Coronavirus Information

September 9, 2021

We celebrate that more than 97% of residents at Heron’s Key have completed their vaccinations, and continue to assist incoming residents and staff members with vaccination resources.

We currently have 1 staff member at home in quarantine for a required ten days as a result of positive COVID-19 test. We are currently testing Penrose Harbor staff twice a week, and all staff at Heron’s Key weekly until further notice.  

Protecting the health and wellbeing of Heron’s Key residents and staff continues to be our highest priority. We are continuing to monitor the COVID-19 situation very closely to ensure we are taking precautions to protect our community, and continue to vigorously encourage vaccination. Decisions are guided by our local public health jurisdictions, the CDC, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, and the Washington State Governor.

From the onsite of this COVID-19 pandemic, residents and staff have been urged to follow the recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html for prevention of any viral respiratory illness, including frequent hand washing, practice of good cough etiquette, advising those exhibiting any symptoms of the virus, or in direct contact with those exhibiting symptoms (sore throat, cough, fever) to remain at home until symptom-free for 72 hours.

Effective June 30, 2021, all counties in Washington State are re-opened.  For Heron’s Key, seating in the restaurants and meeting spaces is no longer limited to a reduced capacity.   Independent living residents are welcome to have guests for indoor visit throughout Heron’s Key; at this time masks are required in all indoor spaces for residents, staff and guests.   In-person indoor sponsored activities for residents are allowed at 100% of room capacity; residents are encouraged to continue to participate in programs and events spanning the 7-elements of Wellness through creative online videos, webinars and virtual meetings.

Salon services for residents have resumed at full capacity.

Seated dining services have resumed in Syren’s Grille restaurant.  “Grab-n-Go”, take-out and delivery options continue to remain available.

Transportation to local grocery stores has also resumed; curbside pick-up for residents that have ordered groceries online also continues.

As we welcome visitors to Heron’s Key the following requirements remain in effect:

Employees are screened at the Concierge Desk and are required to have their temperature taken upon arrival to campus.  All employees are required to wear a mask while at Heron’s Key; residents and guests who are fully vaccinated are not required to wear a mask in outdoor spaces.  Residents and guests are required to wear a mask when outside of their apartment/cottage home and when staff members are providing service in their home, regardless of vaccination status.

Housekeeping and maintenance services to Independent Living continue to follow enhanced safety protocols.

Specific to Penrose Harbor, in April of 2021, the Washington State Department of Health (DOH) again released updated guidelines for long-term care facilities such as Penrose Harbor at Heron’s Key. Although still in effect, the Safe Start Plan for Long term care is advancing with reductions in restrictions for Penrose Harbor, and we are delighted that residents in Penrose Harbor are once again able to connect in person with loved ones and friends.  Requirements and limitations for who is eligible for in-person visit, and limits on the number of visitors allowed for indoor versus outdoor visits continues under this Safe Start Plan.  At this time under Tacoma Pierce County Health Department requirements, Penrose Harbor is closed to indoor visitations, with the exception of compassionate care visits, through September 11th.  Outdoor visits, zoom and window visits are allowed.

Residents scheduling an outdoor visit may have up to four visitors. All Penrose Harbor residents, regardless of vaccination status, may schedule outdoor visits (as long as weather is safe). Both outdoor and “window visits” are available by appointment for all residents in Penrose Harbor.  An outdoor canopy with seating is available for visitation by appointment at the entrance to Penrose Harbor.  In addition, canopies with seating and intercom systems have been placed outside of vacant rooms to allow for window visitation.  Appointments are required to ensure disinfection of all areas between visits.  Please call the Penrose Receptionist at 235-313-0800 to make an appointment.

We continue to follow the Governor’s orders for long-term care visitor restrictions and are monitoring closely for any changes.

Weekly COVID-19 testing is being completed for Penrose Harbor and Heron’s Key staff.

Although currently allowed under the newly revised Safe Start Plan, indoor group activities and communal dining are also required to be paused through September 11.  The Penrose Harbor Life enrichment team continues to work with residents individually for activity programming and support of ongoing communication between residents and their loved ones using video chat, e-mail, social media and phone.

Every resident in Penrose Harbor is assessed for symptoms and has their temperature checked every staff shift change.

Residents in Penrose Harbor who receive a diagnosis of COVID-19 will be isolated in their rooms away from other people and staff will follow the most recent Public Health recommendations for care of patients with COVID-19.

Penrose Harbor and Herons’ Key staff and volunteers are prohibited from disclosing protected and confidential health information, except as otherwise provided by law or with the resident’s consent.

Questions about the Safe Start Plan for Long Term Care and how it pertains to Penrose Harbor may be directed to Amy Webb, Executive Director.

Thank you for your support and understanding as we work diligently to ensure the safety, health and wellbeing of residents and staff.  For the most current information about COVID-19 and coronaviruses, we recommend visiting the CDC https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html or Department of Health https://www.doh.wa.gov/Emergencies/Coronavirus websites.