         Wear a mask or cloth if you must go out

Don’t forget our Item Drop-off service.

 

Drop your loved ones items off and allow us to do the rest!

 

Item drop off takes place from 8:00 AM- 10:00 AM and from 1:00 PM – 3:00 PM Monday-Friday (Weekday Only) 

 

Your items should be clearly labeled with the resident name and room number so that each package can be delivered accurately and timely.

NOTE: The item drop off time periods are not visitation hours, we will simply have staff available to transport your items to your family member on your behalf.

 

If you would like to coordinate an electronic visit (FaceTime, Patio etc.) with your loved one please contact our Life Enrichment department.

NOTE: An electronic visit is not an actual visit to the facility, this visit will use electronic means to connect you with your loved one such as FaceTime or Skype. 

 

Hang in there!   

We encourage you to visit the CDC website and the DHEC website for the latest information and guidance related to COVID-19:

         https://www.cdc.gov/ 

         https://www.scdhec.gov/ 

 

Please don’t hesitate to reach out to me with any question’s comments or concerns.

 

God bless, 

Efren   

 


06/25/20

To: Independent Living Residents

From: Amy Laughlin, Director of Resident Services

Re: Update on Testing of Employees

Yesterday we finally received the last of the COVID-19 test results from the Independent Living employees who were tested last Friday. 

I am very pleased to report than we had no positive results! All the results were negative, including the employee who had been exposed to someone in their home for a significant period of time who was positive. Thank you to all our employees for their commitment to keeping themselves, the residents, their co-workers and their families safe. It is encouraging to see everyone continuing to wear face masks, practice good hand hygiene and use social distancing methods, even in situations when this is difficult or uncomfortable.  

Jim, Allison and I met with Executive Committee of the Residents’ Association today. We had a lengthy discussion about the next steps of our Re-Opening Plan and the challenge of trying to maintain resident safety in a communal environment when many residents do not consider this to be a priority. By reviewing the number of residents who have left the campus and been on quarantine at some point, we have been able to determine that the majority of residents want to be able to go out into the community. From the concerns received by Jim, the Resident Association Officers and myself, residents are very unhappy about being quarantined upon return, particularly from medical appointments, despite the risk of the contracting the virus being higher now than at any other time during this pandemic.

We are currently in Phase II of the Re-Opening Plan and will not be able to go onto Phase III for some time, based on the prevalence of the virus in the community. However, we are developing a Phase II “part B” that will loosen some of the restrictions for residents on quarantine and offer a couple of new opportunities for all residents. More information to come in the next few days!

 


06/19/20

To: Independent Living Residents & Employees

From: Amy Laughlin, Director of Resident Services

Date: Friday, June 19, 2020

Re: COVID-19 Update

 

Yesterday afternoon I was contacted by a Towers employee who confirmed that someone in their home had tested positive for COVID-19. The employee was not at work yesterday and has been asked to stay at home in accordance with CDC guidelines, i.e. for 14 days. The individual was tested for COVID-19 yesterday. For legal reasons we are prohibited from telling residents any personal information about the individual, including the department in which they work.

We have talked with both our Infection Preventionist and consulting Physician, and have taken the precautionary measure of having every employee tested who had workplace contact with the individual. We do not anticipate receiving the results of these tests until Monday or Tuesday. The individual did not have routine or direct contact with residents on a daily basis. 

Jim, Allison and I met with the Resident Association Executive Committee this morning to review this information and determine next steps. At this time, the Committee decided not to impose any further restrictions on the Independent Living residents, but keep to the Phase II planned operations, i.e. Dining Room open, activities and classes ongoing, Lobby and Front Entrance open for gathering etc. This will be reevaluated once all the test results are received. We appreciate being able to meet with the Executive Committee to discuss such difficult topics and gain the very important “resident perspective.”

We implore residents and employees to keep up your best efforts at infection control: wear your face mask correctly over both their nose and mouth when in common areas, wash your hands frequently or use alcohol-based hand sanitizer and keep 6 feet between yourself and others at all times. These measures have been proven to offer the best protection from contracting the virus. Don’t forget that we have face masks available for sale at the Front Desk for $1.00 each. 

With cases of COVID-19 on the increase in NC and SC, situations like this will arise with employees and their families, or even in your own family. We are committed to keeping you informed, and we hope that you will keep us informed if you discover you have been in contact with someone who tests positive for COVID-19. Please be assured that anyone coming into our building to provide services such as plumbing, HVAC or moving is required to complete a COVID-19 checklist and have their temperature checked. We are grateful to have zero resident cases anywhere on our campus.

We are very pleased with how well the new Dining Room protocol has gone this week! Thanks for your suggestions and support.

 


06/19/20

Hello Westminster Health and Rehab family,

As time goes on and visitation is restricted, I reflect back to the time when my father who served in the United States Marine Corps for 30 years was deployed to Afghanistan and Iraq. I was 17 years old and 21 years old at the time. During both tours it was incredibly hard for me and my family as it was impossible to visit and communication was significantly limited. Periodically we would receive a call with a great amount of static in the background unaware of the true circumstances my father was facing. Email correspondence was secure so we also occasionally would receive an email message through a system called “Moto Mail”. A window visit, parade and FaceTime session was something we all yearned for at that time. Please know that I understand and feel what it means to not have the option to visit someone you care for deeply and empathize with you, and stand in support with you. We continue to pray for the day when operations resume as normal and we can open in a safe and methodical fashion.

As the Life Enrichment department stays busy we encourage you all to offer up suggestions and ideas to keep us connected with you and to keep your loved ones engaged at the community.

South Carolina currently has about 21,533 cases resulting in 621 deaths. York County has 728 Positive cases and 4,472 estimated cases.

 

WHAT WE ARE DOING TO STOP COVID-19 FROM IMPACTING OUR FACILITY:

  • Staying current with CDC guidelines
  • Staying current with DHEC Regulations and Guidance
  • Performed tests on all employees that work in the skilled nursing facility
  • Communal Style Dining has been restricted per CDC guidance
  • Repositioned our Infection Control/Preventionist Nurse to focus and monitor Infection Control strategies solely.
  • Group activities have been restricted per CDC guidance
  • Additional Supply of PPE received from FEME
  • ALL staff are wearing masks when in resident areas
  • Non-Essential staff are working remotely
  • Hospice restrictions implemented until further notice
  • Private sitters restricted until further notice
  • Daily temperature checks and screening for ALL EMPLOYEES and ESSENTIAL STAFF
  • Restricted visitation per Executive Order No. 2020-08 (End of Life only)
  • Disinfecting high touch areas with hospital grade disinfectants (Wipes, solutions etc.)

WHAT YOU CAN DO TO HELP STOP COVID-19:

  • Wash your hands frequently using soap and water for 20 seconds or more
  • Cover mouth or nose with tissue when coughing or sneezing (Cough into elbow if no tissue is available)
  • Don’t touch your face
  • Keep a safe distance (At least 6 feet apart)
  • Stay at home if you can
  • Wear a mask or cloth if you must go out

We are incredibly thankful for the strength, patience, and support that you all continue to show. We truly commend you for your ability to remain poised and positive during this time.

We encourage you to visit the CDC website and the DHEC website for the latest information and guidance related to COVID-19:

Please don’t hesitate to contact me directly with any questions comments or concerns.

 

Thank you,

Jim Thomason, CEO

Amy Laughlin, Director of Resident Services

Efren Z. Whitehead Jr., Associate Administrator

 


06/18/20

To: Independent Living Residents

From: Amy Laughlin, Director of Resident Services

Date: Thursday, June 18

Re: COVID-19 Update

 

Visitors/Outside Agencies/Outside Contractors

I have a received a number of requests from residents this week to permit someone other than a Westminster Towers employee enter the building from the outside. The request has varied from a family member to another private duty caregiver to a friend to a contracted service provider, and all the reasons given have been legitimate in the eyes of the resident making the request. Please know that at this time we are still only in Phase II of the Re-Opening Guide, and these individuals cannot be permitted entry to the building until Phase IV. It does not matter if the individual in question has received a negative COVID-19 test. Visitors, vendors and outside service providers are not permitted at this time – for the safety of all residents and employees at Westminster Towers. 

 

Visitors/Family Members on Campus

Please remember that while family members are welcome to drop off items at the front entrance, visitation anywhere on our campus is not permitted. CDC guidance for retirement communities suggests visitors avoid entering the facility, premises or residences, and advises restricting visitation, which is what we have been doing for more than three months. Assisted Living and Skilled Nursing Facilities are required by Executive Order 2020-08 to restrict all visitation, except for end-of-life situations. With significant increases of cases of COVID-19 in this area daily, it is hard to imagine why any Independent Living resident would want to put themselves and their neighbors at risk of illness or even death by visiting with family members on our campus. I know you are all anxious to see your families and friends – remember, you are welcome to visit with them off-campus, go on vacation with them or spend time at their houses, with the consequence of having the 14-day quarantine when you return to the Towers for the protection of everyone. 

 

Beauty Salon

Thank you for your concern about Cosmetologist Rhonda Watkins. Rhonda is fine and will be returning to work soon. There was a small outbreak of COVID-19 at her husband’s place of work and he was potentially exposed to the virus. He and Rhonda have both been tested and were negative, but for the safety of all staff and residents, we required Rhonda to stay away from Westminster Towers for at least 14 days. I do not yet have a date for the Beauty Salon re-opening, but I will let you know as soon as I do. If you have left a message for Rhonda about an appointment, there is no need to leave another message. Rhonda will call you to let you know when she will be able provide the services you need. 

 

Self-Isolation

Now the Dining Room is open again, a number of residents have stated that they are choosing to self-isolate instead of coming down for a meal. This is perfectly acceptable, and warrants free delivery of the daily meal, but please know that if you are self-isolating, you cannot participate in activities or classes, cannot use the gym or pool or putting green. It is very similar to being quarantined, only you are choosing to self-isolate for your own health. The only difference is that if you are self-isolating, you are still able to receive housekeeping and laundry services, but you cannot when you are quarantined. If you are participating in activities/classes, or using the pool, fitness room or putting green, you have not chosen to self-isolate and will be charged for the daily meal delivery.

Self-isolation is when you choose to protect yourself, and quarantine is when we ask you to protect the health of others in our Towers community

 

Elevators

We have been asked to increase the number of individuals permitted on an elevator at one time. I measured the elevators and determined that corner to corner, the elevators are just a little over six feet in length, meaning that only two individuals can safely social distance. I have marked blue crosses on the floor where residents should stand to ensure appropriate distance. However, if there are two residents who live in the same apartment, they may huddle around one blue cross and another resident stand on the other, meaning a maximum of three persons, or even four with two couples from only two apartments. 

 

Next Phase of Re-Opening?

We were hoping to go into Phase III of the Re-Opening Guide by the end of June. Phase III highlights include regular bus transportation being provided again to Towers-approved grocery stores and pharmacies, and residents not being subject to the 14-day quarantine after going off the Towers campus. Due to the significant spike in cases of COVID-19 over the last week both in York County and in the state of South Carolina as a whole, it is very unlikely that we will be moving into Phase III any time soon. Please continue to be patient and enjoy the programs and services available at the Towers.

 


06/12/20

Subject: Westminster Health Center and Manor

Hello Westminster Health Center and Manor family,

We understand that as the time passes by, the anticipation to visit those you love the most, continually grows. We share the feeling with you as we certainly long for the days when all families, friends, and visitors can return and be reunited.

We havre received numerous inquiries about the duration of the visitation restrictions, and we wanted to take some time to speak to those concerns. DHEC has issues a reminder on 06/05/2020 to all providers that visitation restrictions are still in effect for all nursing homes and assisted living facilities.

Despite the visitation restrictions, window visits are permitted and encouraged! Our residents and staff certainly appreciate them. Our Life Enrichment team has done, and continues to do, a phenomenal job of coordinating and holding FaceTime visits. We have invested in a stand which holds our iPads so that team members can exit the room allowing privacy during the call as well. We hope that our Facebook page has kept you connected to the community and allowed you to be right here among us, in a sense, throughout the journey. Please contact Jennifer Allen (Director of Life Enrichment) for access to the webpage.

Don’t miss out on the opportunity to see your loved one during our next scheduled, socially distances parade which will be held on Friday 06/19/2020 at 11:00 am for the Health Center, and Friday 06/26/2020 at 9:30 am for The Manor! This is a great time to come out and circle the driveway and celebrate your loved one! (Feel free to shout and cheer as much as you would like).

South Carolina currently has about 16,441 cases resulting in 588 deaths. York County has 557 positive cases and 3,422 estimated cases.

It is undetermined how long we will remain visitor free, but as you can see, as the numbers continue to rend upward, we want to remain cautious. Please continue to do your part to remain safe!

 

WHAT WE ARE DOING TO STOP COVID-19 FROM IMPACTING OUR FACILITY:

  • Staying current with CDC guidelines
  • Staying current with DHEC Regulations and Guidance
  • Performed tests on all employees that work in the skilled nursing facility
  • Communal Style Dining has been restricted per CDC guidance
  • Repositioned our Infection Control/Preventionist Nurse to focus and monitor Infection Control strategies solely.
  • Group activities have been restricted per CDC guidance
  • Additional Supply of PPE received from FEME
  • ALL staff are wearing masks when in resident areas
  • Non-Essential staff are working remotely
  • Hospice restrictions implemented until further notice
  • Private sitters restricted until further notice
  • Daily temperature checks and screening for ALL EMPLOYEES and ESSENTIAL STAFF
  • Restricted visitation per Executive Order No. 2020-08 (End of Life only)
  • Disinfecting high touch areas with hospital grade disinfectants (Wipes, solutions etc.)

WHAT YOU CAN DO TO HELP STOP COVID-19:

  • Wash your hands frequently using soap and water for 20 seconds or more
  • Cover mouth or nose with tissue when coughing or sneezing (Cough into elbow if no tissue is available)
  • Don’t touch your face
  • Keep a safe distance (At least 6 feet apart)
  • Stay at home if you can
  • Wear a mask or cloth if you must go out

We are incredibly thankful for the strength, patience, and support that you all continue to show. We truly commend you for your ability to remain poised and positive during this time.

We encourage you to visit the CDC website and the DHEC website for the latest information and guidance related to COVID-19:

Please don’t hesitate to contact me directly with any questions comments or concerns.

 

Thank you,

Jim Thomason, CEO

Amy Laughlin, Director of Resident Services

Efren Z. Whitehead Jr., Associate Administrator

 


06/10/20

To: Independent Living Residents

From: Amy Laughlin, Director of Resident Services

Re: Re-Opening Update

I am happy to share good news: barring any last minutes issues, we plan to transition into Phase II of the Independent Living Re-Opening on Monday, June 15. 

This means that the Dining Room will open for daily meal service and the maximum number of participants in wellness classes and activities will increase to 20. Daily mail delivery to individual apartments will cease except for residents who are self-isolating or quarantined. 

 

Culinary Services

Yesterday Chef Rick met with the Executive Committee of the Residents’ Association to outline the changes to the meal service. He highlighted the additional measures implemented to promote social distancing and increased infection control and clearly described the expectations of both residents and staff to ensure safety for all. Although the salad bar and hot buffet cannot be used for their intended purposes, you will see them being utilized in a different way, plus the Café area will be staffed and busy with sandwich preparation. If you have not already done so, please turn in your survey with your selected mealtime and tablemate. You will receive further information from Chef Rick and his team this Friday, including confirmation of your mealtime and table number. 

Please remember that there is nowhere to wait prior to meals or activities beginning. Residents cannot be socially distanced in the Lounge area, so this area will continue to be closed until further notice. Do not plan to arrive early, as you will be asked to leave until your mealtime begins. 

The daily Coffee Cart will continue until June 30. 

 

Quarantine

The 14-day quarantine will still be in effect for anyone who leaves campus, including for church services, personal errands and medical appointments. We recognize that many businesses and organizations have measures in place to try to limit the spread of the virus, but every situation is different. We can only control what happens inside our building; therefore staying inside the building is by far the safest option for you, as vulnerable individuals. 

If you are quarantined, you are encouraged to self-monitor for symptoms if illness, including fever, cough, sore throat, body aches and shortness of breath. If you do not have a thermometer, HomeBridge can come to your apartment and take your temperature by request for a $4.00 fee. Please do not leave your apartment to come to the front desk to have your temperature taken, as this would mean you are not staying away from others, therefore violating the quarantine restrictions. 

If you are going out to appointments, try to schedule a cluster of appointments over a couple of days, and also maybe see your family or a close friend during this time. I am seeing many residents go out for one appointment, get quarantined and then come off quarantine in time to go to another appointment! Be smart with your scheduling so that you aren’t constantly quarantined, and also get to see some of the people you love the most.  

 

Self-Isolation

It is important that you let us know if you are planning to self-isolate once Phase II begins. Some residents are choosing to self-isolate because they are concerned about their health and well-being. If you are self-isolating you cannot leave your apartment except to go to the trash chute or laundry room, or to walk outside. We will still deliver meals and mail to you at no charge. You will continue to receive Housekeeping services if self-isolating, unless you prefer not to. You cannot self-isolate and participate in programs, use the pool/gym etc. 

 

Timeline for Next Phases of Re-Opening

Unfortunately there has been a significant increase in the number of COVID-19 cases in our area: June 8 had the highest ever number of daily new cases in the state, 514 in a single day. Far from flattening the curve, the number of cases continues to climb daily. We are concerned for the safety of residents going out and about in the community, and for those they come into contact with upon their return to the Towers. With this in mind, please do not put all your hopes on going into Phase III in “late June” – it may well be later, and then of course Phase IV would be pushed back as well. 

(Phase III is when you can out without being quarantined upon return, and Phase IV is when approved visitors would be permitted to enter the building) 

There are other CCRCs in our area with cases of COVID-19 in the double-digits, including high-end retirement communities in Charlotte. We have been very fortunate thus far and will not change what has been successful in keeping the virus out. 

We continue encourage you to wear a face mask when out of your apartment, wash your hands frequently or use alcohol-based hand-rub and to stay away from anyone who is sick. Now the weather has warmed up, if you are going out to walk, remember to drink plenty of fluids to stay hydrated. 

Huge THANKS to our team of staff on the front line for providing exceptional care and services during this difficult time; their sincere compassion and love for all of you is evident. Hats off to Environmental Services, Culinary Services, Life Enrichment, Receptionists, Campus Care Partners, and Maintenance!

 


06/05/20

Hello Westminster Health and Rehab family,

I pray that you are all remaining strong during a time where things may seem grim and uncertain. I encourage you all to forge ahead with confidence, faith and solidarity. The months have flown by as we are at the halfway mark for the year 2020. It’s been a bit bumpy to say the least however we remain hopeful for brighter days.

We completed the final phase of the DHEC testing at this point and submitted the compiled data on 05/27/2020. On Tuesday 06/02/2020 we participated in a visit from DHEC. DHEC has authorized surveyors to travel to skilled nursing facilities throughout the state and conduct what is referred to as an “Informational Survey”. During the informational survey a multitude of things were inspected related to COVID-19 preparedness/Infection Control to include: policies, procedures, staff/resident protocols, visitation policy and procedures, compliance with wearing masks, supply inventory/PPE and environmental cleanliness. We conducted a facility tour with the surveyor and also answered many questions related to our standards of practice. Our certified unit was the focal point which includes our 22 Medicare certified beds on the first floor. During our exit conference with the surveyor no findings or deficiencies were noted.

We are extremely proud of and thankful for our staff “The COVID Crushers” who continue to display strength, resilience and grit while providing compassionate care for our residents.

South Carolina currently has about 13,005 cases resulting in 525 deaths. York County has 433 Positive cases and 2,660 estimated cases.

These numbers will continue to increase and show no signs of slowing down. Despite the relaxed nature of the community around you, it is imperative that you stay alert and keep your guard up to remain safe and reduce transmission of COVID-19. YOU MUST DO YOUR PART.

WHAT WE ARE DOING TO STOP COVID-19 FROM IMPACTING OUR FACILITY:

  • Staying current with CDC guidelines
  • Staying current with DHEC Regulations and Guidance
  • Performed tests on all employees that work in the skilled nursing facility
  • Communal Style Dining has been restricted per CDC guidance
  • Repositioned our Infection Control/Preventionist Nurse to focus and monitor Infection Control strategies solely.
  • Group activities have been restricted per CDC guidance
  • Additional Supply of PPE received from FEME
  • ALL staff are wearing masks when in resident areas
  • Non-Essential staff are working remotely
  • Hospice restrictions implemented until further notice
  • Private sitters restricted until further notice
  • Daily temperature checks and screening for ALL EMPLOYEES and ESSENTIAL STAFF
  • Restricted visitation per Executive Order No. 2020-08 (End of Life only)
  • Disinfecting high touch areas with hospital grade disinfectants (Wipes, solutions etc.)

WHAT YOU CAN DO TO HELP STOP COVID-19:

  • Wash your hands frequently using soap and water for 20 seconds or more
  • Cover mouth or nose with tissue when coughing or sneezing (Cough into elbow if no tissue is available)
  • Don’t touch your face
  • Keep a safe distance (At least 6 feet apart)
  • Stay at home if you can
  • Wear a mask or cloth if you must go out

We are incredibly thankful for the thank you notes, lunches and love that you continue to show the team. Your support and encouragement is greatly appreciated and needed.

Keep at it, Keep at it, Keep at it! This is far from over and we need you every step of the way to get through this.

I encourage you to visit the CDC website and the DHEC website for the latest information and guidance related to COVID-19:

Please don’t hesitate to contact me directly with any questions comments or concerns.

Thank you,

Efren Z. Whitehead Jr.

 


05/25/20

Hello Westminster Health and Rehab family,

As you are aware DHEC provided test kits to all South Carolina Skilled Nursing Facilities. We transformed our multipurpose room called Heritage Hall into the COVID-testing Center on Monday 05/11/2020 through 05/12/2020. We have completed the testing for all residents and staff and the final results have come in. We are in the process of completing the final step to conclude the testing which involves data collection. The data will then be submitted to DHEC by 05/29/2020. We are very happy with our results and understand that this is the time to increase and heighten our level of awareness, safety and cautiousness. We have no residents that tested positive with COVID-19.

Here at Westminster Health and Rehab we are fully onboard and understand the responsibility that each of us has to protect our residents, our families and ourselves. We vow to not let the results give us a false sense of security as COVID-19 is alive and well.

 

Please see the breakdown of the results of Westminster Health and Rehabilitation:

TOTAL TESTS: 150
NEGATIVE CASES: 148
POSITIVE CASES: 2

South Carolina currently has about 10,096 cases resulting in 435 deaths. York County has 340 Positive cases and 2,089 estimated cases. The numbers continue to increase as projected. As the community begins to open up around you please, do your part to remain safe as we will be doing the same. This is your responsibility as it is ours.

 

WHAT WE ARE DOING TO STOP COVID-19 FROM IMPACTING OUR FACILITY:

  • Staying current with CDC guidelines
  • Staying current with DHEC Regulations and Guidance
  • Performed tests on all employees that work in the skilled nursing facility
  • Communal Style Dining has been restricted per CDC guidance
  • Repositioned our Infection Control/Preventionist Nurse to focus and monitor Infection Control strategies solely.
  • Group activities have been restricted per CDC guidance
  • Additional Supply of PPE ordered and secured (Includes shoe covers)
  • ALL staff are wearing masks when in resident areas
  • Non-Essential staff are working remotely
  • Hospice restrictions implemented until further notice
  • Private sitters restricted until further notice
  • Daily temperature checks and screening for ALL EMPLOYEES and ESSENTIAL STAFF
  • Restricted visitation per Executive Order No. 2020-08 (End of Life only)
  • Disinfecting high touch areas with hospital grade disinfectants (Wipes, solutions etc.)

 

WHAT YOU CAN DO TO HELP STOP COVID-19:

  • Wash your hands frequently using soap and water for 20 seconds or more
  • Cover mouth or nose with tissue when coughing or sneezing (Cough into elbow if no tissue is available)
  • Don’t touch your face
  • Keep a safe distance (At least 6 feet apart)
  • Stay at home if you can
  • Wear a mask or cloth if you must go out

This Memorial Day, please honor the men and woman that answered the call to serve this beautiful country and lost their lives with a moment of silence, reflection and gratitude. (Taps)

Don’t grow weary, don’t get discouraged and keep your faith clutched tightly.

I encourage you to visit the CDC website and the DHEC website for the latest information and guidance related to COVID-19:

Please don’t hesitate to contact me directly with any questions comments or concerns.

Thank you,

Efren Z. Whitehead Jr.

 


05/07/20

To: Westminster Towers Residents, Staff, and Families

From: James R. Thomason, CEO · Efren Z. Whitehead, Jr. · Amy Laughlin

Subject: COVID-19 Update

We have several updates to share with you. I wish so much that we could do this in person but with social distancing and limits to 10 people gathering at one time, we are restricted! We sure miss seeing all of you out and about on campus. It is a joy to serve as your leaders.

 

COVID TESTING UPDATES

As you know we have tested residents and staff as needed regarding the COVID19 staff member in the Health Center. So far, all tests that have been reported back to us from the lab have been negative. We are still awaiting some results. As results arrive, we share those with the individuals. We will keep you updated. The lab has been inundated with thousands of tests, so volume is high.

 

TESTING ALL SKILLED NURSING RESIDENTS

You may have seen today that DHEC is going to test all residents and staff in Skilled Nursing Facilities in South Carolina. It will be done in three phases. Our residents and staff will be tested next Monday, May 11. DHEC is providing test kits free of charge to all SC facilities. This is being done in many states across the USA. We are prepared to participate in this testing and volunteered to be in the phase one group along with other highly respected CCRC’s in South Carolina. Management and staff have met to prepare for the testing. Based on the test results both DHEC and the CDC have proactively provided specific guidance on how to respond. For whatever reason, this testing does not include our Manor or Towers residents, only the Health Center.

 

INCREASED SOCIAL ACTIVITES AND GRILL-TO-GO ORDERS DELIVERED

There was a productive meeting with the Resident Association Officers to discuss specific steps to start increasing socialization in a very safe way. This includes opening the Courtyard and Dining Room Patio with socially distanced chairs. We will soon start small group activities in Heritage Hall. Since we are a DHEC licensed restaurant we are monitoring Gov. McMaster’s opening requirements. Everything we do will be done with safety in mind. Our short order service and menu will start soon. Amy will provide details for these steps moving us toward more familiar routines.

Our success will depend on continued healthy compliance by residents and staff alike. The country is moving forward even with the pandemic still not totally under control and the death toll still climbing. None of us want to relax safety. We also want to see each other, just safely. Thanks for being patient with us and one another.

 

OUTSIDE AGENCIES AND HOSPICES

Our current policy on restrictions of outside caregiving agencies and Hospices is being renewed through Tuesday, May 19th. We are continually reviewing this policy and will update you.


05/01/20

To: Westminster Health and Rehabilitation Center Residents and Family Members

From: James R. Thomason

Efren Z. Whitehead, Jr.

Date: May 1, 2020

Subject: COVID-19 Update

On April 27, a Health Center staff member disclosed they may have been exposed to COVID-19 at a location away from Westminster. This staff member was removed from the schedule immediately as per our procedures to begin a self-quarantine. The staff member was tested on April 28, and on April 30, the report was positive for COVID-19. We immediately notified DHEC after the staff member called us with the result. We are cooperating with DHEC fully and are most grateful for their partnership and guidance during this challenging time.

Our Medical Director has authorized COVID-19 testing for all residents and staff with whom the staff member came in contact. Testing is being done today and sent to the lab. You will be notified if your family member is being tested. You will be notified of results as soon as we receive them, probably the first of next week. As of today, no residents or staff have exhibited any signs or symptoms of COVID-19. CDC guidance for long term care facilities is specific to disclose when there is a reported case. Also, CDC guidance is specific to protect the individual privacy of the staff member. We ask you pray for comfort and strength for the affected staff member and for that matter all staff who heroically daily care for your loved ones.

Situations like this remind us the importance of wearing masks, practicing social distancing, and operating with openness and honesty. We are very thankful this employee was honest with us all along the way as per our requirements.

Additionally, we have no reported Covid-19 cases for any staff or residents in our Independent Living or Manor. This is a reminder that our staff are assigned to one area of our operation to the greatest extent possible to avoid possible cross over infection. I urge all residents to continue to shelter in place and follow CDC and DHEC guidelines we have been promoting for weeks. Remember, we can provide you a mask at the front desk. Just call X5000 and we can send one up to you.

Despite our challenges, it is a great joy to serve you campus wide as your CEO and for Efren to serve the residents and staff in the Health Center. We are committed to all of you and our anchored Mission and Ministry.

Thank you for your understanding and support.

Cc:  SC Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) Westminster Towers Independent Living Residents, Manor (Assisted Living) Residents, Staff Members


04/28/20

Good morning Westminster Health and Rehab Family,

Another week has begun and we have no confirmed cases of COVID-19 or residents exhibiting any signs or symptoms of COVID-19 in our facility at this time! We continue to march in confidence and remain encouraged despite the current situation.

We are following guidance provided by the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC). We are staying current with the ever-changing guidelines while educating staff for implementation. The staff have been working incredibly hard to ensure that we remain on the front end of all guidance provided.

The numbers never lie South Carolina currently has about 5,613 cases resulting in 177 deaths. York County has 186 Positive cases and 1,142 estimated cases. The numbers continue to increase and it is extremely important that you not let your guard down. Continue to you do your part to reduce the likelihood of further spreading COVID-19 and to reduce your chances of contracting it as well.

I’m very proud of our bold and courageous staff that continue to provide phenomenal care to your loved ones daily. We don’t know when things will conclude however we intend to stay the course as it relates to restrictions and following best practices even after numbers of new cases begin to decrease.

WHAT WE ARE DOING TO STOP COVID-19 FROM IMPACTING OUR FACILITY:

  • Staying current with CDC guidelines
  • Staying current with DHEC Regulations and Guidance
  • Communal Style Dining has been restricted per CDC guidance
  • Repositioned our Infection Control/Preventionist Nurse to focus and monitor Infection Control strategies solely.
  • Group activities have been restricted per CDC guidance
  • Additional Supply of PPE ordered and secured (Includes shoe covers)
  • ALL staff are wearing masks when in resident areas
  • Non-Essential staff are working remotely
  • Hospice restrictions implemented for additional 14 days (Limited to Physician accompanied by a nurse)
  • Private sitters restricted for additional 14 days.
  • Daily temperature checks and screening for ALL EMPLOYEES and ESSENTIAL STAFF
  • Restricted visitation per Executive Order No. 2020-08 (End of Life only)
  • Disinfecting high touch areas with hospital grade disinfectants (Wipes, solutions etc.)

WHAT YOU CAN DO TO HELP STOP COVID-19

  • Wash your hands frequently using soap and water for 20 seconds or more
  • Cover mouth or nose with tissue when coughing or sneezing (Cough into elbow if no tissue is available)
  • Don’t touch your face
  • Keep a safe distance (At least 6 feet apart)
  • Stay at home if you can (Utilize a mask or cloth if you must go out)

Don’t forget our Item Drop-off service!

Drop your loved ones items off and allow us to do the rest!

Item drop off takes place from 8:00 AM- 10:00 AM and from 1:00 PM – 3:00 PM Monday-Friday (Weekday Only)

Your items should be clearly labeled with the resident name and room number so that each package can be delivered accurately and timely.

NOTE: The item drop off time periods are not visitation hours, we will simply have staff available to transport your items to your family member on your behalf.

If you would like to coordinate an electronic visit (FaceTime or Skype) with your loved one please contact our Life Enrichment department.

NOTE: An electronic visit is not an actual visit to the facility, this visit will use electronic means to connect you with your loved one such as FaceTime or Skype.

Is your mask on properly? Check out the fun reminder attached about wearing a mask that you should utilize if going out into the community!

THANK YOU for your continued patience, compliance and strength that you have all demonstrated at this time. The unity that you have displayed and continue to display is refreshing.

We encourage you to review the CDC website for information about COVID-19, including its symptoms, how it spreads, and actions you can take to protect your health: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html.

Please don’t hesitate to reach out to me with any questions comments or concerns.

God bless,

Efren

The Proper Way to Wear a Mask Starring: Efren Zimbilist Whitehead Jr.

MASK_DEMO (002)


04/27/20

To: Independent Living Residents

From: Amy Laughlin, Director of Resident Services

Date: Monday, April 27, 2020

Re: COVID-19 Update

Thank you for all your questions about the tornado warning on Saturday evening. Our policy states that in the case of a tornado warning, residents should go down to the basement using the elevators and shelter-in-place until the warning has passed. However, this does not take into account the current quarantine restrictions, nor the amount of time it may take to safely evacuate 150+ residents to the basement. With this in mind, we suggest the following procedure: upon hearing the sirens or receiving notification of a tornado warning, residents should shelter-in-place in their bathroom or walk-in closet. We are conducting an internal review of this policy and also discussing with the Fire Marshall if we should make any temporary changes to the Fire Plan during this time.

This weekend I was reminded about something I studied many years ago in a basic Psychology class: Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. Abraham Maslow published an influential paper in 1943 entitled A Theory of Human Motivation, in which he proposed that healthy human beings have a variety of needs, and once one group of needs is met, the individual can move up the pyramid, eventually realizing “self-actualization” when all their needs are met and their full human potential is achieved. (See diagram on the other side of the paper.) During this time of quarantine, many of us are discovering that some of the basic human needs that we took for granted are no longer being met, for example, our needs for companionship, for love and for social connection. Despite phone calls and video chats, we feel isolated and alone. We eat meals alone. We take exercise alone. We stay in our homes alone. We cannot spend time with those we love the most. Humans are social beings and we take comfort from living in community; in belonging and being part of an extended family. I am thankful that I get to come to work every day, but, as an extrovert, I miss seeing my friends enormously. I miss the social interaction and encouragement of my gym buddies. I miss Saturday morning coffee with girlfriends. I miss going out on date night, and meeting the family for Sunday lunch. However, I am grateful that my physical needs are still being met, as well as my needs for safety and security. I recognize that these are unprecedented times – very few people alive today have ever experienced a public health crisis on this level before. Feelings of sadness, frustration, boredom, loneliness and fear are all normal, and most are being felt by the majority of the population! Our social connection has been cut – so that our physical and security needs can be met. It’s no fun, but it’s part of the process of combatting this virus that has devastated so many lives.

We are beginning to have conversations about when and how the restrictions at the Towers will be lifted. The highest priority will always be given to protecting the health and safety (i.e. physical and security needs) of the vulnerable people who live on our campus, but an intentionally staged plan is being developed and will be shared at the appropriate time. Until then, remain in your apartment as much as possible, keep social distancing and stay well.

 

Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs (1943)


04/21/20

To: Independent Living Residents

From: Amy Laughlin, Director of Resident Services

Date: Tuesday, April 21, 2020

Re: COVID-19 Update

According to the SC Department of Health and Environmental Control, there are currently 4,439 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in our state, 159 of those in York County. Statistical analysis shows that there are also likely to be 977 estimated but unconfirmed cases in York County, bringing the total to 1,136. Despite positive news on declining death rates and decreasing numbers of new cases in other parts of the country, South Carolina has not yet seen the true 14 days of decreasing numbers of new cases, a guideline President Trump cited as a necessary before states should begin easing state-at-home orders and reopening non-essential businesses.

South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster yesterday issued Executive Order 2020-28, modifying previous Executive Orders. The new Order states that public beach access is to be opened again, beginning today at 12:00pm, as well as public piers, docks and wharfs, although local authorities have the right to restrict access if there is still a public health concern. Governor McMaster also ordered the incremental modification of non-essential business closures, effectively re-opening furniture and home-furnishing stores, clothing and shoes stores, jewelry and luggage stores, department stores, sporting goods stores, book, craft and music stores, flea markets and florists. These re-opened stores must adhere to certain guidance about reduced occupancy rates, social distancing practices and sanitation. His comments during the press conference reminded SC residents that “we are still in a very serious situation”, the virus is “deadly to our older citizens” and that we need to continue to be “strict with social discipline.”

The coronavirus is still very much active in our local community. The goal at Westminster Towers during this pandemic is to keep all residents safe and healthy, and decisions made are with the greater good of all our residents and staff members in mind. Jim Thomason, Allison Matthews and I met with the Executive Committee of the Residents’ Association this afternoon to get their valued feedback on the Governor’s Order and the potential impact on the safety of all Towers residents. Both management and the RA Executive Committee are in agreement that all current restrictions at Westminster Towers should continue for the near future: the practice of no visitors, greatly limited private caregivers, limiting Independent Living residents to the Towers campus unless their wish to self-isolate, no communal dining and no communal activities/programs. The CDC has not changed its guidance for retirement communities, citing the need for more stringent practices of infection control if the retirement community has a connected Assisted Living or Skilled Nursing Facility. We are glad to see people begin to return to work and for the local economy to slowly restart, but not at the expense of the lives of the vulnerable individuals we serve. Management and the RA Executive Committee will meet weekly to continue discussions on when the time will be right to begin for life to return to “normal” at the Towers.

Quick reminder – if you have a car in the parking lot, don’t forget to start it up weekly to keep the battery juiced. You may drive it around the campus if you need to.

Many thanks to all of you for your continued kind words of encouragement and for your patience. We know this has been a long and frustrating journey, and I feel sure we still have a way to go. Stay well!


 

04/20/20

Good morning Westminster Health and Rehab Family,

We continue to move forward as we begin a new week keeping staff and residents safe and battling to Crush COVID-19!  We remain encouraged and determined, so please continue cheering us on!

At this time there are no confirmed cases of COVID-19 or residents exhibiting any signs or symptoms of COVID-19 in our facility and we are extremely grateful for that.

We continue to follow guidance provided by the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC). We are staying current with the ever-changing guidelines while educating staff for implementation. The staff have been working incredibly hard to ensure that we remain on the front end of all guidance provided.

South Carolina currently has about 4,377 cases with 156 Positive cases and 958 estimated cases in York County. It is extremely important that you do your part to reduce the likelihood of further spreading COVID-19 and to reduce your chances of contracting it as well.

We will continue to take a strict stance as it relates to measures and restrictions to decrease the likelihood of facility exposure to COVID-19. We will be extending our restriction time frame on Private sitters along with our Hospice partners to an additional 14 days at a minimum. Private sitters will not be allowed in the facility and Hospice will be permitted with a Physician accompanied by a nurse performing visits/rounds.

The commitment that our staff continues to show is commendable to say the least.  I encourage you to take some time to show your love and support by doing anything you can to boost morale. Examples could include written notes, delivered lunch, wellness checks/calls to say thanks and whatever else your heart desires. Continue showing support as we continue climbing this obstacle together.

We are so THANKFUL and APPRECIATIVE for those of you that have provided lunch, reached out to encourage us and continue to run this race with us.

WHAT WE ARE DOING TO STOP COVID-19 FROM IMPACTING OUR FACILITY:

  • Staying current with CDC guidelines
  • Staying current with DHEC Regulations and Guidance
  • Communal Style Dining has been restricted per CDC guidance
  • Repositioned our Infection Control/Preventionist Nurse to focus and monitor Infection Control strategies solely.
  • Group activities have been restricted per CDC guidance
  • Additional Supply of PPE ordered and secured (Includes shoe covers)
  • ALL staff are wearing masks when in resident areas
  • Non-Essential staff are working remotely
  • Hospice restrictions implemented for additional 14 days (Limited to Physician accompanied by a nurse)
  • Private sitters restricted for additional 14 days.
  • Daily temperature checks and screening for ALL EMPLOYEES and ESSENTIAL STAFF
  • Restricted visitation per Executive Order No. 2020-08 (End of Life only)
  • Disinfecting high touch areas with hospital grade disinfectants (Wipes, solutions etc.)

WHAT YOU CAN DO TO HELP STOP COVID-19

  • Wash your hands frequently using soap and water for 20 seconds or more
  • Cover mouth or nose with tissue when coughing or sneezing (Cough into elbow if no tissue is available)
  • Don’t touch your face
  • Keep a safe distance (At least 6 feet apart)
  • Stay at home if you can (Utilize a mask or cloth if you must go out)

Don’t forget our Item Drop-off service!

Drop your loved ones items off and allow us to do the rest!

Item drop off takes place from 8:00 AM – 10:00 AM and from 1:00 PM – 3:00 PM Monday-Friday (Weekday Only)

Your items should be clearly labeled with the resident name and room number so that each package can be delivered accurately and timely.

NOTE: The item drop off time periods are not visitation hours, we will simply have staff available to transport your items to your family member on your behalf.

If you would like to coordinate an electronic visit (FaceTime or Skype) with your loved one please contact our Life Enrichment department.

NOTE: An electronic visit is not an actual visit to the facility, this visit will use electronic means to connect you with your loved one such as FaceTime or Skype.

I thank you all for your trust and belief in our team as we work to provide your loved one the highest degree of care, safety and hospitality through it all.

We encourage you to review the CDC website for information about COVID-19, including its symptoms, how it spreads, and actions you can take to protect your health: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html.

Please don’t hesitate to reach out to me with any questions comments or concerns.

God bless,

Efren


04/16/20

To: Independent Living Residents

From: Amy Laughlin, Director of Resident Services

Date: Thursday, April 16, 2020

Re: COVID-19 Update

  • I hope you enjoyed Ansel Couch’s musical performance this morning. If you missed it, it will be broadcast again tomorrow (Friday) at 2:00pm on Channel 98, the church’s cable channel.
  • Due to the overwhelming popularity of the Fitness Room, starting next week residents will only be able to sign up for four timeslots per week. This is to ensure more residents have the opportunity to use the equipment. Please call 803-984-3893 to sign up for a 30 minute timeslot.
  • I’m glad to see so many people getting outside and enjoying the spring weather! Remember you are welcome to walk or cycle outside, or even sit in a secluded spot on campus and enjoy the sunshine. However, you must keep your distance from others when you are outside and either exercise alone or with the person with whom you share an apartment.
  • With your next mail delivery you will receive a brochure about the National Day of Prayer. These brochures offer scripture and prayer suggestions for those who feel called to be involved with this day on May 7. They were ordered by a resident who desired to share this opportunity with all Towers residents, as it is likely we will still be quarantine on May 7 and therefore unable to have a National Day of Prayer group gathering on campus.
  • Cami Freeman is back on the Independent Living side of campus! She has been working in the Health Center for several weeks, doing one-on-one activities with Health Center residents and many other tasks to encourage and uplift them. Cami is available to visit you in your apartment and provide you with any needed activities supplies. She is also part of the team who is sanitizing the equipment and commonly-touched surfaces in the Fitness Room, Courtyard/Putting Green and Art Studio. Call her at ext. 5018 if you need her.

Stay well!


04/14/20

To: Independent Living Residents

From: Amy Laughlin, Director of Resident Services

Date: Tuesday, April 14, 2020

Re: COVID-19 Update

According the SC Department of Health and Environmental Control, confirmed cases of COVID-19 now stand at 3,439 in the state, and 136 in York County. Of the 87 COVID-19 deaths in the state, 3 of them were in York County. Despite national news reports of the number of new cases slowing, and a potential “flattening of the curve,” it is imperative that we stay vigilant about infection control to keep the coronavirus out of Westminster Towers.

Please note the following:

  • You may leave your apartment for an appointment at the Riverview Clinic in the basement, and will not be subject to a 14-day quarantine. Make sure you call to schedule an appointment and do not arrive too early – you do not want to sit in a waiting area in close contact with other residents.
  • If you need stamps, please call the Receptionist and let her know how many you need. Your stamps will be delivered with your next mail delivery and be added to your bill. Outgoing mail should be placed on your shelf or table outside your door by 11:00am, Mon-Fri. Please do not leave your apartment to purchase stamps or drop off outgoing mail.
  • We received notification from DHEC yesterday that our swimming pool will have to close. Although our pool is located on private property, it is not a private pool. It is licensed as a type-B commercial swimming pool, similar to a pool in an apartment complex or at a hotel. I know this will be very sad news to our residents who use the pool daily for exercise. This is effective immediately, and we will re-open as soon as the Governor’s orders permits.

On March 31, 2020 Governor McMaster issued executive order 2020-17.  This order directed several “non-essential” businesses, venues, facilities, services, and activities to remain closed to non-employees and not be open for access or use by the public.  The closures included spas and public or commercial swimming pools.  These types of business entities were required to close by Wednesday, April 1, 2020 at 5:00 pm and remain closed until the SC state of emergency ends or is lifted by the Governor. SC Swimming Pool regulations R.61-51 define a public pool as one not built in connection with a family residence or duplex and confined to their use.

  • Starting tomorrow, the Fitness Room will be open 6:00-11:00am and also 2:00-6:00pm. The Putting Green/Courtyard and the Arts & Crafts Room will also be available for use during these hours. Please call 803-984-3893 to sign up for a 30 minute timeslot. Each area will be sanitized between uses. Only one resident may use these spaces at any time, or two residents if they live in the same apartment.
  • I have been working with Westminster Presbyterian Church to arrange for some live music to be broadcast on Channel 99 for you! On Thursday at 11:00am turn to Channel 99 for live music from singer/guitarist Ansel Couch. Ansel is very excited to be our “guinea pig” for this project – fingers crossed all the technology works as it should!
  • Residents who leave the campus are still subject to a 14-day quarantine upon your return. I understand that some people have urgent medical appointments, or they are in the middle of a treatment regimen they cannot stop. We do not advise that you miss urgent medical appointments. You will receive a colored card with your mail delivery containing the start date and end date of your quarantine. If you are under quarantine you may leave your apartment only to go to the laundry room or trash chute, or to take walks/exercise outside. You should not be mixing with any other residents or staff at any time when under quarantine. Your housekeeping and applicable laundry services cease until your quarantine is over.

Please let me know if you have any more questions.

Stay well!


04/13/20

Good morning Westminster Health and Rehab Family,

I pray that everyone had a blessed Easter Weekend with friends and family (Social distanced of course) and that you used the significance of the holiday to reflect, reenergize and recharge yourselves with a reminder about who ultimately has the final say and who will bring us through all of this.

I can’t thank you all enough for the endurance, and understanding that you have shown the team during this time.

We are thankful, fortunate and blessed as there are no confirmed cases of COVID-19 or residents exhibiting any signs or symptoms of COVID-19 in our facility at this time.

We continue to follow any and all guidance provided by the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC).

South Carolina currently has about 3,205 cases with 127 Reported cases in York County. It is extremely important that you do your part to reduce the likelihood of further spreading COVID-19 and to reduce your chances of contracting it as well. Please click the link below for helpful information from DHEC.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KHigblidb58&feature=youtu.be

Our staff has been and continues to work incredibly hard as we all navigate through this. I encourage you to take some time to show your love and support by doing anything you can to boost morale. Examples could include written notes, delivered lunch, wellness checks/calls to say thanks and whatever else your heart desires. Continue showing support as we continue climbing this obstacle together.

WHAT WE ARE DOING TO STOP COVID-19 FROM IMPACTING OUR FACILITY:

  • Strictly following and staying current with CDC guidelines
  • Strictly following and staying current with DHEC Regulations and Guidance
  • Communal Style Dining has been restricted per CDC guidance
  • Test kits have been secured
  • Group activities have been restricted per CDC guidance
  • Additional Supply of PPE ordered and secured (Includes shoe covers)
  • ALL staff are wearing masks when in resident areas
  • Non-Essential staff are working remotely
  • Hospice restrictions implemented for at least 14 days (Limited to Physician accompanied by a nurse)
  • Private sitters restricted for at least 14 days.
  • Daily temperature checks and screening for ALL EMPLOYEES and ESSENTIAL STAFF
  • Restricted visitation per Executive Order No. 2020-08 (End of Life only)
  • Disinfecting high touch areas with hospital grade disinfectants (Wipes, solutions etc.)

WHAT YOU CAN DO TO HELP STOP COVID-19

  • Wash your hands frequently using soap and water for 20 seconds or more
  • Cover mouth or nose with tissue when coughing or sneezing (Cough into elbow if no tissue is available)
  • Don’t touch your face
  • Keep a safe distance (At least 6 feet apart)
  • Stay at home if you can (Utilize a mask or cloth if you must go out)

Westminster Health and Rehab is offering an Item Drop-off service.

Drop your loved ones items off and allow us to do the rest!

Item drop off takes place from 8:00 AM – 10:00 AM and from 1:00 PM – 3:00 PM Monday-Friday (Weekday Only)

Your items should be clearly labeled with the resident name and room number so that each package can be delivered accurately and timely.

NOTE: The item drop off time periods are not visitation hours, we will simply have staff available to transport your items to your family member on your behalf.

If you would like to coordinate an electronic visit (FaceTime or Skype) with your loved one please contact our Life Enrichment department.

NOTE: An electronic visit is not an actual visit to the facility, this visit will use electronic means to connect you with your loved one such as FaceTime or Skype.

We will continue to move forward and we will apply max effort and energy daily to keep everyone under our care as safe as possible.

I thank you all for your trust and belief in our team as we work extremely hard to provide your loved one the highest degree of care, safety and hospitality through it all.

We encourage you to review the CDC website for information about COVID-19, including its symptoms, how it spreads, and actions you can take to protect your health: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html.

Please don’t hesitate to reach out to me with any questions comments or concerns.

God bless,

Efren


04/10/20

To: Independent Living Residents

From: Amy Laughlin

Date: Friday, April 10, 2020

Re: COVID-19 Update

We are grateful to continue to have no confirmed cases of COVID-19 at Westminster Towers. Thank you for adhering to the restrictions, therefore putting the health and safety of all residents and staff at the forefront.

I have received a number of questions. I hope these clarifying points are helpful.

  • Residents may go get filtered water and fresh coffee from the first floor. Please do not loiter on your way to and from your apartment.
  • Fitness Room & Pool hours will be increased next week to include some afternoon hours. Beginning Wednesday, April 15, the Fitness Room and Pool will be open 6:00-11:00am and 2:00-6:00pm. Residents still need to sign-up for their 30 minute timeslot by calling 803-984-3893.
  • Beginning Wednesday, April 15, residents may also use the Putting Green/Courtyard 2:00-6:00pm. Residents must sign-up for a 30 minute timeslot by calling 803-984-3893.
  • If you leave the campus for any reason, you will have to quarantine for 14 days upon your return. This includes going to doctor’s appointments. While many residents have commented that this is no different to what they are currently experiencing, if you are quarantined to your apartment you will receive no housekeeping or laundry services, and you cannot use the Pool, Fitness Room or Putting Green.
  • The Coffee Cart has been an overwhelming success, with a great deal of residents leaving their order slip outside their apartment. Rick is working to reorganize his staff to enable two carts to run instead of one; thus trying to get to everyone more quickly.
  • Westminster Church will have live Easter services broadcast on channel 98 (not 99) on Sunday: traditional at 9:00am and contemporary at 11:00am.
  • The Towers staff invite you to go out onto your balconies and open up your windows on Monday, April 13 at 10:30am for another “Good Morning Westminster!” We want to boost your spirits, make you smile and show that we care about you.

I know this is a hard time for everyone, especially with the Easter holiday weekend. Across the world people are celebrating their spring holidays without their usual traditions and without their families and friends. I was reminded this morning that as Christians, our saddest and gladdest days are only three days apart. While this quarantine feels like it go on forever and life will never return to normal, this too shall pass. The current frustrations and limitations will be replaced with freedoms that previously we took for granted. We will hug our families again. We will gather in groups and celebrate special days. We will move freely around our community, our town and our country. Until then, try to remain focused on the simple pleasures in life: the spring breeze from the open window, the hot cup of coffee, the phone conversation with someone you love or the walk outside to feel the sun on your face.

Stay well!


04/08/20

To: Independent Living Residents

From: Amy Laughlin, Director of Resident Services

Date: Wednesday, April 08, 2020

Re: COVID-19 Update

Westminster Towers is committed to ensuring the health and safety of all our residents and staff during this public health emergency.  We have issued updates and reminders throughout this time to help mitigate your risk of exposure to coronavirus, and therefore also reduce the potential risk to other residents. With 2,417 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in South Carolina, and yesterday’s “Home or Work” Executive Order 2020-21 issued by Governor Henry McMaster, it is imperative that you understand the formal restrictions put in place to better protect yourself and other Westminster Towers’ residents and employees from the virus.

Thank you to the many of you who are abiding by the guidance: that residents should stay in your apartments, with a few small exceptions. However, it is sad and disheartening that a small number of you choose to put others at risk of serious illness or death.

Current Restrictions

  1. All Independent Living residents are required to follow the quarantine rules and stay in your apartments.
  2. You may leave your apartment only to go to the laundry room or trash chute, to go to your scheduled timeslot in the Fitness Room or Pool, or to take exercise outside.
  3. Mail and meals will be delivered to you. Please do not leave your apartment to check your mail.
  4. Packages and supplies dropped off by family members will be delivered to you. Please do not leave your apartment to meet them at the front door.
  5. Do not engage staff members in in-person conversations, including the Receptionist. If you have a question, please call 5000 and your question will be directed to the appropriate person.
  6. If residents are seen gathered, you will be asked to disperse.
  7. If residents are seen talking with friends or family members in the parking lot or elsewhere on campus, you will be asked to disperse.
  8. Only two residents should be on an elevator at any one time.
  9. J-Lu and Daniel can pick up your groceries/supplies for free. Or a family member or friend may drop them off. Please do not leave the apartment to get groceries, medications or supplies.
  10. No one should be leaving the campus. If you do, you are a threat to the safety of others.

Anyone who leaves the campus will have a 14 day quarantine upon their return. Housekeeping and applicable laundry services will cease during your quarantine and you cannot use the Fitness Room or Pool. Should campus restrictions be lifted, anyone who is under a 14 quarantine due to potential exposure off-campus will have to finish their quarantine before coming out of their apartment.

Many residents had questions about doctor’s appointments. I encourage you to call your doctor, explain that you are concerned about going out in the community due the risk of contracting the virus and ask if your appointment is a medical necessity. If you leave for a necessary doctor’s appointment, you will be placed under a 14 day quarantine upon your return.

Non-adherence to these temporary safety measures risks the termination of your contract as defined by the Sponsor termination agreement of the Residency Agreement, Section 8.A.3. Sadly some formal contract violation notices have already been issued.

It takes temporary personal sacrifice to protect the health of many, but selfless actions are never regretted in the long run. You do not want to be the individual who brought coronavirus into our building.

I am proud to see how our staff are working to keep you safe and provide you with high quality services. There will be new additions to our services soon – more information coming tomorrow.

Please let me know if you have any further questions. Stay well!


04/06/20

To: Independent Living Residents

From: Amy Laughlin, Director of Resident Services

Date: Monday, April 06, 2020

Re: COVID-19 Update

The cases of coronavirus in York County are continuing to increase: yesterday there were 85 confirmed cases, and 24 of those cases were in our zip code, 29732. There are two confirmed cases at Chandler Place Assisted Living, and a number of other residents had symptoms. It is imperative that you heed the warnings and keep yourself safe:

  • Only leave your apartment to go to the laundry room, trash chute, to go to your scheduled timeslot in the pool or fitness room, or to take a walk outside.
  • Please do not see family and friends. Remember that you live in community: you put everyone at risk when you put yourself at risk.
  • If you do see a family member or friend, you must self-quarantine in your apartment for 14 days – no trips to the laundry room and no going to the fitness room or pool.
  • Please use the personal errand/shopping service provided by J-Lu and Daniel. The more you go out, the more likely you are to come into contact someone who is carrying the virus.

We are looking at ways to decrease the risk factor of someone bringing the virus onto our campus:

  • We are still checking every employee for symptoms when they arrive at work.
  • Outside vendors have been further restricted.
  • Private duty caregivers (both agency and non-agency) are temporarily prohibited from providing services on our campus. Outside therapy providers and outside home health agencies are also prohibited. All of these individuals are likely to be providing care and/or services in other senior living communities and in other private homes – increasing your risk of exposure.
  • HomeBridge caregivers are still able to provide services for you, as Holly works hard to ensure staff are only scheduled to work with clients in one area of our campus and not in the community.

There have been some issues of missing meals. While there have been some genuine mistakes on the part of our Culinary Services, we also know that some meals were delivered but the resident(s) never received them. Please don’t touch anyone’s food except your own.

Other Information

Sunday Church Services from Westminster Presbyterian Church are now available for viewing every Sunday on channel 98. Traditional Service is at 9:00am and Contemporary Service at 11:00am.

There has been a wonderful response to residents requesting to use the pool and fitness room. As long as the first few days go smoothly, we will try to extend the opening hours to enable more residents to use these areas.

We really enjoyed walking around campus and waving to all of you this morning! Thank you for the positive comments, flag waving and cheers. We’ll do it again next Monday at 10:30am.

Stay well!


04/04/20

To: Independent Living Residents

From: Amy Laughlin, Director of Resident Services

Date: Saturday, April 04, 2020

Re: COVID-19 Update – New Options for You

 

I am pleased to be able to offer you the opportunity to use the Swimming Pool and Fitness Room again, in a limited and safe way, beginning on Monday morning.

Please note the following conditions:

  • You are only permitted to use the Pool or Fitness Room alone or with the person who lives with them in their apartment.
  • You must sign up for a timeslot to use the Pool or Fitness Room by calling 803-984-3893. Please do not call the Receptionist, they cannot give you a timeslot.
  • Timeslots will be allocated on a first come, first served basis.
  • Timeslots are 30 minutes only.
  • You may only have one timeslot per day.
  • There will be 15 minutes between timeslots so that staff may sanitize the equipment, handrails, door knobs etc.

If this is successful, we will consider extending the opening hours to facilitate more timeslots and also add the options of signing up to use the Courtyard/Putting Green and Arts & Crafts Room.

Don’t forget to open up your window or go out on your balcony on Monday at 10:30am. Our staff will be stationed all around the campus bringing you a cheerful morning greeting. You may also be able to wave at your neighbors and friends and see how everyone is doing. Good Morning Westminster!

Please do not take your recyclables to the bins in the basement. There is little commercial recycling happening at the present time due to the risk of workers sorting/touching potentially contaminated items. Please throw all recyclables in the trash until further notice.

Thank you for your compliance with the quarantine rules. Stay well!


04/02/20

To: Independent Living Residents

From: Amy Laughlin, Director of Resident Services

Date: Thursday, April 2, 2020

Re: COVID-19 Update

Thank you for the many encouraging and supportive words over the past 24 hours. I understand that this is a time of uncertainty, and our goal is to focus on protecting you and hopefully relieve a little of your stress and anxiety. I have received a lot of excellent questions – see below for additional information on our current quarantine:

  • The laundry rooms on each floor remain open. Please remember that in order to practice social distancing, only one person can be in a laundry room at any one time. A bottle of bleach water solution has been placed in each laundry room and we strongly encourage you to wipe down anything you touch before and after you use it – machine doors, buttons, door handles, etc.
  • Trash chutes remain open.
  • Hand sanitizer stations will be installed by each elevator soon. Please continue to practice good hand hygiene, even though you are staying in your apartment.
  • Families/friends are still welcome to drop off essential groceries and supplies at the front desk. A member of our staff will deliver them to you in your apartment.
  • You may come and get a book from the Library, but please do not return any books until after the quarantine is over to promote good infection control.
  • At this time, housekeeping services, physical & occupational therapy and HomeBridge rounding services will continue.
  • Newspapers will be delivered to the appropriate apartments in the morning instead of being placed in mailboxes.
  • Need to make a monthly rent payment? Put your payment in an envelope and tape it to the outside of your front door, or put it on your shelf before 11:00am. Payments will be collected by the Accounting Department Mon-Fri 11:00am-12:00pm. You may also put outgoing mail on your shelf before 11:00am and it will be picked up.
  • You may have food delivered to the front desk from restaurants. It will be delivered to your apartment as soon as someone is available to do so.
  • A number of residents have contacted me regarding going to medical appointments, to pick up prescriptions or to go to grocery shopping. As noted in the memo yesterday, Westminster Towers is not providing any transportation at this time, except for urgent medical appointments. The CDC recommends that anyone over the age of 65 stay at home until otherwise notified, since individuals 65+ are at a higher risk for severe illness related to coronavirus.
  • There are pharmacies in town that offer delivery service: CVS, Good Pharmacy and Palmetto Pharmacy. Contact Daniel or J-Lu if you need some help getting this set up.

There will be other updates and changes – we do not know every question or concern that may arise and we know we may have to make adjustments. We will stay in touch.

Stay well!


04/01/20

To: Independent Living Residents

From: Amy Laughlin, Director of Resident Services

Date: Wednesday, April 1, 2020

Re: COVID-19 Update

Personal Shopping/Errands

We know that an increased number of residents are choosing to stay in and not venture out into the community – for this we applaud you! But we also know that many of you need essential supplies, groceries or medications. Bus Driver Jennifer Luke and Senior Life Coordinator Daniel Williams have generously volunteered to be your personal shoppers for essential items only – during the time of the COVID-19 pandemic. These services are provided free of charge to the residents.

Our staff will have limited slots open for personal shopping. Residents are requested to sign up for a slot by checking with Jennifer Luke – her new work station is in the computer nook across from the Fitness Room. She can also be emailed at jluke@westminstertowers.org. She will take your shopping list and payment and then bring your change/card, receipt and essential items to your apartment as soon as possible.

Jennifer and Daniel can go to the following stores:

  • Walmart
  • Walgreens
  • CVS
  • Publix
  • Food Lion

They can also go to local banks if necessary.

In-Room Activities

For those who are fans of pianist Scott Griffin, there are several of his performances on YouTube. He has even recorded a couple of special mini-concerts for residents.

Mini-Concert of Hymns for Comfort https://youtu.be/x-xfftN8zxy

More Music for Comfort and Hope https://youtu.be/FYnK6pomozw

If you have a smart phone or tablet, try downloading these fun apps for brain-stimulating games. Once you’ve downloaded the app, internet connection is not required to play the games.

  • Left vs Right: Brain Games
  • Fit Brain Trainer
  • Memorado
  • Lumosity
  • CogniFit Brain Fitness
  • Peak
  • MindGames
  • Eidetic

Our focus continues to be trying to protect you! More information to come later today. Thanks so much.

To: Independent Living Residents

From: Jim Thomason, CEO, & Amy Laughlin, Director of Resident Services

Date: Wednesday, April 1, 2020

Re: COVID-19 Update

Due to the increased number of cases of COVID-19 (coronavirus) in the country and in our local community, Westminster Towers will be taking the following steps, effective immediately, to strengthen the protections currently in place for our Independent Living residents:

  • All communal gathering places in the Towers will be closed until further notice: Lobby, Front Entrance Benches, Community Room, Floor Lounges, Swimming Pool, Fitness Room, Courtyard and Arts & Crafts Room.
  • Residents are asked to stay in their apartments, except to do laundry or go for daily exercise outside.
  • A daily meal will be delivered to your apartment. Please clean off the small shelf outside your apartment, as this is where your meal will be placed. We will knock on your door to let you know the meal has been delivered.
  • Newspapers, mail and any internal communication will be delivered to your apartment and hung in a bag on the outside door handle.
  • Towers-provided transportation will cease except for urgent medical appointments that do not require an ambulance.
  • An earlier memo gave instructions on how to arrange personal shopping/errands services through members of the Life Enrichment Department. Contact J-Lu or Daniel for more information.
  • Some basic items may be purchased internally: for various breads, milk and eggs contact Rick, Elaine or Courtney at 5118. Toilet paper may be purchased by calling Cindy at 5010. These charges will be added to your bill.
  • We encourage you to stay in touch with your families, friends and neighbors at the Towers via phone, text, email or social media.
  • We will stay in touch with you via written memos delivered to your apartment and via Channel 99. You may call the Receptionist with questions and she will forward your call to the appropriate department.

We do not have any cases of COVID-19 on our campus at this time. Our priority is always resident health and safety, and we are confident that we must be proactive and protect you now. These measures align with what the CDC and SC DHEC recommend for Retirement Communities and are designed to keep residents from having close contact, as this is how the virus is spread. We will continue to focus on infection control through staff using Personal Protective Equipment, staff practicing social distancing, screening all staff and anyone else who enters the building and intense efforts on sanitizing, especially frequently touched surfaces.

Jim met with the Resident Association officers this afternoon to review these restrictions and the officers are supportive of the organization’s efforts to protect residents.

You are welcome to make arrangements to go and stay with a family member or friend, or even stay in a hotel if you find these safety measures too restrictive. Please be aware that upon your return to the Towers, you will be required to self-isolate in your apartment for 14 days, even if the Towers quarantine has been lifted. You must carefully assess where you go to determine the risk of contracting the virus.

Please remember that this is an Independent Living community. If you should contract COVID-19, we cannot provide care for you in your apartment beyond what is listed above. There are options available, including placement at the Health Center or Manor if there are vacant beds and we are able to care for your specific needs, as determined by our clinical staff and your physician. We suggest you speak with your family and have a contingency plan in place.

We are working on providing in-room activity and wellness ideas. Got a suggestion? Please let Amy or Daniel know.

This is an unprecedented time for the local community, the nation and the world. Incredible courage is being exhibited daily by front line emergency and healthcare workers. We are so grateful to our country’s farmers, food production, warehouse, and delivery workers who keep food in our stores and on our tables. We applaud the researchers who are focused on finding a vaccine, and the companies who halted their “business-as-usual” to make much-needed ventilators, masks and other medical supplies. Now is the time for us to sacrifice some of what we take for granted to promote the health of the greater Towers community. We will get through this, and we will certainly have a HUGE party to celebrate when we do!

Thank you for choosing the Towers as your home and for the value each of you brings to this ministry. Our blessings greatly outweigh our challenges.

Stay well and God Bless.

Please note this will also be posted on our website www.westminstertowers.org.


04/01/20

Good morning Westminster Health and Rehab Family,

We are currently in the middle of Week 3 operating under Executive Order No. 2020-17 issued 03/31/2020 by Governor Henry McMaster.

We continue to follow guidance provided by the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC).

South Carolina currently has about 925 cases per the CDC and we are expecting this number to increase due the volume of individuals getting tested.

It is critically important that everyone adhere to the guidance and regulations that are designed to keep us all safe and to help stop spreading the virus.

Our resident and staff safety is our number one priority. We are developing plans to assess the needs of residents that tests positive for COVID-19 consistent with our abilities to do so and consistent with CDC guidelines and their clinical needs.  We are not actively testing but have provisions to perform tests in the event a resident exhibits any signs or symptoms. We do not have any COVID-19 residents on campus.

Our Medical Director has actively been involved with providing guidance and strategies to the team to increase and enhance our approach to reduce the likelihood of transmitting COVID-19 in our community.

WHAT WE ARE DOING TO STOP COVID-19 FROM IMPACTING OUR FACILITY:

  • Strictly following and staying current with CDC guidelines
  • Strictly following and staying current with DHEC Regulations and Guidance
  • Communal Style Dining has been restricted per CDC guidance
  • Test kits have been secured
  • Group activities have been restricted per CDC guidance
  • New Alcohol Based Hand rub dispensers have been installed throughout facility
  • ALL staff are wearing masks when in resident areas
  • Non Essential staff are working remotely
  • Daily temperature checks and screening for ALL EMPLOYEES and ESSENTIAL STAFF
  • Restricted visitation per Executive Order No. 2020-08 (End of Life only)
  • Disinfecting high touch areas with hospital grade disinfectants (Wipes, solutions etc.)
  • Adequate supply of PPE (Personal Protective Equipment: Gloves, Masks, Gowns) secured and additional supply ordered

WHAT YOU CAN DO TO HELP STOP COVID-19

  • Wash your hands frequently using soap and water (CLICK LINK for Handwashing Video) https://youtube/d914EnpU4Fo
  • Cover mouth or nose with tissue when coughing or sneezing (Cough into elbow if no tissue is available)
  • Don’t touch your face
  • Keep a safe distance of at least six feet
  • Stay at home if you can

Westminster Health and Rehab is offering an Item Drop-off service.

Drop your loved ones items off and allow us to do the rest!

Item drop off takes place from 8:00 AM – 10:00 AM and from 1:00 PM – 3:00 PM Monday-Friday (Weekday Only)

Your items should be clearly labeled with the resident name and room number so that each package can be delivered accurately and timely.

NOTE: The item drop off time periods are not visitation hours, we will simply have staff available to transport your items to your family member on your behalf.

If you would like to coordinate an electronic visit (FaceTime or Skype) with your loved one please contact our Life Enrichment department.

NOTE: An electronic visit is not an actual visit to the facility, this visit will use electronic means to connect you with your loved one such as FaceTime or Skype.

I am thankful for the positive feedback that we have received as an organization for the preparation and measures that we have implemented to ensure that we all remain as safe as possible.

I thank you all for your trust and belief in our team as we work extremely hard to provide your loved one the highest degree of care, safety and hospitality through it all.

We encourage you to review the CDC website for information about COVID-19, including its symptoms, how it spreads, and actions you can take to protect your health: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html.

Please don’t hesitate to reach out to me with any questions comments or concerns.

God bless,

Efren Z. Whitehead, Jr.

Westminster Health and Rehab


03/27/20

To: Independent Living Residents

From: Amy Laughlin, Director of Resident Services

Date: Friday, March 27, 2020

Re: COVID-19 Update

FACT: according to the CDC, Americans over the age of 85 have a 27% fatality rate from COVID-19 (coronavirus).

FACT: according to the Washington Post, more than 140 senior living communities in the US are experiencing outbreaks of COVID-19.

FACT: Bishop Gadsden, an independently owned, not-for-profit CCRC in Charleston, SC, has residents in their Independent Living area who have tested positive for COVID-19. These cases were identified several days after the entire community was quarantined i.e. it took several days for residents to show symptoms after they had isolated themselves to their apartments.

Thank you so much for your cooperation with the visitation restriction. We recognize that all the residents across our campus feel much better emotionally when they get to spend time with their family, but we have to follow both the CDC and SC DHEC guidelines for the health and safety of all the Westminster Towers residents, not to mention the health and safety of our employees. By meeting with family members or friends, you increase your risk of exposure to coronavirus and you increase the risk of bringing it back to the Towers. This includes meeting with family and friends in the parking lot, side patio or anywhere else on campus.

PLEASE REMEMBER THAT YOU SHOULD ONLY BE LEAVING THE BUILDING TO:

  • GO TO URGENT MEDICAL APPOINTMENTS
  • PICK UP GROCERIES OR MEDICATIONS
  • TAKE WALKS/EXERCISE IN A SOCIAL-DISTANCED MANNER

The CDC recommends staying in your apartment as much as possible, however if you must leave the building, please tell the receptionist where you are going and when you intend to return. If you are out of the building overnight, you will be subject to 14 days quarantine in your apartment upon your return.

If you have respiratory symptoms such as fever, cough or shortness of breath, or have been with someone with these symptoms, you must immediately quarantine yourself in your apartment and contact the front desk at 5000.

Attached is a list of grocery and other stores who have started “seniors only” hours for shopping for essentials. Both Publix and Food Lion offer grocery delivery, and many grocery stores offer store pick-up options. If you place an order online, we can pick up your groceries and deliver them to you. Contact Bus Driver Jennifer Luke to arrange this.

Retirement communities across the nation are increasing their restrictions as the COVID-19 outbreak continues, and it is likely that more significant restrictions will be implemented at the Towers. You will soon see all our employees using Personal Protective Equipment such as masks and gloves – this is for your protection. We understand this is a difficult time for everyone, but you must put your health and the health of your friends and neighbors at the Towers first.

Remember:

  • Stay at least 6 feet away from others at all times, as much as possible.
  • Wash your hands with soap and warm water often and after coming into contact with other frequently touched surfaces or people. Use alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.
  • Stay away from anyone who has any symptoms of illness.
  • Practice good etiquette when coughing or sneezing: cough/sneeze into a tissue or the inside of your elbow.

I am grateful to all of you for your encouraging words of support, and I am so proud of the Towers staff and what they are doing to keep all of everyone safe, well, and happy.

Thank you,


03/27/20

Good Afternoon Manor Family Members,

Thank you so much for your cooperation with the visitation restriction. We recognize that all the residents across our campus feel much better emotionally when they get to spend time with their family, but we have to follow both the CDC and SC DHEC guidelines for the health and safety of all the Westminster Towers residents, not to mention the health and safety of our employees.

Please remember that you are welcome to set up an appointment to Facetime or Skype with your loved one – contact either Ryan or Eladio, who are copied on this email.

Family members are welcome to drop off supplies or gifts of their loved one at the Towers Front Entrance daily 8:00-10:00am or 1:00-3:00pm. Please ensure any package, basket or bag is clearly marked with the resident’s name, and we will deliver it pronto! Other than dropping-off items, family members should not need to be on the Towers campus for any reason and will be asked to leave. Security has to be tight to keep out the virus. Thank you for your patience and understanding. COVID-19 has killed a number of residents in senior living communities in Illinois, Washington, New York and Louisiana (amongst others), and a CCRC in Charleston, SC, just reported their first cases. Please don’t think that we are immune, despite all the measures we have put in place.

Don’t forget to check out the Manor Family Facebook page, as Ryan is posting pictures daily of residents and “life in the Manor.” The guys are doing a wonderful job of keeping the residents entertained and engaged, whether by small, socially distanced activities or by meaningful room visits, walks and conversations. Tomorrow we will be having a special Pizza Lunch, plus we’ll be celebrating a resident’s birthday – the fun doesn’t stop because we can’t have our usual parties and events.

I am grateful to all of you for your encouraging words of support, and I am so proud of the Manor staff and what they are doing to keep our residents safe, well, and happy.

Blessings,

~ ~ Amy

Amy Laughlin CRCFA, AP-BC, ADC, CDP

Director of Resident Services & HomeBridge


03/24/20

To: Independent Living Residents

From: Amy Laughlin, Director of Resident Services

Date: Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Re: COVID-19 Update

A number of residents have contacted me with concerns and questions about “social distancing.”

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) social distancing means remaining out of congregate settings, avoiding mass gatherings, and maintaining distance (approximately 6 feet) from others when possible.

In an environment like Westminster Towers, this means avoiding gathering with others in communal settings like meals, classes, games and activities, and also keeping at least 6 feet from others in shared spaces.

Some suggestions:

  • The meal pick-up times are one hour windows for each floor. Do not come at the beginning or the end of the window but somewhere in the middle. This will reduce crowding on the elevator and in the pick-up area.
  • If you are waiting to speak to the Receptionist or to pick-up your mail, stay at least 6 feet away until there is no one in that space.
  • You are advised to not sit in the lobby or other communal areas as social distancing is difficult to maintain.
  • Do not touch other residents or employees – no hugs, handshakes or pats on the back.
  • If you are concerned, consider self-isolating in your apartment. Meals, mail and other deliveries can be arranged.

All residents are also being asked not to leave campus except for emergency situations. The more often you leave campus, the more likely you are to come into contact with someone who is carrying the coronavirus and therefore the more likely you are to bring it back to the Towers.

Other CCRCs in the state have already gone into full Shelter-in-Place, when residents must remain in their apartments, and all meals and mail are delivered to them. There is a possibility that such measures will be implemented at the Towers.

Please remember that this is not just about you and your health. This virus has the potential to harm a lot of residents, employees and their families, especially those with underlying health conditions. In these times of uncertainty and anxiety, it is important that we do what is truly better for the general population of our small community. By staying apart we better protect each other.


03/23/20

Good morning Westminster Health and Rehab Family,

As we prepare for Week 2 operating under Executive Order No. 2020-08, the community remains encouraged as it relates to resident safety, infection control preparedness, and strategic planning for day to day operations.

At the forefront of everything is resident and staff safety as we continue to assess, implement, monitor and alter our approach to align with current CDC guidelines, DHEC regulations and infection control best practices. The team is staying flexible and nimble with each new information release as things continue to rapidly change.

WHAT WE ARE DOING TO STOP COVID-19 FROM IMPACTING OUR FACILITY:

  • Strictly following and staying  current with CDC guidelines
  • Communal Style Dining has been restricted per CDC guidance
  • Group activities have been restricted per CDC guidance
  • Alcohol based hand rub/sanitizer positioned throughout the building
  • Adequately stocked paper towels and soap dispensers for handwashing
  • Daily temperature checks and screening for ALL EMPLOYEES and ESSENTIAL STAFF
  • Restricted visitation per Executive Order No. 2020-08 (End of Life only)
  • Disinfecting high touch areas with hospital grade disinfectants (Wipes, solutions etc.)
  • Adequate supply of PPE (Personal Protective Equipment: Gloves, Masks, Gowns)  secured

WHAT YOU CAN DO TO HELP STOP COVID-19

  • Wash your hands frequently using soap and water (CLICK LINK for Handwashing Video) https://youtu.be/d914EnpU4Fo
  • Cover mouth or nose with tissue when coughing or sneezing (Cough into elbow if no tissue is available)
  • Don’t touch your face
  • Keep a safe distance
  • Stay at home if you can

The Item Drop-off service has been going well and we appreciate everyone’s diligence with labeling their items properly.

Item drop off takes place from 8:00 AM- 10:00 AM and from 1:00 PM – 3:00 PM Monday-Friday.

Your items should be clearly labeled with the resident name and room number so that each package can be delivered accurately and timely.

NOTE: The item drop off time periods are not visitation hours, we will simply have staff available to transport your items to your family member on your behalf.

If you would like to coordinate an electronic visit (FaceTime or Skype) with your loved one please contact our Life Enrichment department.

NOTE: An electronic visit is not an actual visit to the facility, this visit will use electronic means to connect you with your loved one such as FaceTime or Skype.

We all greatly appreciate your patience and support as each of us navigate through this together and stand shoulder to shoulder at this time now more than ever.

We encourage you to review the CDC website for information about COVID-19, including its symptoms, how it spreads, and actions you can take to protect your health: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html.

Please don’t hesitate to reach out to me with any questions, comments or concerns.

God bless,

Efren Zimbilist Whitehead Jr.

OFFICE: (803) 326-3114

Westminster Towers Health & Rehabilitation

831 McDow Drive

Rock Hill, SC  29732


03/20/20

To: Independent Living Residents

From: Amy Laughlin, Director of Resident Services

Date: Friday, March 20, 2020

Re: COVID-19 Update

As cases of COVID-19 continue to increase in our area and around the world, additional precautions must be taken to protect high-risk populations, such as Westminster Towers residents. We understand that many of the messages you receive are negative, maybe even a little frightening, and you feel like your freedom is being restricted. Please know that your health and safety are of paramount importance to the management team.

  • Residents are strongly encouraged to practice social distancing i.e. stay 6ft or more away from others at all times.
  • If you choose to sit in the lobby, courtyard or at Towers front entrance, please sit at least 6ft away from other residents gathered in the same place.
  • SC DHEC is not requiring the closure of swimming pools at this time as the chemicals used provide appropriate disinfectant to remove/deactivate the coronavirus.
  • The puzzle table in the Lobby will be closed until further notice. Residents may take puzzles from the cabinets in the Library up to their apartments, for return after this pandemic has ended.
  • We recommend that residents limit their use of common items such as newspapers, magazines and books.
  • Saturday and Sunday will follow the same meal routine as this week: coffee available 24/7, no breakfast served, and meal pick-up time dependent on floor. If you miss your meal pick-up time, please check with the front desk.
  • Please let your family and friends know that updates from the Towers are available on our website westminstertowers.org.
  • It is possible that your family members or friends outside the Towers become sick with COVID-19. If you have been around someone with respiratory symptoms (cough, fever, sore throat, shortness of breath), per the CDC guidelines you must isolate yourself in your apartment until their COVID-19 test results are received. If their test is positive, you must continue your isolation until 14 days has passed since your exposure to your family member/friend. We will deliver your meals, mail and supplies as needed.

Please protect your Towers friends and neighbors and limit your contact with others.

Thank you very much.


03/17/20

We are closely monitoring the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak daily. We are following recommendations from The Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) for Senior Living Communities:
  • Restrict all visitation except for certain compassionate care situations, such as end of life situations.
  • Restrict all volunteers and non-essential healthcare personnel.
  • Cancel all group activities and communal dining.
  • Implement active screening of resident and healthcare personnel for fever and respiratory symptoms.

Please call (803) 328-5000 if you have questions.


03/17/20

To: Independent Living Residents

From: Westminster Towers Executive Management Team

Date: Tuesday, March 17, 2020

Re: COVID-19 Update

In Westminster Towers’ continued effort to protect our residents, the following measures have been enforced, effective immediately:

  • No visitors allowed cross-campus.
  • Drop-off times for supplies, gifts, laundry, etc. by families/friends for residents will be 8:00am – 10:00am & 1:00pm – 3:00pm. Items must be clearly marked with resident’s name & room number. Drop off at the Towers’ Front Desk for Towers and Manor residents and the Health Center Front desk for Health Center Residents.
  • Onsite Medical Services and Pharmacies are allowed, but will need to have identification and be screened prior to entry.
  • Private Duty Caregivers must wear identification and be approved by Administration.
  • Congregate dining has been suspended.
  • Towers Activities and Wellness staff members have been reassigned duties to support residents across campus.
  • Please check Channel 99 for updates.
  • Residents are not advised to gather in groups.
  • We will be posting updates to our website as they become available – WestminsterTowers.org

Thank you for your understanding and cooperation during this time. Our residents are our #1 priority!


03/15/20

To: Independent Living Residents

From: Amy Laughlin, Director of Resident Services

Date: Sunday, March 15, 2020

Re: New CDC Guidelines                                   

The Centers for Disease Control & Prevention have updated their guidelines for Senior Living communities.

The CDC recommends that all nursing homes (and other senior living communities):

  • Restrict all visitation except for certain compassionate care situations, such as end of life situations.
  • Restrict all volunteers and non-essential healthcare personnel.
  • Cancel all group activities and communal dining.
  • Implement active screening of residents and healthcare personnel for fever and respiratory symptoms.

COVID-19 is being increasingly reported in communities across the United States. It is likely that SARS-CoV-2 will be identified in more communities, including areas where cases have not yet been reported.

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/healthcare-facilities/prevent-spread-in-long-term-care-facilities.html

Beginning Monday, March 16:

Life Enrichment

  • All group activities and wellness programs across campus are suspended until further notice.
  • At this time the Fitness Room, Swimming Pool, Woodworking Shop and Arts & Crafts Room will be remain open for self-initiated activities.
  • The Beauty Salon will remain open for Towers resident only.
  • Bus transportation to essential appointments and grocery stores/pharmacies will be available on Monday, Tuesday and Thursday.

Culinary Services

  • The Towers Dining Room is closed until further notice.
  • Coffee will be available 24/7 as usual.
  • There will be no Breads & Spreads or breakfast service.
  • Chef Rick has revised this week’s menu. Residents are requested to pick up their meal at the time assigned to their floor. These times will rotate weekly.
  • 2nd floor – 12:00pm pickup
  • 3rd floor – 1:00pm pick-up
  • 4th floor – 2:00pm pick-up
  • 5th floor – 3:00pm pick-up
  • 6th floor – 4:00pm pick-up
  • Meals should be taken to your apartment for consumption.

Please complete the attached menu:

  • Place your name and apartment number on the menu.
  • Circle EITHER the hot meal OR the cold meal option for each day.
  • No substitutions will be made, please only choose the hot meal or the cold meal.
  • Please return your weekly menu to the Towers Receptionist as soon as possible.

Residents may have their temperature taken by the Towers Receptionist whenever they want. Any resident with a temperature of 100.4F or higher will be required to isolate in their apartment and seek medical attention. We encourage you to continue to practice social distancing, thoroughly wash your hands and stay away from anyone who is sick.

Thank you for doing your part to keep all Towers residents and personnel healthy.


03/14/20

To: Independent Living Residents

From: Amy Laughlin, Director of Resident Services

Date: Saturday, March 14, 2020

Re: New Visitation Guidelines                                 

As shared in the resident meeting this afternoon, all visitors to the Towers are restricted for the next 15 days following Governor Henry McMaster’s Executive Order No. 2020-08:

“I further direct DHEC to restrict visitation to nursing homes and assisted living facilities, with the exception of end-of-life situations, as DHEC deems necessary and appropriate.”

At this time:

  • Bus transportation will be provided on Monday, Tuesday and Thursday next week.
  • Culinary Services and Life Enrichment programs will continue as scheduled.
  • Any resident who has private duty caregivers must ensure all their names and contact information is registered with Amy Laughlin, or these individuals will not be permitted entry to the building.
  • Residents may leave the building for personal appointments, errands, shopping, socializing with family and friends, church services etc. We do advise caution about being with large groups of people and stress the important of avoiding being with anyone who has any symptoms of illness.
  • Employees are being screened for any symptoms of COVID-19 (or any other illness) at the front entrance upon arrival to work.

Please note that CDC and DHEC guidelines are changing daily, even hourly. It is likely that group program and communal dining will be affected in the near future. We will keep you updated.

Thank you.


03/13/20

Hello Westminster Family (Health Center),

We are currently operating under  Executive Order No. 2020-08 that was issued by the Governor on Friday 03/13/2020.

We have limited visitors to the facility to those family members that are experiencing a loved one facing an end of life situation.

I am grateful for the positive feedback that I have received from you all and thankful for your support reinforcing the importance of the preventive measures we have taken.

We have taken an ALL HANDS ON DECK APPROACH ensuring that various departments are assisting with meals and hydration to include Life Enrichment (Activities) Finance/Accounting, Human resources and Marketing.

We have staff serving meals, encouraging fluids,  providing 1:1 activities, rounding on residents and ensuring that everyone is well taken care of with a heightened sense of awareness.

While these times are less than ideal, it is the goal and focus of Westminster Towers to ensure that our residents are well taken care of and remain safe during this quarantine.

We continue to do the following to decrease the likelihood of COVID-19 impacting our facility:

  • Communal Style Dining has been restricted per CDC guidance
  • Group activities have been restricted per CDC guidance
  • Alcohol based hand rub/sanitizer positioned at the entrance
  • Daily staff recorded temperatures and screening
  • Following current CDC guidelines
  • Restricted visitation per Executive Order No. 2020-08 (End of Life only)
  • Increased sanitation rounds (Clorox wipes in common areas, elevator buttons, hand rails etc.)
  • Staff reeducated/trained on proper handwashing techniques

We will be opening a timeframe where you are welcome to drop off items for your loved ones at the Health Center at the front foyer.

The items can include things such as books, snacks, flowers etc.

Item drop off will take place from 8:00 AM- 10:00 PM and from 1:00 PM – 3:00 PM Monday-Friday

Your items should be clearly labeled with the resident name and room number so that each package can be delivered accurately and timely.

NOTE: The item drop off time periods are not visitation hours, we will simply have staff available to transport your items to your family member on your behalf.

We greatly appreciate your cooperation and patience with us during this time.

Please understand that resident care takes priority over communication given the circumstances however I will be in contact as needed and I will provide updates periodically.

Thank you for trusting us with the care of your loved one, its truly an honor.

Don’t hesitate to reach out to me with any questions comments or concerns.

Thank you,

Efren

Efren Zimbilist Whitehead Jr.

OFFICE: (803) 326-3114

Westminster Towers Health & Rehabilitation

831 McDow Drive

Rock Hill, SC  29732


03/12/20

To: Independent Living Residents

From: Amy Laughlin, Director of Resident Services

Date: Thursday, March 12, 2020

Re: Towers COVID-19 Update

Thank you for your patience and positive attitudes as the restricted visitation and other limited quarantine measures have been rolled out. We currently do not have any cases of the virus at Westminster Towers, and we hope to keep it that way! However, we recognize that the roll-out process was not without challenges and that some residents did not receive notification about the restrictions in as timely a manner as they would prefer. We will be communicating with residents via written memos placed in the mailboxes and therefore encourage you to check your mail frequently.

Reminders

  • Visitors to the Towers are restricted to 11:00am-1:00pm seven days per week, with no exceptions after today.
  • Towers residents visiting significant others in the Manor or Health Center are also restricted to 11:00am-1:00pm seven days per week.
  • The guest suites are closed until further notice.
  • Independent Living residents should refrain from walking through other levels of care and practice social distancing with other residents whenever possible.
  • Daily menus are no longer available the front desk; they are located only at the pick-up window of the Dining Room.
  • The Towers receptionists have the additional responsibility of screening visitors 11:00am-1:00pm. The front entrance will be crowded and busy and residents should limit their exposure to outsiders by avoiding this area as much as possible during these times of day.
  • Our employees are continuing to invest huge amounts of time and energy in providing high quality services for the residents, including significantly increasing sanitizing all commonly touched areas and taking on additional job responsibilities as staff movement across campus is prohibited. Please be patient, respectful and courteous to the staff, as resident health and safety is always their focus.

We have received many kind words and compliments from residents and families about the steps we are taking to reduce the likelihood of COVID-19 from entering our community. We greatly appreciate all your support and are grateful you chose the Towers as your home.


03/11/20

Dear Health Center Residents & Families,

Westminster Towers is closely monitoring the evolving Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, and at this time, there are no confirmed cases in our community, nor in York County.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have recommended a variety of steps that we have implemented to help reduce the potential for the virus to enter our building. Ensuring residents are cared for and services are provided in a safe and healthy environment are our primary concerns. With this in mind, the restrictions below go into place on Thursday, March 12:

Visitors (Family & Friends)

  • Only essential outside visitors are permitted to enter the Westminster Towers building.
  • Essential outside visitors are limited to 11:00am-1:00pm, seven days per week.
  • All essential outside visitors must check in with the Health Center receptionist, complete a short questionnaire and have their temperature taken.
  • Visits may only occur inside individual Health Center resident rooms.

Culinary Services

  • The Dining Rooms are open for meal service as usual.
  • No guests/visitors are permitted in the Dining Rooms, but may purchase a to-go meal to be consumed in the resident’s room.

Life Enrichment

  • Health Center activities and Wellness classes continue as usual.
  • Health Center residents are not permitted to attend activities in the Towers or Manor until further notice.
  • There will be no guest speakers or outside entertainers/groups until further notice.
  • There will be no Westminster Towers-sponsored trips off-campus until further notice.

Transportation

  • Scheduled van transportation to doctor’s appointments and other appointments will continue for now.

Accessing the Building

  • All access to the Health Center for residents, employees and visitors will be through the Health Center front door.
  • The keypads on other doors will be disabled until further notice.
  • The Manor is no longer able to be used as a cut-through to access the Health Center. Access to the Health Center is through the Health Center front entrance only.
  • Health Center residents will not be able to receive services in the Beauty Salon until further notice, as the salon is located in the Independent Living area.
  • Employees are restricted to working in their specific area and not moving across campus.

Vendors & Outside Contractors

  • Deliveries will be made to the loading docks only. Maintenance employees will deliver items to residents and departments as necessary.
  • Outside contractors will be limited to dealing with significant issues only, i.e. HVAC, electrical or plumbing problems, or others as approved by management.
  • All outside vendors and sales representatives are not permitted in the building until further notice.
  • All scheduled onsite employee education from outside providers has been canceled until further notice.

Please note that residents gathering with others for meals and activities is done entirely at their own risk. Residents are encouraged to limit physical contact and practice social distancing.

A resident may choose to self-isolate in their room for their own safety, and not participate in activities or meals in the dining room. Please call the charge nurse at 326-3127 (Unit 1) or 326-3132 (Unit 2) if you wish to set this up. We will update this resident’s plan of care and make their life as comfortable as possible.

We are monitoring residents daily for any symptoms of respiratory illness, such as fever, cough and shortness of breath, but we do not know how long this outbreak will go on. We are receiving updates from both the CDC and DHEC as they are shared, but please consider this the “new normal” at Westminster Health Center, at least for now. We will continue to update you as often as necessary. Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions. For additional information, please visit the CDC’s coronavirus disease information page at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/

Thank you for your continued support and for being a valued member of our community.

James R. Thomason          Amy Laughlin                                  Efren Z. Whitehead, Jr.

President/CEO                  Director of Resident Services            Westminster Health Center


03/11/20

Dear Manor Residents & Families,

Westminster Towers is closely monitoring the evolving Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, and at this time, there are no confirmed cases in our community, nor in York County.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have recommended a variety of steps that we have implemented to help reduce the potential for the virus to enter our building. Ensuring residents are cared for and services are provided in a safe and healthy environment are our primary concerns. With this in mind, the restrictions below go into place on Thursday, March 12:

Visitors (Family & Friends)

  • Only essential outside visitors are permitted to enter the Westminster Towers building.
  • Essential outside visitors are limited to 11:00am-1:00pm, seven days per week.
  • All essential outside visitors must check in with the Towers receptionist, complete a short questionnaire and have their temperature taken.
  • Visits may only occur inside individual Manor resident rooms.
  • Independent Living residents are strongly discouraged from visiting residents in other levels of care.
  • The guest suites are not available for use by outside visitors.

Culinary Services

  • The Manor Dining Room is open for meal service as usual.
  • No guests/visitors are permitted in the Dining Room, but residents may purchase to-go meals for their guests.
  • The salad bar will be closed until further notice.

Life Enrichment

  • Manor activities and wellness classes continue as usual.
  • Manor residents are not permitted to attend activities in the Towers or Health Center until further notice.
  • There will be no guest speakers or outside entertainers/groups until further notice.
  • There will be no Westminster Towers-sponsored trips off-campus until further notice.

Transportation

  • Bus transportation to doctor’s appointments, grocery stores, pharmacies and other appointments will continue for now.

Accessing the Building

  • All access to the Towers for residents, employees and visitors will be through the Towers front door.
  • The keypads on other doors will be disabled until further notice.
  • Manor residents will not be able to receive services in the Beauty Salon until further notice, as the salon is located in the Independent Living area.
  • The Manor is no longer able to be used as a cut-through to access the Health Center. Access to the Health Center is through the Health Center front entrance only.
  • Employees are restricted to working in their specific area and not moving across campus.

Vendors, Sales Representatives & Outside Contractors

  • Deliveries will be made to the loading docks only. Towers employees will deliver items to residents and departments as necessary.
  • Outside contractors will be limited to dealing with significant issues only, i.e. HVAC, electrical or plumbing problems, or others as approved by management.
  • All outside vendors and sales representatives are not permitted in the building until further notice.
  • All scheduled onsite employee education from outside providers has been canceled until further notice.

Please note that gathering with others for meals, activities and transportation is done entirely at your own risk. Residents are encouraged to limit physical contact and practice social distancing.

Residents may choose to self-isolate in their room for their own safety, and not participate in activities or meals in the dining room. Please call Heather Miller at 328-5121 if you wish to set this up. We will update this resident’s plan of care and make their life as comfortable as possible.

We are monitoring residents daily for any symptoms of respiratory illness, such as fever, cough and difficulty breathing, but we do not know how long this outbreak will go on. We are receiving updates from both the CDC and DHEC as they are shared, but please consider this the “new normal” at Westminster Manor, at least for now. We will continue to update you as often as necessary. Should you have any questions, please feel free to contact us. For additional information, please visit the CDC’s coronavirus disease information page at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/

Thank you for your continued support and for being a valued member of our community.

James R. Thomason          Amy Laughlin                                  Efren Z. Whitehead, Jr.

President/CEO                  Director of Resident Services           Westminster Health Center


03/11/20

Dear Manor Residents & Families,

Westminster Towers is closely monitoring the evolving Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, and at this time, there are no confirmed cases in our community, nor in York County.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have recommended a variety of steps that we have implemented to help reduce the potential for the virus to enter our building. Ensuring residents are cared for and services are provided in a safe and healthy environment are our primary concerns. With this in mind, the restrictions below go into place on Thursday, March 12:

Visitors (Family & Friends)

  • Only essential outside visitors are permitted to enter the Westminster Towers building.
  • Essential outside visitors are limited to 11:00am-1:00pm, seven days per week.
  • All essential outside visitors must check in with the Towers receptionist, complete a short questionnaire and have their temperature taken.
  • Visits may only occur inside individual Manor resident rooms.
  • Independent Living residents are strongly discouraged from visiting residents in other levels of care.
  • The guest suites are not available for use by outside visitors.

Culinary Services

  • The Manor Dining Room is open for meal service as usual.
  • No guests/visitors are permitted in the Dining Room, but residents may purchase to-go meals for their guests.
  • The salad bar will be closed until further notice.

Life Enrichment

  • Manor activities and wellness classes continue as usual.
  • Manor residents are not permitted to attend activities in the Towers or Health Center until further notice.
  • There will be no guest speakers or outside entertainers/groups until further notice.
  • There will be no Westminster Towers-sponsored trips off-campus until further notice.

Transportation

  • Bus transportation to doctor’s appointments, grocery stores, pharmacies and other appointments will continue for now.

Accessing the Building

  • All access to the Towers for residents, employees and visitors will be through the Towers front door.
  • The keypads on other doors will be disabled until further notice.
  • Manor residents will not be able to receive services in the Beauty Salon until further notice, as the salon is located in the Independent Living area.
  • The Manor is no longer able to be used as a cut-through to access the Health Center. Access to the Health Center is through the Health Center front entrance only.
  • Employees are restricted to working in their specific area and not moving across campus.

Vendors, Sales Representatives & Outside Contractors

  • Deliveries will be made to the loading docks only. Towers employees will deliver items to residents and departments as necessary.
  • Outside contractors will be limited to dealing with significant issues only, i.e. HVAC, electrical or plumbing problems, or others as approved by management.
  • All outside vendors and sales representatives are not permitted in the building until further notice.
  • All scheduled onsite employee education from outside providers has been canceled until further notice.

Please note that gathering with others for meals, activities and transportation is done entirely at your own risk. Residents are encouraged to limit physical contact and practice social distancing.

Residents may choose to self-isolate in their room for their own safety, and not participate in activities or meals in the dining room. Please call Heather Miller at 328-5121 if you wish to set this up. We will update this resident’s plan of care and make their life as comfortable as possible.

We are monitoring residents daily for any symptoms of respiratory illness, such as fever, cough and difficulty breathing, but we do not know how long this outbreak will go on. We are receiving updates from both the CDC and DHEC as they are shared, but please consider this the “new normal” at Westminster Manor, at least for now. We will continue to update you as often as necessary. Should you have any questions, please feel free to contact us. For additional information, please visit the CDC’s coronavirus disease information page at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/

Thank you for your continued support and for being a valued member of our community.

James R. Thomason          Amy Laughlin                                  Efren Z. Whitehead, Jr.

President/CEO                   Director of Resident Services           Westminster Health Center


03/11/20

Dear Manor Residents & Families,

Westminster Towers is closely monitoring the evolving Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, and at this time, there are no confirmed cases in our community, nor in York County.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have recommended a variety of steps that we have implemented to help reduce the potential for the virus to enter our building. Ensuring residents are cared for and services are provided in a safe and healthy environment are our primary concerns. With this in mind, the restrictions below go into place on Thursday, March 12:

Visitors (Family & Friends)

  • Only essential outside visitors are permitted to enter the Westminster Towers building.
  • Essential outside visitors are limited to 11:00am-1:00pm, seven days per week.
  • All essential outside visitors must check in with the Towers receptionist, complete a short questionnaire and have their temperature taken.
  • Visits may only occur inside individual Manor resident rooms.
  • Independent Living residents are strongly discouraged from visiting residents in other levels of care.
  • The guest suites are not available for use by outside visitors.

Culinary Services

  • The Manor Dining Room is open for meal service as usual.
  • No guests/visitors are permitted in the Dining Room, but residents may purchase to-go meals for their guests.
  • The salad bar will be closed until further notice.

Life Enrichment

  • Manor activities and wellness classes continue as usual.
  • Manor residents are not permitted to attend activities in the Towers or Health Center until further notice.
  • There will be no guest speakers or outside entertainers/groups until further notice.
  • There will be no Westminster Towers-sponsored trips off-campus until further notice.

Transportation

  • Bus transportation to doctor’s appointments, grocery stores, pharmacies and other appointments will continue for now.

Accessing the Building

  • All access to the Towers for residents, employees and visitors will be through the Towers front door.
  • The keypads on other doors will be disabled until further notice.
  • Manor residents will not be able to receive services in the Beauty Salon until further notice, as the salon is located in the Independent Living area.
  • The Manor is no longer able to be used as a cut-through to access the Health Center. Access to the Health Center is through the Health Center front entrance only.
  • Employees are restricted to working in their specific area and not moving across campus.

Vendors, Sales Representatives & Outside Contractors

  • Deliveries will be made to the loading docks only. Towers employees will deliver items to residents and departments as necessary.
  • Outside contractors will be limited to dealing with significant issues only, i.e. HVAC, electrical or plumbing problems, or others as approved by management.
  • All outside vendors and sales representatives are not permitted in the building until further notice.
  • All scheduled onsite employee education from outside providers has been canceled until further notice.

Please note that gathering with others for meals, activities and transportation is done entirely at your own risk. Residents are encouraged to limit physical contact and practice social distancing.

Residents may choose to self-isolate in their room for their own safety, and not participate in activities or meals in the dining room. Please call Heather Miller at 328-5121 if you wish to set this up. We will update this resident’s plan of care and make their life as comfortable as possible.

We are monitoring residents daily for any symptoms of respiratory illness, such as fever, cough and difficulty breathing, but we do not know how long this outbreak will go on. We are receiving updates from both the CDC and DHEC as they are shared, but please consider this the “new normal” at Westminster Manor, at least for now. We will continue to update you as often as necessary. Should you have any questions, please feel free to contact us. For additional information, please visit the CDC’s coronavirus disease information page at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/

Thank you for your continued support and for being a valued member of our community.

James R. Thomason          Amy Laughlin                                  Efren Z. Whitehead, Jr.

President/CEO                  Director of Resident Services           Westminster Health Center


03/11/20

Dear Independent Living Residents,

Westminster Towers is closely monitoring the evolving Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, and at this time, there are no confirmed cases in our community, nor in York County.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have recommended a variety of steps that we have implemented to help reduce the potential for the virus to enter our building. Ensuring residents are cared for and services are provided in a safe and healthy environment are our primary concerns. With this in mind, the restrictions below go into place on Thursday, March 12:

Visitors (Family & Friends)

  • Only essential outside visitors are permitted to enter the Westminster Towers building.
  • Essential outside visitors are limited to 11:00am-1:00pm, seven days per week.
  • All essential outside visitors must check in with the Towers receptionist, complete a short questionnaire and have their temperature taken.
  • Visits may only occur inside individual resident apartments.
  • Independent Living residents are strongly discouraged from visiting residents in other levels of care.
  • The guest suites are not available for use by outside visitors.

Culinary Services

  • The Towers Dining Room is open for meal service as usual.
  • No guests/visitors are permitted in the Dining Rooms, but residents may purchase to-go meals for their guests.
  • The breakfast bar and salad bar will be closed until further notice.

Life Enrichment

  • On-campus activities and Wellness classes continue as usual.
  • There will be no guest speakers or outside entertainers/groups until further notice.
  • There will be no Westminster Towers-sponsored trips off-campus until further notice.

Transportation

  • Bus transportation to doctor’s appointments, grocery stores, pharmacies and other appointments will continue for now.

Accessing the Building

  • All access to the Towers for residents, employees and visitors will be through the Towers front door.
  • The keypads on other doors will be disabled until further notice.
  • The Manor is no longer able to be used as a cut-through to access the Health Center. Access to the Health Center is through the Health Center front entrance only.
  • Employees are restricted to working in their specific area and not moving across campus.

Vendors & Outside Contractors

  • Deliveries will be made to the loading docks only. Towers employees will deliver items to residents and departments as necessary.
  • Outside contractors will be limited to dealing with significant issues only, i.e. HVAC, electrical or plumbing problems, or others as approved by management.
  • All outside vendors and sales representatives are not permitted in the building until further notice.
  • All scheduled onsite employee education from outside providers has been canceled until further notice.

Please note that gathering with others for meals, activities and transportation is done entirely at your own risk. Residents are encouraged to limit physical contact and practice social distancing.

Residents may choose to self-isolate in their apartments for their own safety. Please call the front desk if you wish to do this so that meal and mail delivery service may be set up.

If you have symptoms of respiratory illness, such as cough, fever and/or shortness of breath, we require that you inform the Towers front desk via telephone and isolate yourself in your room. Meals and mail will be delivered to you at no charge, as well as any necessary personal supplies. Most importantly, we strongly encourage all residents to use good handwashing techniques.

We do not know how long this outbreak will go on. We are monitoring the situation and receiving updates from both the CDC and DHEC as they are shared, but please consider this the “new normal” at Westminster Towers, at least for now. We will continue to update you as often as necessary. Should you have any questions, please feel free to contact us. For additional information, please visit the CDC’s coronavirus disease information page at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/

Thank you for your continued support and for being a valued member of our community.

James R. Thomason          Amy Laughlin                                  Efren Z. Whitehead, Jr.

President/CEO                  Director of Resident Services           Westminster Health Center