Saint Mary's Home of Erie, PA

News

Last updated on 12/02/2020

COVID-19 Response

Saint Mary's Home of Erie's top priority is the health and wellness of our residents and employees. We understand the concerns surrounding COVID-19 and its impact, and we are committed to making sure our residents, their families and our community are aware of our active efforts for prevention and containment.

Use these links to jump to a specific section on this page:


COVID-19 Status

As part of our commitment to transparency, we are sharing the status of COVID-19 in our facilities including positive (active) cases, recovered cases, and deaths. The data reported is cumulative and will be updated throughout each week as needed.

Status Report:

Holiday Season: Special Information

We know this holiday season will be different than most for many residents and families. Saint Mary’s is working hard to make this season special even as we continue to face a number of restrictions. As we work to keep our community safe from COVID-19, we need everyone’s continued help and cooperation.

Restricted Holiday Visitation

Due to a number of constraints, visitation will be restricted on and around the major holidays. Lobby visits will not be held on the following dates:

Thanksgiving: Thursday, November 26 - Sunday, November 29.
Visits will resume on Monday, November 30.

Christmas: Thursday, December 24 - Sunday, December 27.
Visits will resume on Monday, December 28.

New Year’s: Thursday, December 31 - Sunday, January 3.
Visits will resume on Monday, January 3.

Holiday Outings Suspended

The COVID-19 positivity rate in Erie County has exceeded 5%. As a result all outings have been suspended until further notice. Residents may only leave the building for medically necessary appointments.

Holiday Gift and Package Drop Off for Residents

Saint Mary’s will make accommodations for families and friends to drop off holiday gifts and packages for their loved ones for a limited period. Once Saint Mary’s receives these items we will quarantine them before they are delivered to residents. Saint Mary's is planning a special delivery of these gifts and packages the week of December 21! We need everyone’s help to make this go smoothly!

Gifts and packages for in-person drop off must meet these restrictions:

  • Limited to a total of three (3) gift boxes or packages per resident
  • Boxes must be no bigger than 24×24”
  • Boxes may be gift wrapped, but should be clearly labeled with the residents name and room number
  • Any clothing items must be labeled. Social Services can provide labels if needed
  • No perishables

Gifts and packages will be accepted at the appropriate campus during the following times only:

When: Monday, December 7 – Friday, December 11
Time: 3 p.m. – 5 p.m.

Drop off Location at Saint Mary's at Asbury Ridge: Uht Hall entrance
Uht Hall is located in the back of the Asbury Ridge campus, near the rear entrance to Residential Living. Follow signs for Uht Hall and look for the double glass doors.

Drop off Location at Saint Mary’s East: Residential Living entrance
The Residential Living and Personal Care entrance is located on the corner of East 26th and Ash Streets, with the driveway accessible from Ash Street. Follow signs for Residence and look for the double glass doors under the porte-cochère.

Sending a package by mail? We encourage you to do so early as shipping delays are anticipated around the holidays.

Please do not bring items for drop off to the main lobby areas or to visitation appointments.

Gifts for Employees

Per federal regulations and our policies, individual employees of Saint Mary’s are not permitted to accept gifts or cash gifts from residents or family members at any time. This year, due to COVID-19 restrictions, we additionally cannot accept gifts in the form of edible items such as cookie trays, fruit baskets, etc.

We understand many people generously want to find a way to thank the employees for their dedication. While a monetary donation is not expected, Saint Mary’s will gratefully accept donations and direct them to an “Employee Holiday Fund.” The fund will be used to coordinate a special holiday treat that can be shared equally with all of the employees at Saint Mary’s.

Donations can be made online or by mail. Please include a note that designates your gift to the "Employee Holiday Fund." Questions about making a donation can be directed to the Development Office.


Reopening Plan

Reopening Information

Saint Mary’s Home of Erie is following a three-step reopening plan as outlined by the Pennsylvania Department of Health. While reopening does not mean a complete return to normal operations, it does allow for limited forms of visitation to occur and for the reintroduction of certain services as we advance through each step – services like communal dining, activities, and permitting non-essential personnel.

The Implementation Plan for Reopening for each campus can be found here:

These plans are fluid as guidance and regulations change frequently. Dates are not set in stone and are subject to change. If at any point during reopening there is a new facility onset of COVID-19 or if the positivity rate increases in Erie County, Saint Mary’s will halt reopening and will return to our restricted visitor policies. We encourage all families to review the plans above and familiarize themselves with our strategies.

What step of reopening is each campus currently in?

  • Saint Mary’s East: Reopening Halted

East has halted reopening and returned to prior restrictions. Visitation is suspended as of November 19. Outings are not permitted.

  • Saint Mary’s at Asbury Ridge: Reopening Halted

Asbury Ridge has halted reopening and returned to prior restrictions. Visitation is suspended as of November 5. Outings are not permitted.

Visitation Information

No Visitations: Visitation is currently suspended at Saint Mary's at Asbury Ridge and Saint Mary's East until further notice.

As a reminder, video chats including FaceTime and Skype continue to be available through the Activities Department.


What We've Been Doing

In accordance with the guidelines outlined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), and the PA Department of Health concerning higher-risk populations such as the elderly, we have been diligently enacting precautionary measures within both of our communities to help protect our residents and staff.

Some of these measures include:

  • As of September 23rd, employees have been provided with face shields and are required to wear them when in resident care areas as an added precaution.
  • Weather dependent, residents may use designated outdoor areas, such as our internal courtyards and patios, to get some fresh air and enjoy the sunshine. Residents will be required to wear masks and maintain social distancing as appropriate.
  • Residents, for whom it is appropriate, are required to wear a face mask or covering whenever they leave their room and whenever someone else enters their room. Fabric face masks are being provided to residents for this purpose. We are also providing fabric face masks to staff for personal use outside of work.
  • Beginning April 6th, staff will be provided with a face mask and will be required to wear the mask at all times when working. Any essential vendors who enter the building will also be required to wear a mask.
  • Effective April 2nd, families and friends will not be permitted to visit at resident windows due to security and privacy risks.
  • Effective March 20th, we will not accept in-person deliveries/drop-offs of food, cards, books, magazines, gifts, or laundry at this time. This is done in an effort to limit risk of the virus entering our building. We continue to accept florist deliveries and USPS mail, along with UPS and FedEx. We understand your desire to help brighten a loved one's day and we know how a small act of kindness can make a difference.
  • Adult Day Services is closed beginning March 16th until further notice.
  • Restricted Visitations
    • Effective March 14th, at both Saint Mary's East and Saint Mary's at Asbury Ridge, visitations have been restricted until further notice. We will work with families on other ways they can connect with a loved one during this time. Video chat appointments can be made Monday - Friday. To help our staff coordinate, please schedule in advance.
    • Exceptions will be made for immediate family members of residents receiving hospice/end-of-life care.
    • We will notify family members if there is a change in the condition of their loved one.
  • Resident activities that expose residents to groups of people have been suspended. This includes communal dining and attendance at Mass, which will be televised for residents until further notice.
  • Staff is required to enter through the employee entrance, where they will be screened at the start of each shift. Staff continues to be provided with additional education and resources on Infection Prevention and Control.
  • Medical and cleaning supplies are being monitored and used as efficiently as possible

As new information becomes available and as the situation evolves, additional action may be taken. We understand how difficult and uncertain of a time this is for residents and family members, but these actions are necessary to protect the seniors in our care and the employees who care for them. We are grateful for the community's understanding, cooperation and trust.

What You Can Do

We urge everyone to follow the recommendations from the CDC and the PA Department of Health, which include regular hand washing, covering your cough or sneeze, frequent cleaning and disinfecting, practicing social distancing, wearing a mask in public, and staying home if you are sick.

Be Prepared
It is important to be prepared not just for the novel coronavirus, but for a number of situations. For information on ways you can plan ahead, visit ready.gov

Stay Informed
It is important to stay informed as this is a rapidly evolving situation. For the most accurate and up-to-date information regarding COVID-19, we recommend visiting cdc.gov and health.pa.gov.


COVID-19 Communications

Weekly email updates for families and friends have been ongoing since March 20, 2020. To sign up for these email updates regarding Saint Mary's & COVID-19, please send your contact information to eberkstresser@stmaryshome.org

Letters
Statements

Email Updates


Contact:
Emma Berkstresser
Director of Marketing and Development
(814) 451-1316
eberkstresser@stmaryshome.org