A Message from Carl Tarbell, Executive Director of the Masonic Village at Burlington

The Scoop on COVID-19 at Masonic Village

Updated May 18, 2020

I am so very thankful for and proud of all of our dedicated staff, who have risen to new heights during this pandemic, providing around-the-clock care to our residents with compassion and professionalism. We will continue to adapt to the quickly changing procedures and practices to protect our community while providing safe recreational and spiritual services and creative ways for residents to connect with their loved ones during this challenging time.

Dr. Guda, our Medical Director, is currently living on campus and is seeing patients as frequently as needed. Our nursing team monitors our skilled nursing and assisted living residents’ vital signs on every shift and assesses them for symptoms. Any symptoms are reported to the physician or nurse practitioner, and the resident is immediately placed on isolation. Our team members are screened daily prior to entering work for fever other symptoms. We are following all procedures recommended by the CDC and maintain contact with public health officials.

The state reports COVID-19 statistics on its website, https://covid19.nj.gov/#live-updates and our local media report these numbers. The 59 cases reported for our community is a combined total of all of our staff and residents who have tested positive; it does not adjust for residents or team members who have recovered due to early detection and the great care provided by our staff and our physician teams. Thanks to our clinical teams and commitment to our mission, we are more aggressive than other communities in testing for the virus, in hopes that early detection increases recovery rates. The state site does not show how many tests have been completed at each facility, nor does it report negative test results. Currently, we have 28 out of 425 residents with active cases of the virus, and 26 out of 450 team members with active cases of the virus.

The five deaths reported for our community on the state site include when a resident had a respiratory issue, whether or not they were tested for COVID-19. Our thoughts and prayers are with our residents and staff who are suffering from this virus, as well as with the families of those who have succumbed to it.

For many years in a row, Masonic Village at Burlington has been named the Best of Burlington in several categories and was named to the lists of Best Nursing Homes and Best Short-term Rehab by U.S. News & World Report for 2019-2020. I believe our team continues to earn our reputation as a premier service provider during this national healthcare crisis.

Through it all, Masonic Village at Burlington remains a caring and loving place to call “home.”

Campus-wide Updates

Thank you for your patience and understanding during this challenging time. As you know, this situation is changing very rapidly. We are taking the following measures to safeguard the well-being of all our residents and staff:

Closures

The following service areas are closed until further notice:

  • The Cornerstone Restaurant is closed. The 902 Café is open for delivery only.
  • Hair salons
  • All public activities and large campus events are canceled until further notice.
  • No outside groups will be permitted on campus during this time.
  • Unnecessary vendors are restricted.

Medical Appointments

  • Non-essential physician, medical and rehabilitation appointments should be rescheduled until further notice. For those with urgent needs, arrangements and transportation, if needed, will be provided to off-campus office locations.

Staff

  • All staff are screened upon coming to work with a questionnaire and temperature check.
  • No staff will be eliminated based on operational changes or due to COVID-19-related illness.

Visitors

  • As a result of the state of emergency in New Jersey, the Masonic Village at Burlington is closed to ALL visitors until further notice in coordination with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and NJ Department of Health. While we understand the importance of visiting with loved ones, exceptions will only be considered under extraordinary circumstances and will need to be scheduled and approved by calling Carl Tarbell, Executive Director, at 609-239-3900, or Cindy Shemansky, Assistant Executive Director, 609-239-3900 ext. 3924.

Travel

  • We strongly discourage non-essential travel to reduce the opportunity for exposure to the virus. Anyone who has traveled out of the area or stayed off campus overnight should notify administration so they can be screened upon return, after which they will be required to quarantine for 14 days..

Volunteers

  • While vital to our Mission, we have asked volunteers to suspend their services until further notice.

Nursing/Assisted Living Updates

  • We have canceled all group events, outings, activities and gatherings until further notice.
  • All residents in the personal care and nursing areas are dining in their room and are limited to their living area.

Retirement Living Updates

Recreation

  • We have canceled all recreational activities, outings and events until further notice.
  • We discourage residents from leaving campus except for essential purposes (to grocery stores and the pharmacy, although delivery is a preferred option; and urgent medical visits). We have made essential grocery items available on-campus to reduce residents’ needs to leave.

Thank you in advance for your cooperation with these matters to safeguard our community.

Sincerely,

Carl Tarbell

Read up-to-date information on how the Masonic Village at Burlington’s efforts during the COVID-19 pandemic. To share your support for our dedicated team members during this difficult time, please email ThankYou@njmasonic.org.
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