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October 2, 2020

Dear Resident/Family Member:

I want to let you know that we have been notified of a positive case of COVID-19 in our building. Our priority is to keep everyone safe and healthy. Please know we are doing everything we can to stop the spread of this virus.

We initiated aggressive proactive infection control measures and screening procedures, which we believe will help us manage this situation as effective as possible. We are working in collaboration with the Minnesota Department of Health to ensure we are taking all appropriate steps. In addition, we are following all recommended guidance from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Service and the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention to protect our residents and staff from this virus and will continue to take every action possible to prevent it from spreading in our setting.

Also, you have noticed the changes in our regular operations as part of our response plan:

• Closing our building to all visitors for everyone's safety. We encourage loved ones to communicate with our residents by phone or video chat, if possible. We understand that it will be hard to not have visitors, especially family. As soon as we're able to change this, we will let you know. If you have questions or concerns, please call or email myself at 218-456-2105 or angienelson@rrv.net.

• Implementing enhanced infection control measures. This includes immediate cessation of communal dining and group activities. Residents are quarantined to their rooms at this time. We are performing frequent cleaning of high traffic areas.

• Isolating residents who have tested positive: We have set up a separate isolation area in our building to treat residents who have tested positive for COVID-19 and assigned a dedicated staff team to that unit to limit potential spread of the virus in our setting.

• Monitoring and screening residents. Currently all residents are quarantining in their rooms and are being monitor every shift for any signs or symptoms of COVID-19. All residents will be tested today and on a regular basis to identify, isolate and stop the spread.

• Continuing to screen staff prior to beginning work and upon leaving. Staff are not allowed in the building if they are ill. Screening of all staff prior to any shift will continues as current practice. All staff were PCR tested on Tuesday, September 29th and all results were received yesterday October 1, 2020. All staff were negative. We will continue to conduct staff testing per guidance with the next scheduled test on Tuesday, October 6, 2020.
Any staff who exhibit symptoms are instructed to self-quarantine at home.

• Cancelling all communal dining and activities involving outside visitors. This follows social distancing advice from the Centers for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Communication is key, and we will continue to update you on any news, emerging issues, or additional changes in our operations via mail, website, phone calls, and our Facebook page.

We know that you too are making sacrifices. We are committed to ensuring that physical distancing does not mean isolation. We are working hard to have a variety of activities that engage our residents and are doing all we can to facilitate alternative means of communication between you and your loved one.

We know that this news may cause you concern or you may have questions about what we are doing to keep everyone safe and healthy. Please do not hesitate to reach out to me at 218-456-2105 or angienelson@rrv.net.

With kind regards,
Angie Nelson, Executive Director, LNHA, HSE


 

COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Response

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March 21, 2020

To: All Residents, Tenants, and Responsible Parties                                           

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