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. 
  • Limited Visitation re-starts 9/29/2020 see link for more information to request a visit.
  • Residents are not to leave the building.  We are under strict orders from Indiana Department of Health and our Medical Director to ensure social distancing. This is critical. We are sheltering in place.
  • Oaklawn Staff will not be working at Portage Manor;  we are working on setting up calls and different ways to communicate with case-managers, therapist, and others during this stressful time. 
  • Moving around the facility has been restricted and we are doing our best to limit areas of congregation. 
  • Please understand the main entrance is set up to screen essential individuals that need entry.  We are asking residents to please not come up to the front doors or offices at this time. 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.
We ask that no outside food or items come in for residents at this critical time, instead all orders/purchases come from the Portage Manor Store. You are welcome to add funds to residents accounts to allow them to purchase items offered here, while we closely monitor what is coming in the building. 

All Portage Manor staff are trying and 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 that are not critical have been suspended per Physician discretion.  We have set up a private area for “tele-medicine” and have successfully accomplished several specialist appointments.  Lab still comes on-site for “essential laboratory needs only”.  We are working closely with our Medical Director, he is seeing his patients through tele-medicine as well.  
  • 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.  
  • 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: All mail will be held for 24 hours before handing it out.  
  • Take out Food: NO take out food or delivered food from restaurants can be admitted.
  • Donations: At this time we cannot accept any donations at all. Once the ban is lifted we will post it on our website and Facebook page.  

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 have illuminated the phone answering system to better serve everyone.  

I can report to you today that we have no positive cases of residents or staff with this coronavirus.  We are doing everything we can to keep it that way. 

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!


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