Important Information on Otterbein’s Response to the COVID-19 Virus

Check back here for future updates as the situation evolves.

jill wilson of otterbein senior living

A Message From Jill Wilson, President and CEO of Otterbein SeniorLife

The safety and well-being of Otterbein residents, patients, partners (employees), and visitors is of primary importance each and every day. In light of the COVID-19 outbreak, and our “at-risk” population, Otterbein SeniorLife will be adhering to all governmental recommendations and regulations and initiating additional precautions.

Community Visitation – Re-Opening Procedures and Policies

July 15, 2020

Governor DeWine announced on Monday, June 29, that outdoor visits in nursing homes will be permissible starting on July 20. Otterbein will have designated staff to schedule and will do everything to accommodate these visits, as we understand how important they are to the residents and their families and friends.

Otterbein Lebanon is the first community open for visitation and to have amenities re-opened. Other communities will follow. Please be aware of social distancing and health guidelines at all times, including:

  • Wearing a facemask

  • Maintaining at least 6 feet of distance between you and other people

  • Avoiding touching your face

  • Washing hands with soap and water for 20 seconds and/or using an approved hand sanitizer

Unfortunately, we must all be aware the virus is still spreading and the threat still exists, so visits will be conducted with stringent safety measures. The Department of Health has issued detailed requirements that we all must adhere. We ask only that you carefully follow the guidelines and criteria so that we can all continue to ensure the safety and wellbeing of those who are entrusted to our care.

Health & Safety at Otterbein

Effective July 20, 2020 – Nursing Resident Outdoor Visits with Family Members and Friends – Guidelines

  • All vistors must mear a facemask and check in before the visit.

  • Outdoor visitation will only occur weather-permitting.

  • All visits must be scheduled in advance and are limited to 45 minutes each.

Effective July 1, 2020 – Culinary-Dining and Other Amenities Reopening for Independent Living Residents

  • Restaurants require reservations in advance and residents should wear facemasks at all times unless eating

  • Room service and grocery/shopping delivery remain available

  • (Lebanon) The Otterbein Health Clinic is open by appointment only

  • (Lebanon) The Creative Arts Center is open by appointment only and limited to 10 residents at any given time

  • (Lebanon) COVID-19 testing is available if desired by appointment

Effective immediately at all Otterbein SeniorLife Communities and Neighborhoods:

  • (Starting April 23, 2020, and until further notice) Otterbein Offensive begins
    • The OTTERBEIN OFFENSIVE is our plan to exercise over-caution and take a proactive approach to managing this very complex situation.
    • To further slow the spread we must identify anyone and everyone carrying the virus early. Otterbein will take a bold step in being even more proactive in combating COVID-19. To accomplish this we plan to go well beyond most care providers and do much more extensive testing. We will do so through our new plan – the “OTTERBEIN OFFENSIVE.” We will begin to conduct very large numbers of COVID-19 tests to all caregiving partners and all nursing and assisted living residents. This enables us to go on the offensive, testing not just those that have symptoms, but those that do not.
    • We are planning to test well over a thousand residents and partners. We recognize this approach will likely result in more positive tests, but more effectively enable us to isolate residents or partners earlier and further reduce the spread of the virus.
  • (Starting April 20, 2020, and until further notice) Notification to the resident and families will be made within 24 hours for the first cases of resident or staff test positive for COVID-19.
  • (Starting April 13, 2020, and until further notice)
    • Elevator passengers should be limited to one person (unless a couple) for each elevator ride.
    • Otterbein partners will complete a resident screen for each resident in congregate living at least two times each week.
    • Skilled nursing, assisted living and apartment residents, are required to wear masks whenever they venture outside of their room/apartment.
  • (Starting April 6, 2020, and until further notice)
    • All direct caregivers and those working within nursing, assisted living should:
      • Change into clean clothes at Otterbein, prior to starting their shift
      • Change out clothes prior to leaving the facility.
      • Place clothes in a plastic bag prior to leaving facility.
      • Once home remove shoes prior to entering.
      • Launder clothes immediately at the highest recommended setting.
      • Shower upon entering home.
    • Any direct caregivers working at other facilities should change into clean clothes prior to entering Otterbein.
    • Hospice caregivers and other health contractors such as lab, x-ray should wear new gowns at each location.
  • (Starting March 30, 2020, and until further notice) All direct caregivers will wear masks.
    • Outpatient therapy has been placed on hold.
  • (Starting March 24, 2020, and until further notice) Healthcare residents who leave the campus will be isolated for 14 days upon their return until further notice.
    • New healthcare admissions will be isolated to their rooms for 14 days.
    • Direct caregivers for post-acute units will wear masks.
    • New healthcare admission residents will be masked while receiving direct care for 14 days.
    • Apartment residents who leave campus will be isolated to their room for 14 days.
    • Video tours will replace in-person tours at all communities.
    • Otterbein SeniorLife will continue to comply with all infection control policies and procedures.
  • (Starting March 17, 2020) Our Adult Day Services at Lebanon are closed until further notice
  • (Starting March 16, 2020, and until further notice) All campus dining rooms are closed, group activities are eliminated, and external visitors are not allowed into apartments and campus center buildings.
    • All necessary personnel will be rigorously screened for signs of COVID-19.

Although we are eliminating visitation, we understand that connectivity is healthy and important. We encourage you to stay connected during this time period using technology such as Skype and FaceTime. If you need assistance with arranging a virtual visit, please contact our community and we will be glad to help.

The health and safety of our residents, patients, visitors, and partners is our top priority. As we learn more, we will reach out and keep you informed. In the meantime, please refer to this page for additional information.

If you have any specific questions or concerns, please feel free to contact the Community Executive Director or Neighborhood Guide.

The Spirit Connection

Kind words of encouragement can brighten anyone’s day. Send a message to any resident, patient, or staff hero at an Otterbein SeniorLife community today.

Important Health Information From the Ohio Department of Health

Please refer to the Ohio Department of Health website for the latest information on COVID-19. This information will be updated as the situation evolves.

Important Health Information From the Indiana Department of Health

Please refer to the Indiana Department of Health website for the latest information on COVID-19. This information will be updated as the situation evolves.

Information on Social Distancing

If you must go out in public, do your best to maintain a distance of at least six feet from other people to help prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus.

Frequently Asked Questions

What precautions is Otterbein SeniorLife taking to minimize the impact of COVID-19 on residents and employees?

From the outset of the pandemic, Otterbein has exercised an overabundance of caution in dealing with the virus. We have followed every recommendation from the various governmental agencies and layered additional safety precautions as more information becomes available.

Currently, as just a few examples, no visitors are allowed in the campus center or apartment buildings; everyone – including caregivers – is screened upon entry; residents are isolated in units and/or rooms for all activities; any resident leaving campus for any reason is quarantined for 14 days upon return; caregivers are masked when providing care.

What is Otterbein SeniorLife’s plan if a resident has symptoms associated with COVID-19?

The resident will be further isolated from those asymptomatic, and the medical director will work to arrange a test. Caregivers will be dedicated to the same isolation unit day after day, and extra precautions will be added when contact is required.

What will Otterbein SeniorLife do if a resident test proves positive for COVID-19?

Residents will still be sent to the hospital, as we always have – in cases where the doctor orders it and a resident’s acuity is best cared for and resolved by hospital caregivers.

What will Otterbein SeniorLife do if a partner (employee) has symptoms of the COVID-19 virus, and later tests positive?

Otterbein SeniorLife partners are screened at any point they enter a campus center or apartment building. The screen includes a series of questions, a respiratory test, and temperature-taking.

If the partner presents with symptoms and fails the screen, he/she is sent home, instructed to immediately contact the doctor, and is provided an Otterbein counselor to lead them through a process. In a perfect world, the partner sees the doctor and receives a diagnosis.

If the diagnosis is something other than COVID-19, the partner may return to work once symptom-free for three consecutive days without medication. If the doctor suspects COVID-19, the counselor will work to schedule a test.

If the test proves negative, the above rules apply. If the test is positive, the partners must be symptom-free and stay isolated at home for at least 14 days. They may return following a doctor’s order.

Is Otterbein still accepting admissions?

Please check with the specific community or neighborhood you are interested in to check their admission status.

Is Otterbein conducting tours?

Otterbein is providing video tours of all levels of care and living options. Lifestyle counselors at each location will be able to provide custom video tours upon request. We may be able to hold some independent living tours in person, following safety guidelines.

How is Otterbein communicating to residents and families?

Otterbein is utilizing every vehicle available to communicate with our residents and families. Written letters, phone calls, text messages, emails, and video updates are being provided on a daily basis to keep everyone knowledgeable about what is going on at each of our locations.

How is Otterbein combating social isolation?

With limitations on visitors, it is important that we help our residents connect with their loved ones. Each location has a Skype account for video chats, offers FaceTime sessions via partner phones to those residents without cellphones, delivers written letters, and assists with traditional phone calls, text messages, photo sharing, and social media communication.

Partners are there to assist residents with any support they need to communicate with family in their preferred way.

What are the symptoms of COVID-19?

Learn more about the symptoms of COVID-19 from the CDC.

What should I do if I think I have COVID-19?