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COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Response

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To:                   All Residents, Tenants, and Responsible Parties                                           March 21, 2020

From:              Angie Nelson, Administrator

Re:  Halstad Living Center, Heritage House and Normandy Update regarding Covid-19 response  

We understand the confusion and worry surrounding recent events coming from the Covid-19 (Coronavirus) global pandemic and National Emergency Declarations and wanted to take this opportunity to communicate what we have done, are planning to do and will implement when advised.  Please know that while these are unusual times and remarkable circumstances, our team has been very active in our emergency preparedness planning and practices, and we are taking the necessary steps to keep caring for our residents/tenants.  Our residents and tenants health and well-being continues to be our top priority. 

Center for Disease Control (CDC), Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services (CMS) and the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) Guidance

  • We have been actively participating in daily phone calls between regulatory agencies and has been very diligent in our compliance to recommendations and orders.
  • We are also in communication with other neighboring nursing homes and healthcare facilities to ensure we are sharing current information and practices.
  • The CDC issued guidance last week regarding the restriction of visitors, and on March 14th, CMS further increased the restriction of all visitors in nursing homes and housing with services across the country.  We were able to accommodate those restrictions within several hours of issuance, due to the diligence and commitment of our staff. 
  • We continue the ALL Visitor restrictions, and we have plans for exceptions for compassionate visits, such as end of life visits. In the event of an end of life visit, the visitor must be screened, temperature checked, sanitize and then be provided a mask that must be worn. They may only visit the one resident they are there to see and cannot be in any other areas for the building. In the event of a failed screening (i.e. temperature or answering yes to screening questions), the visitor would not be able to enter.
  • Residents are free to move about the facilities, but CMS has ordered us to suspend all group activities and congregate dining. We are currently distancing residents at least 6 feet apart while they dine and those that need assistance are assigned one person to help them. We are providing distancing activities, such as “hallway bingo.”  We will continue with this arrangement until ordered differently or until we have residents with respiratory symptoms and/or fever.  We will then work through individualized restrictions in efforts to keep any infections from spreading throughout the building.
  • We are currently screening all residents twice daily for signs of respiratory infections and temperatures.
  • Staff are screened and temperatures are taken at the beginning of each shift. Staff with symptoms/fevers will be sent home per guidelines.
  • We are practicing social distancing and handwashing diligently.
  • In the event that we have a positive Covid-19 resident/tenant, we will call each emergency contact to inform them of this and what our next steps will be—at this time, we are Covid-19 free.  Additionally, Norman County is free of any Covid-19 positive tests, but neighboring counties are not and we anticipate the spread.
  •  Unfortunately, we have no accurate estimate on how long we will be under these guidelines.

Supplies

  • We currently have adequate supplies of food, cleaning, incontinence products, and other toiletries (including toilet paper!:), and we are currently not expecting any supply chain issues.  Our vendors either only supply to healthcare or have committed service to healthcare during these times.
  • We are seeing a few shortages in masks and hand sanitizer, as the regular flu season continues on and healthcare has been using increase stocks for the past several months.  We would expect these supplies to become available as manufacturer’s increase supply to meet the demand.

Security

  • Our buildings are currently locked down to minimize exposure to any illness.
  • Families that want to deliver packages/etc. may do so, but please call ahead so we can meet you at the door.
  • We are working with Norman County Emergency Management and Norman County Public Health to ensure the safety and protection of our residents, tenants and staff.

We thank you for your patience and understanding during these difficult times and as we navigate this uncharted territory. We appreciate your continued faith in us and support of our staff and thank you for entrusting us to care for your loved one.

With kind regards,

Angie

Angie Nelson, LNHA, HSE
Halstad Living Center
Heritage House
The Normandy
218-456-2105
angienelson@rrv.net