Visitation Guidance Update (LHRC)

Though some of you primarily rely on social media for information related to Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) and visitation to our facility, I ask that you please read this letter in its entirety. The updated Visitation Plan we’ve enclosed as well as our website will provide more accurate visitation information as it pertains to us.

We plan to begin taking reservations for outdoor, socially distanced, in-person visitation at the Lutheran Home and Rehabilitation Center on Monday, September 28. Available days and times are included on the enclosed Visitation Plan. We will NOT make any in-person visitation appointments until that day.

Please note that important changes have been made to the Visitation Plan compared to what we sent to you last week. The changes were based on new visitation guidance issued to us by the New York State Department of Health on Tuesday, September 15. The most important changes that will require added planning on behalf of ANYONE planning to visit our residents in the foreseeable future is in relation to COVID-19 testing and screening:

The first point of emphasis (and the biggest challenge) is that every visitor must now be screened for COVID-19 within seven (7) days prior to a scheduled visit AND negative test results must be presented upon arrival/check-in. Proof of testing is not enough; you MUST have the negative test results with you and it will be required for every person, every visit, no exceptions. This also goes for anyone who has tested positive for COVID-19 in the past, recovered from the virus, and presents virus antibodies.

The second point of emphasis is that every visitor must be screened for signs or symptoms of COVID-19 prior to the start of any in-person visit. This will include a temperature check and personal health questionnaire. It is imperative that you answer these questions honestly and truthfully to protect your loved one and others from any community-based asymptomatic spread of COVID-19. Regardless of where your opinions fall on the virus severity or political spectrum, COVID-19 spreads rapidly in close populations like ours. This is known across the board. We must protect all of our residents at all costs. No one will be permitted to visit without meeting all of these state health requirements.

The typical turnaround time for COVID-19 test results is 3-5 days, not counting the time it takes for the specimen to be transported. Based on this information, we recommend you call us first (beginning on Monday, September 28) to schedule a visit with your loved one. Then find a COVID-19 testing location in the community and get in as soon as you can. Be sure to emphasize to the testing site that you need the results as soon as possible to visit. You can use the following links to identify testing locations online, some of which accommodate walk-ins:

Also, the following numbers are for scheduling in-person visits. They are the same numbers you previously used to arrange window calls, video chats, and more:

LHRC Units: (A1) 716-665-8164, (B1) 716-665-8115, (A2) 716-665-8165, and (B2) 716-665-8118

Last but not least, we know that our residents’ social circles and family circles commonly overlap. However, there are many more instances where these circles do NOT overlap, leaving some family members or friends out of the loop when it comes to news related to their loved ones in our care. As the identified points of contact for our residents, we ask that you please share this very important information with others you think may be interested in visiting in the future. This will help make things easier for our residents and it will also ease time constraints put on our staff as we navigate this very delicate scheduling process. These letters are also available on the “COVID-19 Preparedness” section of our website, in the event you cannot share the hard copy of the letter with others directly.

Sadly, we have lost nearly 200,000 Americans to COVID-19 over the last seven months and more than 900,000 people across the world. We pray for those we’ve lost, their families, and their caregivers trying desperately to save every life they touch. Please continue to practice good judgement in the world and encourage others to wear a mask, wash their hands, stay 6-feet apart, and socially distance whenever possible.

Symptomatic Residents Tested for COVID-19 – 24
HP & LHRC Residents Tested for COVID-19 by DOH – 153
Residents Currently Testing Positive for COVID-19 – 0
Employees Tested Weekly for COVID-19 (Mandated) – ALL
Employees Currently Testing Positive for COVID-19 – 0
Former COVID-19 Positive Employees Recovered – 4


Tom Holt
President and CEO