COVID-19 Updates

COVID-19  Communication, Information & Updates!

Dearest Friends & Family, 

I pray this letter finds you all well!  I am reaching out to you to provide an update on how we are doing and handling this unprecedented world wide crisis. We realize that there is an overwhelming amount of information being provided about the COVID-19, it is a new illness caused by a coronavirus called SARS-CoV-2. We are all still learning about this virus and continue to adapt to new guidance and best practice to protect all. Please know we are working closely and following protocol from our local health department, the Indiana Department of Heath, as well the CDC, CMS, and World Health Organization to do everything possible to keep your loved one healthy and safe. 

To decrease opportunity for exposure and follow guidance from the above named agencies, Portage Manor has implemented the following:  

  • Visitors, volunteers, and leave of absence passes have been suspended since 3/12/20. 
    • UPDATE 3/8/21:We now have guidance to allow day passes from the hours of 7a-7p. 
      • Resident's may go to local stores using safe & proper social distancing, face masks, and increase hand hygiene.  
      • Family can pick up residents for "excursions" from 9a-7p daily, using extra precautions of social distancing, face masks at all times, and increased hand hygiene.
      • Residents can return to Clubhouse using extra precautions of social distancing, face masks at all times, and increased hand hygiene.
  • Limited visitation will take place on-site daily from 2p-6pm. Saturday and Sunday 10a-2pm. If you need a time outside of this set schedule please reach out to us and we will do our best to accommodate. To schedule a visitation please call Miriam at 574-272-9100 or send her an email at mlaurance@sjcindiana.com.. You may also use the request form here on the visitation tab. 
  • Residents are now able to leave the building with some limitations.  We are still under strict orders from Indiana Department of Health and our Medical Director to ensure social distancing. This is critical as we work toward some efforts of phased re-opening that started 3/8/21. 
    • UPDATE 3/8/21:We now have guidance to allow day passes from the hours of 7a-7p. 
      • Resident's may go to local stores using safe & proper social distancing, face masks, and increase hand hygiene.  
      • Family can pick up residents for "excursions" from 9a-7p daily, using extra precautions of social distancing, face masks at all times, and increased hand hygiene.
      • Residents can return to Clubhouse using extra precautions of social distancing, face masks at all times, and increased hand hygiene.
  • Oaklawn Staff will resume face to face visits at Portage Manor. They will be onsite one case manager a day on Mondays and Wednesdays, starting 2/22/21. 
  • Moving around the facility has been restricted and we are doing our best to limit areas of congregation. Portage Manor opened the basement for 1) Commissary 2) Self laundry, for those who desire to do their own. 3) Weight room/workout room  4) Clothing room. 
  • Please understand the main entrance is set up to screen essential individuals that need entry and residents who are going and returning from appointments/excursions. If residents have questions or need assistance they must report to their assigned nurses station. 
  • We are working to come up with a good telephone system, as using one telephone for many is not best practice at this time.  Please be patient with us as we work through these types of hurtles.  Most residents have their own cell phones and this is the preferred method of contact.  
  • We are working towards meaningful activities daily as best we can. Our Activity Leader is working in various departments right now to accommodate increased care needs. 
  • We have implemented a store at Portage Manor: 
    • No cash will be handled by staff. Instead, based off resident’s order the funds will be deducted from their account by Mr. Mike Eby, our resident trust/finance manager.  
    • Staff will issue weekly order forms for the store. We ask that they be turned in at requested time, so that the items can be packaged for delivery. 
    • Items ordered will be delivered daily to rooms after lunch (approx. 1pm) Monday-Friday. Items that cannot be delivered will be secured in the social services office.
Opportunity to orders/purchases from the
 Portage Manor Store
You are welcome to add funds to residents accounts to allow them to purchase items offered here too.

All Portage Manor staff are working very hard to make everyone as comfortable as possible.  This is not ideal for anyone and we understand there will be frustrations. Please know these actions are not taken lightly, we do not wish to cause any discomfort. We are following guidance to make every effort to keep residents well. 

  • Appointments:  Doctor appointments:.  We have set up a private area for “tele-medicine” and have successfully accomplished several specialist appointments.  Lab still comes on-site for blood draw.  We are working closely with our Medical Director, he is seeing his patients through tele-medicine as well.  We resumed specialist appointments with a dedicated transportation staff to decrease risk of exposure. 
  • Temperatures: All residents are checked routinely prophylactically.  Symptom assessments are done by licensed/trained staff routinely and as needed.  
  • Limited Access: We have limited who enters the building. Only essential individuals are permitted to enter the building, after they are screened with temperatures and a series of questions.  No one is permitted beyond the front doors if they do not pass the screening.  Face-mask’s are then applied and worn in all resident areas. Hand hygiene is monitored and strictly enforced.  Residents family can come in after screening for scheduled visits only at this time. 
  • Security: We have added more security to help with the demanding task of monitoring doors/entries. 
  • Staff: Staff are to stay home if ill and to contact their medical provider. The Infection Prevention Nurse at the facility is ensuring those staff members that are off due to illness or who have traveled recently, may return to work when they no longer pose a risk to others.  
  • Cleaning: Staff have increased the frequency of disinfecting and cleaning surfaces throughout the facility. We have met with our local health department (St. Joseph County) to review our procedures and cleaning agents for efficacy.  
  • Mail/Packages: Are given out daily. Except at time of active COVID outbreaks.
  • Take out Food: Take out food & delivered food from restaurants can be admitted through the security desk, except at time of active COVID outbreaks. 
  • Donations: Portage Manor can resume accepting donations.   

I thank you for your patience with all the departments in returning calls and emails. This is a taxing situation that requires all hands.  We ask that you understand our commitment is to those in our care.  We will respond as soon as we are able.  We are updating our phone answering system to better serve everyone.  

We are testing residents and staff as required and suspected of COVID exposure/symptoms. 

You will be notified if your loved one develops symptoms or if we have any confirmed cases involving employees or other residents. There already is a plan in place to decrease the risk of spreading the virus to others.  

Thanks again, all for your understanding, kind words, and prayers!  You give us all hope by providing great support and encouraging us all to keep going!

Sincerely, 

Robyn Challinor LPN/RCA,  Administrator                   

Kris Borkowski LPN/DON,     Director of Nursing           

Dr. Christopher Quinn MD,  Medical Director          

               PM staff                                 

  1. Portage Manor

    Physical Address
    3016 Portage Avenue
    South Bend, IN 46628

    Fax: 574-277-3486