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Jeanne Jugan, Lorelton, St. Francis among those taking coronavirus precautions to help protect residents, patients, visitors

Mother Superior Margaret Regina brings a relic to the altar with Cindy Gilfillan during the 150th Anniversary Mass of the Arrival of the Little Sisters of the Poor in America in July 2019. Dialog photo/Don Blake

Due to the spread of the coronavirus, new visitor policies have been put in place at assisted living homes and hospitals to keep the virus from spreading to others.

Depending on the facility, the visitation policy has been either changed to no visitation at all or an extreme limitation, only allowing one visitor.

Many assisted living homes for seniors throughout the state have had to enforce new policy rules to help keep those living there remain in good health.

Ingleside Assisted Living apartments have limited “visitors to only essential personnel and have a hand sanitation station in our lobby at the check-in desk” said Renata Maslowski, the marketing and sales director for Ingleside. Maslowski also said “our staff has been educated on recommended safety procedures; our housekeeping staff has increased cleaning of common areas and we postponed social trips and live entertainment.”

Wanting to keep their community informed, Ingleside “sent information to our residents and their families about the details and revised procedures” and “will be updating information on our website with this information as well,” said Maslowski.

A change in visitation also occurred at the Lorelton, but it wasn’t the same changes Ingleside made.

According to Jennifer McFall, the community relations director at the Lorelton, “we are on lockdown to visitors” meaning that visitation will not be allowed during this time.

By paying close attention to the CDC, the Little Sisters of the Poor have also made some modifications.

Bishop Malooly kicks off the 11th annual Swing Fore Little Sisters in 2018. He is joined by Mother Margaret Regina of the Jeanne Jugan Residence and Michael Tobiason, head golf pro at Deerfield. (Dialog photo/Joseph P. Owens)

“We’ve made efforts to separate the residents according to their room assignments, residents now eat in their room; monitor residents to make sure they stay six feet apart, and keep those who have temperatures isolated from others,” said Mother Margaret Regina.

During this time, no visitors are allowed inside, such as families of the residents, only essential personnel, said Mother Margaret Regina, head of Jeanne Jugan Residence in Newark.

This is an unfortunate time for the sisters because they can’t have Mass or Holy Communion, but Mother Margaret Regina has continued to enlighten the residents by allowing them to slip into the chapel anytime they wish to have quiet time.

Despite all that’s going on, Mother Regina remains hopeful and said, “we’re trying to keep them (the residents) upbeat with activities and trying to keep things as normal as possible.”

In addition to assisted living homes changing their visitation policy, hospitals throughout the state made changes as well to help enforce social distancing.

According to St. Francis Hospital’s website, no visitors will be allowed in the hospital. Some exceptions may be made on a case-by-case basis for: children admitted into the hospital, the maternity unit, and for patients receiving end-of-life care.

The ChristianaCare, health care organization made two changes to their policy this week in following government guidelines to keep patients and the community healthy, which were posted on their website. On March 15, the health care organization first limited patients at the hospitals, outpatient services and the Helen F. Graham Cancer Center & Research Institute to one visitor. As the situation of the virus changed daily, ChristianaCare changed its visitation policy to no visitors are allowed at any of the facilitieseffective March 19, until further notice.

As Mother Regina said, “we have to really pray hard for this to be over, real quick.”