March 11, 2020

Dear Good Shepherd Independent Living Residents,

Good Shepherd Communities is monitoring the Coronavirus (COVID-19) situation as we are sure many of you are as well. Currently, there are no known cases in Broome County, but we wanted to reach out to our residents and their families to provide up to date information.

Long term care facilities are working in collaboration with Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the New York State Department of Health (NYS DOH), Broome County Emergency Operations, and our local Public Health Department to prepare for the likely presence of this virus in our communities.

We are diligently following all directives and recommendations from these entities to ensure that we are prepared to care for our residents.

Independent Living Residents

At this time, we are not limiting or restricting visits to IL residents. However, we do discourage visits, especially in group or congregate setting. Please help us keep you safe.

We will also be canceling all entertainment programming involving outside vendors or volunteers for the present time.

Education resources on COVID-19 will be provided in the Library. Please note the information is fluid and changing constantly. If you prefer to do your own research, we would urge you access credible sites such as those maintained by CMS, CDC or NYS DOH.

Health Care Residents

The New York State Department of Health and CMS have issued notifications regarding visitors to health care. Based on these notifications, we are implementing the following steps for our health care buildings and residents.

Limited Visitation
We have been notified that Wayne County, PA has confirmed Covid-19Case(s). Wayne County is adjacent to Broome County. Because of this, CMS recommends limiting visitation. Limiting means that visitors will not be allowed to enter the facility except for end-of-life situations or when a visitor is essential for the resident’s emotional well-being and care. Example: a daughter who visits her mother every Monday, would cease these visits, and limit her visits to only those situations when her mom has a significant issue. Also, during the visit, the daughter would limit her contact with her mother and only meet with her in her room or a place the facility has specifically dedicated for visits.

Screening for Visitors allowed under the exceptions to Limited Visitations

  1. We will actively screen and restrict visitation by those who meet the following criteria:
  • Signs or symptoms of a respiratory infection, such as fever, cough, shortness of breath, or sore throat.
  • In the last 14 days, has had contact with someone with a confirmed diagnosis of COVID19, or under investigation for COVID-19, or are ill with respiratory illness.
  • International travel within the last 14 days to countries with sustained community transmission.
  • Resides in a community where community-based spread of COVID-19 is occurring.

Individuals who meet any of the criteria above should not be allowed in the facility at all, until they no longer meet the criteria above.

  1. Additionally, we will ask:
  • Have you taken any recent trips (within the last 14 days) on cruise ships or participated in other settings where crowds are confined to a common location?

If the answer is yes, we suggest deferring the visit to a later date. If entry is necessary, visitors should use PPE while onsite. If we do not have sufficient PPE, we will restrict the visit, and ask the visitor to come back after at least 14 days with no symptoms of COVID-19.

  1. If a visitor qualifies for an exemption to the Limited Visitation policy and does not meet the above criteria (1-2), they can enter the Facility but we may require the use of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) such as facemasks.
  2. All visitors must enter through the Designated Entrance only (see the Facility Specific Information below). There will be no visitor entrance from other areas.

In addition, please note we are cancelling any HC resident activities involving outside entertainment and\or volunteers. We will continue to provide resident activities using our employees in accordance with our infection control policies.


Staff will be screened on a daily basis using the process outlined above.


Information on practices will be posted at entrances, in the vestibules and on our website.

We appreciate your cooperation, and will update you on evolving concerns and plans. Please share this information with any friends and family who visit. At this time, we are unable to estimate the duration of the limitations on visits and changes to group programming, but we will modify our strategies based on regulatory directives and best practices. If you have any questions, please contact the appropriate personnel as outlined in the Facility Specific Information below.


Kathy Swezey                                     MaryKay McKinney
GSFH Executive Director                  GSVE IL Executive Director

Facility Specific Information

Main Number 724-2477 757-3100
Designated Entrance Main Entrance HC Entrance
General Inquiries on Visiting Receptionist or House Charge RN Receptionist or House Charge RN
Specific Guidance on Visiting Apartments: Christa Webb

ALR\EALR\ALP: Tracy Spence

SNF: Christa Webb

Independent Living: MaryKay McKinney (484-6084) or Margo Doyle

ALR\EALR\SNALR: Sandy Hoover)

SNF: Leslie VanAustin

HC Specific Resident Health Status Inquiries

(Limited to Mon-Fri 11a-1p. On evenings and weekends, please contact the Facility and ask for the House Charge RN)

ALR\EALR\ALP: Margaret Mattucci

Cameo Court: Jenn Graef

Rehab Unit: Jenny Mateer

ALR\EALR SNALR: Danielle Gulick

SNF: Kathy Moore