Updated: July 3, 2020
The COVID-19 outbreak situation means it is critical we take every precaution possible. Protecting our residents and your health and safety is our top priority.
Also, you’ll notice changes in our regular operations in response to the virus.
- Limiting visitors for everyone’s safety. We encourage loved ones to communicate with our residents by phone or video chat, if possible. We will be offering OUTDOOR visits at specific communities. See FAQs below or call the care community for more information.
- Monitoring and screening residents.
- Continuing to screen staff prior to beginning work. Staff are not allowed in the building if they are ill. Screening includes a screening questionnaire and taking temperatures upon arrival. Any staff who exhibit symptoms are instructed to self-quarantine at home.
- Delivering packages to your loved ones. We will receive your packages at the front door. Following CDC guidelines, hold for 2-8 hours before delivering. The exception to the rules would be an essential item such as medication.
We have been following CDC and Minnesota and Wisconsin Departments of Health recommendations and will continue to do so. Please know we are taking all precautions to prevent the spread of this virus as well as letting it in our buildings.
We recently had a staff person in our community test positive for COVID-19. This was not unexpected, and we have put aggressive procedures in place to both care for those stricken by the virus and minimize transmission to others. The team member who tested positive is quarantined at home and will not be allowed to return to work until they have recovered from the virus and passed our return-to-work protocols.
Below are the numbers by care community:
- Boessling Village Apartments [HUD independent living]: no cases
- Highland Regency House, New Ulm, MN [independent living]: no cases
- Faith Apartments, Belle Plaine, MN [independent living]: no cases
- Hope Residence, Belle Plaine, MN [disability housing]: no cases
- KingsPath Senior Living [independent living]: no cases
- Kingsway Retirement Living, Belle Plaine, MN [independent living, assisted living and memory care]: 1 active staff case
- The Lutheran Home: Belle Plaine, Belle Plaine, MN [skilled nursing facility]: no cases
- Heritage Homes, Watertown, WI [independent living, assisted living and memory care]: no cases
- St. Michael’s Assisted Living, Fountain City, WI: no cases
- Wellhaven Senior Living, River Falls, WI [independent living and assisted living]: no cases
Are outdoor visits allowed at your facilities? Our Minnesota care communities are allowing outdoor visits with loved ones only. This is effective June 24, 2020. We will be following the Minnesota Department of Health’s outside visiting guidance.
Contact our SNF, Kingsway or Hope Residence directly to schedule a visit. Please note: to accommodate numerous visit requests, there are designated days and times for visiting along with a time limit. Thank you for your patience and understanding.
What to expect when you arrive for your outdoor visit
- Please bring your own mask. We will NOT provide one for visitors.
- We have an area in the front entrance marked visits. Please do not enter the area until screening and temperatures are checked as each area is sanitized prior to visit.
- You will be asked to read and accept our outdoor visitation restriction and instruction list. By doing so, you accept there is some COVID-19 risk even in these protected situations.
- To continue protecting everyone from potential virus transmission, avoid hugs, handshakes, and other physical contact. Remain in visitor designated location on our campus. No walks are allowed.
- A staff person is required to be in the vicinity during the family visit. The staff person will be far enough away to avoid hearing your conversation. They will only approach if visiting parties get too close to one another and to let you know when your time is up.
Outdoor visits will only occur on days when there are no weather warnings. Indoor visits will continue to be limited to essential health care personnel and compassionate care situations for now. Look for a survey to arrive soon asking your feedback about moving into this next stage of visiting.
With Minnesota and Wisconsin loosening their “stay at home” guide, are you opening up your communities? Only essential visitors will be allowed IN the building AFTER their self-screening questionnaire has been approved by team members.
We’d like to clarify that salons and barber shops in our care communities are not open quite yet. The Minnesota Department of Health is expected to release guidance on when salons and barber shops located within congregate settings will be allowed to open. As always, we will keep you updated as we learn more and plan for their opening.
Are activities being resumed? We will continue to provide activities as we have for the past couple months; social distancing style.
Are you admitting residents? The admission process varies by location. Video tours are available for each care community highlighting the amenities of the location and gives the viewer a glimpse into life at that location. Contact your local community watch the video tour and learn more.
Is it COVID-19? It could be the flu, a cold or allergies. The Minnesota Department of Health provided a list of symptoms for COVID-19, the flu, a cold and allergies. Check out the graphic below.
Is the Belle Plaine Nursing Home in compliance with the state? Our skilled nursing facility recently had the department of health visit our community. The result from MDH: A COVID-19 Focused Infection Control survey was conducted 4/14/20 by the Minnesota Department of Health to determine compliance with 483.80 Infection Control. The facility was in full compliance.
Can I visit my loved one and take him/her for a walk? While we love the idea of connecting our residents with their loved ones face-to-face, at this time we are still restricting visitors for the health and safety of our residents, team members and you, per Minnesota and Wisconsin ‘stay safe at home’ orders. Our team members make every effort to get your loved one outside for walks and activities, weather permitting. Recognizing the importance of communication and connecting with loved ones, our care communities are utilizing Skype and FaceTime to connect you with our residents. Call your local community to schedule a time. As soon as we’re able to change this, we will let you know.
Can I see my loved one if he/she is dying? Our priority to ensure the health and safety of our residents, team members and all visitors. If the resident does not have a confirmed case of COVID-19 and the director of nursing or designee has determined the resident is close to the end of life, we welcome visitors with limitations. Some limitations include suggested visiting hours, limitation on number of people visiting, team member escort to/from room and ALL visitors will have to go through the visitor screening process and be required to wear a mask and perform hand hygiene. Individuals who wish to visit a dying loved one should contact the community to schedule a visit.
How are you monitoring our residents and team members? We continue to check resident’s temperatures and monitor for signs of a cough, sore throat, and shortness of breath. We will notify you on any changes with your loved one. Each team member entering the building must fill out a questionnaire evaluating for any symptoms of illness. Housekeeping and team members are vigilant about wiping down surfaces, door handles, etc. several times during the day. We are following the recommended guidance from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the Minnesota/Wisconsin Department of Health to protect our residents and team members from this virus and will continue to take every action possible to prevent it from entering our setting.
Is spiritual care still happening for my loved one? Our chaplains are still onsite meeting and caring for our residents and team members. Our chaplains are spending the majority of their time meeting with residents one-on-one. Their time is spent however the resident wants; from doing a Bible study to talking about their family to playing games. Spiritual care is alive in our communities and brings residents, team members and the chaplains joy during this uncertain time. Don’t worry, our chaplains are taking all the recommended CDC preventative measures to keep your loved one and themselves safe.
How can I talk to my loved one? Recognizing the importance of communication and connecting with loved ones our care communities are utilizing Skype and FaceTime to connect you with our residents. Call your local community to schedule a time.
Are team members and visitors wearing masks? We are following the recommended guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the Minnesota and Wisconsin Departments of Health. Our team members are currently wearing face masks during their shift. PPE is required for screened and approved visitors, contractors and health care providers. Notification is posted at the entrance of our buildings.
How is dining handled for residents? Each setting established dining protocols recommended by the CDC and Minnesota and Wisconsin Departments of Health. The Skilled Nursing Facility is offering staggered meal times to ensure social distancing is maintained. After each meal the tables and chairs are sanitized with the appropriate COVID-19 recommended products. At Boessling Lutheran Village we closed all common areas and residents are asked to dine in their apartments. At Kingsway Retirement Living our restaurant dining room is closed. Residents in assisted living and Sophie Suites dine in small groups while maintaining social distancing. Residents in independent living are dining in their apartments. They have the opportunity to order meals to be delivered to their apartments. Hope Residence residents are eating in their individual living areas at two different staggered times for each meal. After each meal the tables and chairs are sanitized with the appropriate COVID-19 recommended products. St. Michael’s Assisted Living is settling in to a routine for meal delivery to the rooms. We are continuing to offer options for alternative foods like we have done in the past. At Heritage Homes meals are being served to the individual apartments in Assisted Living. We adjusted meals to include small portions of entrée options to offer residents a choice of what to eat. The majority of the Memory Care residents are being served meals in the common area with staff maintaining social distancing as much as possible. Wellhaven Senior Living‘s kitchen continues to make delicious meals allowing the tenants to make meal selections a week at a time. Meals are plated and delivered to apartments in a timely manner ensuring the food is served hot and fresh.
What extra precautions is your staff taking? All communities complete hand washing audits. The audits are completed by a nursing following a check list of proper hand washing steps. The audit is completed for all team members in every department to ensure effective procedure. Staff performs hand hygiene (even if gloves are used) in the following situations:
- Before and after contact with the resident;
- After contact with body fluids, or visibly contaminated surfaces or other objects and surfaces in the resident’s environment;
- After removing personal protective equipment (e.g., gloves, gown, facemask); and
- Before performing a procedure such as an aseptic task
Alcohol-based hand rub (ABHR) is readily accessible and placed in appropriate locations. These may include:
- Entrances to resident rooms;
- At the bedside (as appropriate for resident population);
- In individual pocket-sized containers by healthcare personnel;
- Staff work stations; and
- Other convenient locations.