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Keeping the Pennswood Community Safe During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Posted on July 6, 2020 in Community Feature

Keeping our residents and staff safe is always a top priority here at Pennswood Village. COVID-19 presents a huge challenge for independent living communities, and we’re proud of how our community has stepped up to deal with the crisis.

One of the benefits of living in a continuing care retirement community like Pennswood is that rigorous health and safety standards are already in place. While we primarily offer services for independent living residents, we also have a skilled nursing staff available 24/7 so that we can be both proactive and responsive. Thanks to heightened precautionary measures, we’ve had no cases of COVID-19 among our independent living residents, and we’re working urgently to keep it this way. Here are some of the protocols we’ve put in place to ensure everyone’s safety.

Restrictions on Visitors

Before the government issued the “Stay at Home” order, we took steps to secure our campus and implemented a safe environment. Woolman House, our skilled nursing area, was built to contain a virus of this nature and keep it from spreading into our community. This allowed us to keep our most at-risk residents safe while ensuring peace of mind for our independent living residents.

As our community begins to open up in the coming weeks, we’ll be following the Red, Yellow, and Green phases recommended by the PA Governor’s Office. We will constantly monitor and assess the situation as we move forward.

Sue Espenshade, Pennswood Village Independent Living Resident, was one of many resident "Maskateers" who volunteered to sew masks for staff and residents.

Protective Equipment

All staff and residents are required to wear masks in public spaces, which is made easy thanks to our many “Maskateers.” Community members skilled in sewing put their expertise to good use by crafting protective masks. As a community, we’ve issued guidelines for how and when the masks are to be used, including how they should be stored, washed, or disposed of. Protective measures such as hand washing and maintaining a distance of at least six feet are also meticulously applied.

Medical Care

With our own on-site physicians, we were able to continue to provide excellent care to our residents. As another option we offered Telehealth services. Some of our residents do need care, which requires physical contact. Our procedures ensure that any necessary contact is carried out on a professional level following best practices.

Socially Distanced Services

Grocery shopping is made easy with our farmer’s market stand on campus, where residents shop for local produce and other goods. To help our residents, our team has also been offering complimentary shopping services with pickups from the grocery store, pharmacy, and nursery. We’ve been able to deliver meals directly to residents’ homes, as well as collecting mail and helping with bank deposits and other financial needs.

Pennswood Village residents participating in outdoor exercise during COVID-19 social distancing and safety protocol.

Community Spaces

Our public spaces are an important part of our senior living community. With the cooperation of staff and residents, wearing masks and social distancing we have been able to keep them open. While we are closed to the public, our residents still enjoy opportunities to walk our beautiful grounds, take a dip in the pool, and get their regular workouts in with our exercise programs like Tai Chi, Zumba, and yoga. For those staying indoors, Pennswood is broadcasting everything from exercise classes and movies to community “fireside chats” directly to the homes of our residents so they can stay informed and connected. Zoom meetings have been an integral part of keeping resident groups connected, allowing them to play games and hold socially distanced book club meetings.


To ensure our community works together to combat COVID-19, we believe good communication is vital. Throughout the pandemic, we’ve kept our staff and residents well informed with regular newsletters and updates. The CEO meets weekly by Zoom with the resident association leadership. The shared collaboration allowed us to make Pennswood a safe place for our staff to work and our residents to live without fear. Although the future remains uncertain, we believe every individual has an important role to play in adhering to the guidelines. We thank everyone for their cooperation and commitment to making Pennswood Village a safe, caring, and supportive environment in which to live and work.

Life at Pennswood Village

To find out more about independent living at Pennswood Village, contact us to arrange a guided virtual tour, where a counselor will be on hand to answer any questions.