Virus
Messiah Lifeways would like to keep you as informed as possible on updates and procedures in regards to COVID-19. If you're a family member of a resident, please fill out our Family Member Contact Information form to begin receiving email updates.

Latest COVID-19 Precaution Updates and how you can help

Last updated: Friday, September 18, 2020 | 4:50 pm

Dear Family Members, Clients, and Community Members,

In keeping with Messiah Lifeways’ commitment to providing the highest level of care for residents, we would like to reassure you that we are following guidelines from the PA Department of Health and the CDC, as well as working closely with our consulting physicians to prevent the virus from spreading. We feel that the best approach to this situation is to be responsibly proactive, which has affected all of Messiah Lifeways’ entities in a variety of ways. We ask for your understanding and cooperation as we all adjust to rapidly changing protocol. 

Here are the latest updates:

Please click here for the most recent update from President & CEO Curt Stutzman dated September 16, 2020

Click each heading below for expanded information:
Residential Living (Independent) -- Village Commons, Village Square, and Cottages
Residential Living (Independent) — Village Commons, Village Square, and Cottages

Very targeted re-testing in Village Commons, where the recent outbreak was concentrated, took place on Tuesday, September 15 — This was part of the strategy developed with the Department of Health, which advises to retest all results come back negative for a designated time. We are glad to report that these most recent test results have all come back negative. Currently, we are not aware of any other individuals showing symptoms or waiting for test results. 

Since all indicators suggest that the current outbreak has been contained, Village Square reopened on September 15, 2020, and Village Commons may reopen on September 23, 2020. This means that most operations in Village Square and Village Commons will resume as they were before the stay-at-home directive was issued on August 27. 

Nursing & Enhanced Living (Personal Care) -- Village Center

“Compassionate Care” visiting guidance

Messiah Lifeways has received and reviewed the updated compassionate care guidance issued by PA Department of Health on September 3, 2020. The guidance states that the facility, in this case Messiah Village, is to determine which residents qualify based on if they display at least two significant changes that can not be improved through other means. Our team will be reaching out to family members of those who qualify over the next two weeks.  Click to review full details regarding Messiah Lifeways’ implementation of Compassionate Care visits. 

Skilled Nursing

Testing guidance

New guidance has been issued by CMS and the Department of Health outlining an ongoing testing strategy in long-term care facilities. All team members who work at least once a week in a nursing neighborhood will now need to be tested on a regular basis; the frequency of testing is determined based on the rate of COVID-19 activity in the county. 

Right now, the positivity rate in Cumberland County is less than 5%, therefore we will be testing one time per month beginning on Thursday, September 10, and asymptomatic residents do NOT need to be tested. If the rate increases to 5% or above, the frequency will increase, and some residents may be included. 

Enhanced Living (Personal Care)

Targeted retesting for Enhanced Living residents and team members took place on Tuesday, September 8 due to 2 positive results that were received at the end of August (1 resident and 1 team member). Thankfully, 100% of both resident and team member tests came back negative. This puts us on track to resume Connection Booth visits on September 21, pending the results of team member testing in Nursing performed late last week.


Connection Booth/Visitation Information – RESUMING SEPTEMBER 21

Since we are not permitted to reopen Village Center to non-essential visitors yet, Messiah Lifeways continues to work on creative ways to keep you and your loved one connected through this challenging time. If you’ve been visiting through virtual calls, we will continue to help you connect in this way. If you would rather visit using our Connection Booth option, or make an appointment to visit outdoors, we are now able to accommodate requests to be added to this schedule.

To schedule your visit, please contact the appropriate person for your loved one’s neighborhood:

  • Nittany 2nd & 3rd Floor: Caryn Tyrrell — 717.591.7208 | ctyrrell@messiahlifeways.org
  • Hopewell & Laurel Main: Scott Barker — 717.591.5580 | sbarker@messiahlifeways.org
  • Nittany 1st floor & Laurel Upper: Jennifer Potemra — 717.591.7219 | jpotemra@messiahlifeways.org
  • Greenwood, Engle, Manchester, & Wagner: Jamie Hoffman — 717.591.7200 ext 6234 | jhoffman@messiahlifeways.org
  • Donegal & Asper: Maddie Lowery — 717-591-7200 ext. 6495 | mlowery@messiahlifeways.org

Please carefully review this document before your scheduled visit.


Family members of Village Center residents may make contactless deliveries of essential groceries and supplies by dropping items off in the lobby.

Village Center, where Skilled Nursing and Enhanced Living (Personal Care) residents reside, is following the reopening plan based on PA Department of Health and CMS guidance. Please review this letter to family members dated July 8 for detailed information concerning next steps for Village Center.

Additional Service Lines & Campus Updates
Additional updates regarding other Messiah Lifeways service lines and changes to Messiah Village campus operations:
  • All Team Members must continue to wear masks and appropriate PPE. Village Center team members must undergo a health and exposure risk screening at the building’s entrance before starting their shift, and have all participated in universal baseline testing. Team members are not currently permitted to cross between buildings or levels of living.
  • The Center or Vitality and Wellness will reopen at limited capacity and to residents only on September 21. More details at MessiahLifeways.org/wellness
  • All on-campus Salons are temporarily closed
    • Cerise Day Spa may begin accepting appointments for Village Square and Cottage residents only beginning September 15
  • Messiah Lifeways Adult Day is open at limited capacity with additional infection control procedures in place, but is not accepting new clients at this time.
  • Mechanicsburg Place: A Senior Center and More is open at limited capacity with additional infection control procedures in place.
  • Pathways Institute is gearing up for a virtual/in-person hybrid Fall 2020 semester. Click here for details.
  • Messiah Village Church services have been canceled until further notice, but are being pre-recorded and broadcast on MVTV.
  • Shuttle service throughout the Messiah Village campus has been suspended.
  • Dining venues at Messiah Village are all only offering delivery and takeout.
    • Cafe 100 and Kathryn’s on the Square have limited indoor seating in keeping with PA regulations.

We recommend following CDC guidelines to stay healthy and help prevent the spread of the virus by visiting CDC.gov.

If you have any specific questions or concerns, you may email communicationsteam@messiahlifeways.org or leave a message on Messiah Lifeways’ hotline (717.591.7249) and our Infection Preventionist will return your call as quickly as possible.

Thank you for helping us keep everyone as safe and healthy as possible. This blog post will be updated as more information becomes available.

Media Contact: Katie Andreano, Marketing Communications Manager | cell: 973.865.1742 | kandreano@messiahlifeways.org

Kelly Herbster