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COVID-19: Information on Coronavirus for Good Shepherd Rehabilitation Network Patients

A 5/19/20 Pennsylvania Department of Health (DoH) report on COVID-19 activity in long-term care facilities mistakenly attributed 18 positive resident and staff cases to Good Shepherd Home – Raker Center. At present, there are no positive COVID cases at either of Good Shepherd’s two long-term care facilities, Good Shepherd Home – Bethlehem and Good Shepherd Home – Raker Center. We are working to resolve the issue.

Ensuring the health and safety of our patients, visitors and staff is our first priority; therefore, Good Shepherd Rehabilitation Network is exercising every precaution to protect against coronavirus/COVID-19.

How Is Good Shepherd Responding to COVID-19?

  • All of our facilities, including outpatient locations, are hospital-based, so we are held to a very high safety standard when it comes to cleaning and disinfecting patient rooms, therapy equipment, tables, common areas and high-touch surfaces.
  • We clean all equipment before and after use and have increased the frequency of deep cleaning procedures in both inpatient and outpatient locations.
  • In addition, our employees practice rigorous handwashing procedures.
  • We have implemented visitor restrictions at our inpatient facilities, with some exceptions for extenuating circumstances.
  • We are pre-screening patients at outpatient facilities to ensure they are healthy upon arrival and are restricting access for anyone with fever or symptoms of a respiratory infection.
  • We are placing volunteer duties and other activities on hold.
  • We are eliminating deliveries of food, flowers, etc. to patients.
  • We are offering virtual visits for patients who are unable – or not yet ready – to leave their homes.

Inpatient Visitor Restrictions in Place

To support the social, emotional, and physical needs of our patients, Good Shepherd will allow a designated family member to visit a patient at the Good Shepherd Rehabilitation Hospital and Good Shepherd Specialty Hospital for a maximum of 60 minutes, effective Monday, June 1, 2020.

These visits will be scheduled by GSRN Care Management to ensure a safe environment for patients, visitors and staff.

Visit Process and Guidelines

  • Visits will be scheduled between 4 and 8 p.m., in one (1) hour increments in designated areas on each floor.
  • The family member MUST provide valid identification, be masked and clear the health screening process to be permitted to visit.
  • The family member will be directed to the specific visit location after successfully completing the screening process.
  • Good Shepherd staff will notify visitors when their 60 minutes are complete.
  • We ask that visitors respect the 60 minutes allotted. 
  • Misuse of these visitor guidelines may result in a loss of visiting privileges. 

Outpatient Visits

Good Shepherd outpatient locations are OPEN and ready to serve you via physical, speech and/or occupational therapy, as well as physician services. For your safety:

  • All patients and employees are screened prior to arrival.
  • All patients and employees are thermal scanned at the door.
  • Patients must wear masks. (Please bring your own face covering, if you are able).
  • Providers must wear masks, face shields and gloves.
  • Strict handwashing/sanitizing is enforced.

In addition, Good Shepherd is staggering patient arrivals and made changes to the physical layout within facilities to promote physical distancing. For example, we removed select (not all) chairs from waiting rooms, relocated treatment tables, installed Plexiglas barriers where needed and enhanced deep cleaning procedures.

Visitors are not permitted for outpatient appointments except in circumstances where a caregiver may be necessary for patients who are disabled or have special needs.

To make an in-person appointment, please request an appointment online, use our live chat or call 1-888-44-REHAB (73422).

Virtual Visits

As a convenience to our patients, Good Shepherd is offering virtual visits with our physicians, physical therapists, occupational therapists, speech therapists and clinical psychologists — all from the comfort of your home. With these telehealth appointments, patients can communicate in real-time through a smartphone, laptop, desktop or tablet.

Virtual visits are covered by Medicare and most major insurances.

To request a virtual visit, please request a telehealth appointment online, use our live chat or call 1-888-44-REHAB (73422).

Note: The Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act, signed into law on March 6, 2020, includes waivers that temporarily relax regulations on digital communications between providers and patients.

Health Screenings

When entering a Good Shepherd Rehabilitation Network facility, all patients and visitors are required to complete a health screening, which may include having your temperature checked and answering some questions about your health and any recent travel. Any visitor who is sick, has a high risk of prior exposure or has traveled from a high-risk geographical area will not be permitted to enter any hospital or facility under any circumstances.

While you’re in the hospital or facility, visitors may have periodic monitoring.

Face Coverings

To help maintain a healthy environment, we are requiring all patients and visitors to wear a face covering or mask at all times. We ask that you bring your own face covering or mask to wear. If you do not have a face covering, we will provide one.

In addition to covering your face, you should practice social distancing and try to restrict your mobility as much as possible.

Vendor and Service Visits

To protect the health and safety of our patients, staff and the community, Good Shepherd Rehabilitation Network (GSRN) is suspending all non-essential vendor and service visits at all facilities, effective March 18, 2020.

Non-essential vendors with meetings scheduled at GSRN are asked to replace in-person meetings with webex or conference call.

Only essential vendor representatives required to service GSRN’s operations or repair/maintain critical equipment will be allowed on site to perform those services, including:

  • HVAC and fire alarm systems
  • Sanitation and pest control
  • Delivery of supplies/medications
  • Utilities and garbage
  • Contracted staff who perform essential functions, including food service and agency nurses

We ask that all vendors work directly with their GSRN contact to determine how and if service should occur.

Other Services

Effective March 17, 2020, in accordance with CDC guidelines, services such as the Good Shepherd Fitness Center and Rock Steady Boxing are suspended until further notice.

With Visitor Restrictions/Limitations in Place, How Can I Visit with My Loved One?

We encourage you to consider alternative forms of communication, such as FaceTime and Skype, where possible. Please speak with the staff caring for your loved one.

Thank you, in advance for your cooperation and for trusting Good Shepherd Rehabilitation Network with your care or the care of a family member.