Important Coronavirus Information
At Benedictine Living Community-Dickinson, our priority is the health and wellness of our residents, tenants and employees. We know that the frail and elderly are especially susceptible to the coronavirus. That is why we have been doing all we can to prevent the spread of this virus.
Benedictine Living Community Dickinson has been offering regular coronavirus testing. This testing helps to identify those who may have the virus and may not show symptoms so we can care for them and potentially limit transmission to others. Please check our hotline, 701-751-0409, for the latest update on our COVID-19 test results.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has decided that residents in long-term care are in the highest priority group and they will get the vaccine first—along with long term care employees. From what we know today, our residents’ families and other people in the general community will have to wait for vaccinations until the supply of vaccines is larger. Staff, residents and tenants have already been able to determine if they will consent to the vaccination, and those who consent will be vaccinated by our vaccination partner, Thrifty White Pharmacy (who, like CVS and Walgreens, is an approved COVID-19 vaccination partner).
Here is what we know:
- There will be no cost to residents or staff for the shots.
- A consent form from the pharmacy administering the vaccine must be signed.
- Everyone will need two injections with a specific time in between (21 or 28 days depending on the vaccine) for the vaccination to be effective.
- If an individual has had COVID-19, they should still get the vaccine.
- Some people have had a sore arm, mild aches and fever after getting the shot, but you cannot be infected by COVID-19 through the shot. It’s important that everyone receive both injections.
Skilled Care (residents & all staff): First dose – Dec. 29, 2020; Second dose – Jan. 19, 2021
Assisted Living (tenants): First dose – Jan. 5, 2021, Second dose – Jan. 26, 2021
Watch for more information as it becomes available.
Benedictine Living Community Dickinson follows federal and state health department guidance on visitor restrictions. We encourage families and friends to stay in contact via phone, mail, email, virtual or window visits. To schedule a virtual or window visit, please call 701-456-7308.
We deeply appreciate the sacrifices you are making to limit the impact of COVID-19 on our community and ask for your patience as we prepare our setting to resume safe indoor visitation in the future.
Infection Control Measures
Beginning in March, we implemented all recommended guidance from the CDC, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, and our state and local health departments to protect our residents and staff. Because we have taken this situation very seriously, our campus has been:
- Screening all residents and tenants for symptoms of the virus, temperature and oxygen levels daily.
- Providing face masks to all residents to wear whenever one of our staff is in their room or when they venture outside their room.
- Restricting visitors in accordance with our state guidelines. Visitors are required to wear a mask and pass a health screening before entering.
- Offering socially distanced meal service and activities.
- Screening all our employees for symptoms and temperature at the beginning of their shift each day. Employees are not allowed in the building if they are ill.
- Requiring all employees to wear face masks and face shields while providing care.
- Implementing enhanced infection control measures, including extra efforts to clean and disinfect all high-touch areas throughout the building.
We continue to encourage friends and family to keep in touch through outdoor visits, mail, e-mail and/or video chat.
As we navigate this challenge, we are especially grateful for our dedicated caregivers, who are working tirelessly to ensure a clean, safe environment for all who live and work here. We all remain focused on providing exceptional care and services for all our residents.
Benedictine Living Community-Dickinson is scheduling outdoor visits for residents. In order to safely and effectively accommodate each reservation, all visits must be scheduled by 5 p.m. the day prior [5 p.m. Friday for both Saturday and Sunday], and—in accordance with recommendations from the CDC and the North Dakota Department of Health—must adhere to the following guidelines:
- Outdoor visits can occur Monday through Sunday from 9:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.
- Visits are limited to 20 minutes per session.
- Visits are limited to one visitor per session.
- All visitors will have their temperature taken and be screened for COVID-19 symptoms. Visitors must pass the screening for the visit to occur.
- All residents and visitors must be wearing a surgical face mask [we’d be happy to provide you with one!], maintain appropriate social distancing of at least six feet [no physical contact is permitted], and perform hand hygiene before and after the visit.
Please also note:
- Visits are dependent on permissible weather conditions and will be rescheduled based on availability.
- Any visitor who develops symptoms consistent with COVID-19 within 14 days of a visit must alert the facility immediately.
- Residents presenting [or suspected of having] signs/symptoms of illness, may not receive visitors; those who have recovered may.
- Visitors are welcome to bring gifts or food for their loved one to enjoy after the visit has concluded—these items can be given to the staff during the screening process.
To schedule a visit, call St. Benedict’s Health Center at 701-456-7308. Please be on time for visits as to respect others’ time for visitation.
5/18/2020 – Our State is opening up, why can’t we?
Our residents are most vulnerable to COVID-19. All the advanced infection control measures we have put in place – face masks for all, social distancing, no outside visitors and more – has been done to protect our residents’ and associates’ health and wellness. These measures also follow the current guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and state and local health departments.
States like Minnesota, Wisconsin, North Dakota, and Missouri that have begun removing restrictions and their stay at home orders are in Phase I of the reopening process. These states are allowing limited types of businesses to reopen only with social distance and infection control measures in place, as required by CDC guidance. States also must have plans in place to monitor, limit and mitigate any rebounds or outbreaks of the virus as a result of their reopening.
With the coronavirus still a threat to our residents, the CDC has not reduced the protections for those who reside in skilled nursing and assisted living facilities like ours, which are in Phase III of the government’s reopening process. Because the health and safety of our residents and associates is our priority and we must adhere to federal and state guidelines, all our efforts to protect our residents and associates will remain in place until directed to change by the CDC or state and local health departments.
Sadly, this does mean our strict visitor and social distancing restrictions will continue. We encourage family members to connect with their loved ones via allowed window visits (with a closed window), by mail, email, phone or video chat. You may visit with the activity department via phone if you’d like to set up a video or phone call to check in with your loved one. We also have an email address specifically for families to communicate with their residents that is checked daily at 12:45pm and is hand delivered (firstname.lastname@example.org).
We all look forward to the day when we can once again visit in person. At this time, we can only ask for your patience and understanding as we comply with the government’s requirements for protecting the health and safety of our residents.
Frequently Asked Questions
Has anyone in the community tested positive for COVID-19?
No, at this time, we do not have a confirmed case of COVID-19 on our campus.
How are staff being screened for COVID-19, especially when they leave and re-enter the building?
We screen our employees for symptoms and check their temperatures each time they enter the building. Those with symptoms or known exposure are instructed to self-quarantine at home and/or seek medical care, and communicate with their supervisor. We encourage them to monitor themselves for signs and symptoms of COVID-19.
Why are your residents wearing masks?
Our top priority is to protect the health and safety of our residents and staff. The latest infection control measure we have implemented is to provide a face mask for every resident. Residents are encouraged to wear the face mask anytime one of our caregivers is in their room or if they leave their room for any reason. They do not have to wear one while they are in their rooms alone. The CDC recommends wearing cloth face masks as a way to reduce the likelihood of transmitting the virus.
Can I visit my parents?
- While we have restricted visitors to specific, limited, compassionate care situations, we are encouraging and offering families several ways to keep in touch with their loved ones.
- Phone calls
- Write them a letter, card or piece of art and send via snail mail.
- Send an email directly to SBHCresidents@gmail.com or through our website. On the website, please fill out the “Connect With Us” form and put your message in the comments section. Emails are printed daily and hand delivered.
- Video chat—you can schedule a time through our website to visit using Zoom or other technology. Please fill out the “Connect With Us” form and select “schedule video chat.”
- Regularly check out our Happenings page and the Photo Gallery on our website and also our Facebook page for highlights and photos of the activities we are hosting to boost spirits all while protecting the health of our residents.
- We welcome you to make a “Window Visit” to share messages of love. If you let us know you are coming, we can make sure your loved one is able to use the phone to speak with you as you visually visit. Please call Dani Kuhn at 701-456-7314 or Dani.Kuhn@bhshealth.org to arrange this window visit. Locations to best visit by window include the Unit 1 and Unit 2 North Solariums and the Chapel Foyer window.
Is it okay for resident’s to order food delivery and/or for family to bring in food or drink to our front reception desk?
If food delivery is an integral part of the resident’s psychological well-being (ethnic food, comfort food etc.) it can be dropped off at the front entrance.
What kind of faith-based services are being offered?
Our staff realize how important faith practices are to our residents. To ensure our residents’ needs are met, we have connected with area clergy to offer phone contact, letters, etc. in addition to pastoral/spiritual visits from our in-house chaplaincy staff. Our local provider, Consolidated, also provides a number of options for spiritual services.
Wellness and social activities can be the highlight of a resident’s day. Here are ways we’re bringing social and wellness activities to your loved ones:
- #WorldofHearts: Project to display hearts around facility and in windows.
- White-board connection: ways for residents to share messages with loved ones on Facebook.
- Milestone Celebrations: We have plans to make special occasions, such as birthdays, a little more enjoyable during this time of isolation especially as it is more difficult for families and/or friends to share in the occasions. We will work with families to be involved as much as possible: celebrating outside a resident’s window, reading cards & letters, video chats, etc.
Can I still do my mom’s laundry for her?
You are welcome to continue doing your family member’s laundry. Please call ahead when you plan to pick up laundry so staff can have it ready for you at the main entrance.
Can I drop off care packages or supplies for my parents?
Yes, we will gladly receive deliveries for our residents at the main entrance, and our staff will deliver them to the appropriate residents’ room.
How are the residents feeling about the visitor restrictions and social distancing?
Residents and families have been supportive of the steps we’ve taken focused on protecting residents’ health, wellness and safety, which are in line with federal and state guidelines. Our community staff are providing compassionate care to make sure residents are staying mentally healthy and stimulated while adhering to social distancing guidelines.
What can I do to help brighten a resident’s day?
Local children, family members and the public are invited to send cards, letters, artwork, drawings or inspirational messages to our residents. The messages and artwork will be shared for residents and staff to enjoy. Messages and artwork can be dropped off at the front entrance or emailed to SBHCresidents@gmail.com.
My dad enjoys walking around the campus. Can he still go outside?
Yes, our residents can go outside and walk or sit in the back patio area as long as they are safe in doing this activity and have some staff supervision. Residents need to remember to maintain the 6 foot distance from other residents.
My grandma just moved in last week. What are you doing to help her settle in to her new home and make friends?
We will be working closely one-on-one with your loved one to make sure she feels right at home, including welcome visits by key staff, giving her an orientation/tour to key locations within our community, and introducing her to her new neighbors and activities within current social distancing guidelines.
Is my mom able to have her hair done?
Current federal and state guidelines prevent our hair stylist from working at this time. Our staff are stepping in and assisting with grooming needs to ensure your mom looks and feels her best.
How can I protect myself?
Make sure you protect yourself and loved ones by using the following “best practice” infection prevention strategies every day:
- Wash your hands frequently (20 seconds of really washing well with soap and water – sing “Happy Birthday” twice). Using alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol is also acceptable.
- Cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze with a tissue or into your sleeve, and then throw the tissue in the trash.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
- Stay home and get medical attention if you are feeling sick.
- When out in public, maintain a “social distance” which means stay a minimum of 6 feet away from anyone else.
We sincerely thank our residents, their families and our staff for their patience and dedication as we keep the safety, health and wellness of our residents and associates our top priority. Given the Coronavirus situation is changing frequently, we will be working hard to provide additional information on this page and through other communication methods as it becomes available.
Please feel free to contact us with any additional questions or concerns. We’re here for you and your loved one!
(updated April 28, 2020)