Important Coronavirus Information
January 20, 2021
At Benedictine Living Community-Regina, our priority is the health and wellness of our residents and associates. We know that the frail and elderly are especially susceptible to the coronavirus. That is why we have been doing everything we can to prevent the spread of this virus onto our campus.
Please check our hotline – 651-404-7996 – for the latest COVID-19 update.
January 8 was a historical day as residents and staff of Regina Care Center received their first dose of the Moderna Covid-19 vaccine. 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 all of our associates. Some details on the vaccine:
- There will be no cost to residents or our associates for the shots.
- 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. These types of immune responses are more common with the first injection but not as common with the second injection. It’s important that everyone receive both injections.
Getting vaccinated against COVID-19 is one of the best ways to protect yourself and everyone around you, particularly those who are at increased risk for severe illness. Getting these shots will not only protect you from being infected; it will help us take a big step towards ending this pandemic.
As we all wait for the vaccine, we must continue to remain vigilant with wearing our masks, wearing them properly, and practicing good hand hygiene and social distancing.
Unfortunately, we are unable to offer indoor visitation at this time. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) requires that a community must not have had a new COVID-19 case for 14 days. We are monitoring this situation and will share the date when we will be able to resume indoor visits. We encourage family and friends to contact us to arrange for virtual visits.
Due to the positivity rate in our county, Benedictine Living Community-Regina has been offering weekly coronavirus testing to employees and residents. This testing offers benefits such as peace of mind to residents and staff as they learn their personal COVID-19 status. Testing also helps to identify those who may have the virus and many not show symptoms so we can care for them and potentially limit transmission to others. Check our hotline for the latest update.
As we have for the past months, we continue to monitor all residents and staff for signs and symptoms of the virus. We also remain in close communication with our local and state health officials to ensure we are taking all appropriate steps to prevent the virus from spreading.
Infection Control Measures
Since March, all our associates are following the latest CDC infection control protocols which include:
- Screening all our residents daily for temperature, symptoms and oxygen levels.
- Providing face masks to all residents and tenants to wear whenever one of our staff is in their room/apartment or when a resident or tenant ventures outside their room/apartment.
- Restricting visitors inside our buildings per current state guidance. All essential caregivers and compassionate care visitors are required to pass a health screening before entering.
- Offering socially distanced meals and activities.
- Screening all our associates for symptoms and temperature at the beginning of their shift each day. Associates are not allowed in the building if they are ill.
- Requiring all associates to wear face masks and eye protection while providing care.
- Implementing enhanced infection control measures, including extra efforts to clean and disinfect all high-touch areas throughout the building.
We encourage friends and family to keep in touch through outdoor visits, mail, e-mail and/or video chat. Check out our website for details on essential caregivers and how you can schedule an outdoor visit.
As we navigate this ongoing challenge with COVID-19, 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.
Question and Answers Regarding Inside Visitation -Sign ups below-
What kind of visitation is currently being allowed?
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) recently updated guidance that modifies visitation options in our setting. The guidance allows for visits with residents in a designated space in our building effective on October 17, 2020. However, there are specific criteria and recommendations provided by CMS and MDH, which are in alignment with recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention that we must meet before we can safely offer visitation with your loved one in our building. This includes but is not limited to the current status of COVID-19 in our building and in our county, as well as other clinical and safety risk factors.
Did the facility meet the CMS and MDH criteria?
Yes Regina Senior living has met the criteria to allow indoor visits.
When will in-person visits start?
Our visitation will start on the week of November 16th. We have set up a scheduling tool on our website to sign up for visitation times. Please know that the COVID-19 virus is still being contagiously transmitted throughout our state. While we welcome this updated visitation guidance from CMS and MDH, we are proceeding carefully as the ongoing pandemic may cause us to make changes to visitation if we identify a high risk to our residents and staff. We appreciate your continued patience and understanding as we implement this next phase in our visitation policy and adapt to the changing situation that we all find ourselves in during COVID-19.
Will there be scheduled hours for the visitation?
Yes. We will have some limits in place on visitation to ensure the continued safety and health of our residents and staff. This includes length of visit, numbers of visitors for each resident, and total number of visitors in our building. We are currently allowing two visitors at a time for the resident, in half hour increments. Note this may change based on the status of COVID-19 in our setting and the broader community. For example: if a resident or staff is diagnosed with COVID-19, visitation will be restricted until our setting has been COVID-19 free for 14 days. Consistent with state and federal guidance, we also regularly monitor the level of COVID-19 transmission in our broader community, and changes in the transmission rate may also lead to changes in visitation policy.
Will there ever be a circumstance where a visit is denied?
It is our goal and intention to meet all requests for visitation. However, we retain the right to deny visits based on the status of COVID-19 in the building, the risk of virus transmission in our community, signs or symptoms of or exposures to COVID-19 from those who wish to visit, failure to follow our infection control requirements, if the resident or visitor is at risk of abuse/harm.
How do I schedule a visit?
To schedule a visit with your loved one, please sign up on our Sign up Genius application found on our website. Please sign up for a time slot within the application. We are requesting you sign up at least 24 hours in advance, and notify the nursing staff if you are unable to attend a scheduled visit. Please do not come for a visit if you feel ill, are demonstrating symptoms related to COVID-19, have been in contact with someone who is COVID-19 positive in past 14 days or have tested positive for COVID-19.
What can I expect when I arrive for my visit?
You will be screened for COVID-19 symptoms upon arrival, using the same procedure we require for all staff and essential heath care personnel. You will be asked to use alcohol-rub sanitizer before your visit as you enter the building. You will be asked to review our visitation policies and protocols, which includes use of facemasks, social distancing of 6 feet, and limiting your movement within our building. You will enter the building at posted visitation door.
Must I wear a mask for these visits?
Yes, a surgical face mask, and eye protection must be worn during the entire visit. You will need to supply your own mask or and eye protection such a face shield, or safety goggles to help us preserve our face mask supply for staff and residents.
Is the visitation open for all ages?
Yes. Please know all visitors will be asked to comply with our visitation protocols, which includes wearing face masks, abiding by social distancing requirements, limiting physical contact, and limiting movement within our building outside of the designated visitation area.
Are there any other type of visitation allowed now?
Yes, window visits and visits through alternative modes of communication (such as Zoom, Skype or FaceTime) are also available. We also continue to support compassionate care visits and designated individuals as essential caregivers when appropriate.
What if I am wrongly denied visitation with my loved one?
If you believe you have been wrongly denied visitation, or you have questions that aren’t answered by these FAQs or the guidance, you may contact the Ombudsman for Long-Term Care at 651-431-2555 or 1-800-657-3591.
3rd floor & Heritage indoor sign up link:
Pauline indoor visits sign up link:
Tabitha indoor sign up link :
Care Center indoor visit sign up link:
Delay in Resuming Indoor Visits
Benedictine Living Community – Regina is committed to reopening our doors to restore the much-needed social engagement of family and friends to our residents’ lives. We are very excited to share the news that we will soon be able to resume indoor visits. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) has issued guidance on how we can safely re-open to visitors while continuing to protect the health of our residents and associates. We are carefully developing a safe and comprehensive plan and expect visits to resume on Monday, November 16, 2020.
Our ability to resume visitation would not have been possible without the incredible commitment and dedication of our associates, who have worked tirelessly to manage the risks of COVID-19 while providing compassionate care and support to our residents at a time when they are physically separated from their loved ones.
The guidance provided by CMS and MDH is quite detailed, and we appreciate your patience as we take time to evaluate and implement the criteria so that we can safely resume indoor visits. These requirements not only apply to our ability to resume visits but also identify when we may need to restrict visits if we experience a positive case of COVID-19 among our residents and staff, or if our broader community experiences a high rate of positive cases, or we encounter other factors that affect the safety of visitation.
For planning purposes, please know we will follow a similar procedure for inside visits as we do for outdoor visits. All visits will need to be scheduled as we are required to limit the number of visitors in our building and the hours of visits for the safety of all. In addition, all visitors will be required to:
- Be screened for symptoms and temperature prior to entering. Visitors are not allowed to enter if ill.
- Wear a surgical face mask that covers the nose and mouth at all times.
- Practice good hand hygiene upon entering and during the visit.
- Limit the visit to a resident’s room and/or a designated area with our building.
- Limit physical contact (hugs, kisses, handshakes, etc.) to continue protecting everyone from potential virus transmission.
- Maintain a social distance of six feet from other residents and staff.
- Honor their scheduled visit time and leave promptly at the end of their appointment.
In the meantime, we remind you to take advantage of window visits, and the ability to connect residents and their loved ones through alternative communication, such as FaceTime, Zoom and Skype.
Assisted Living Link Pauline/Tabitha
Care Center Link
Virtual Visit Sign up at Regina Senior Living:
When signing up please state who you would like to have a virtual visit with and what platform you’d like to use; Facetime or Zoom. If you have any difficulties with signing up please contact the Wellness Department 651-404-7917 as they can either assist you or sign you up.
Assisted Living Link Pauline/Tabitha
Care Center Link
Benedictine Living Community-Regina to launch Essential Caregiver Program
Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, the health and safety of our residents and our associates has been a priority. We also recognize the impact social isolation has had on our residents’ wellbeing.
Although social distancing and physical separation are still important to keep residents safe, we are taking steps to address the unintended consequences of prolonged social isolation and to maintain our residents’ overall health and wellbeing. In accordance with guidelines released by the Minnesota Department of Health, we have developed an Essential Caregiver program that balances the potential benefits and risks of allowing Essential Caregivers into our building.
We recognize the critical role family members are other outside caregivers, such as friends, volunteers and private personal caregivers, often have in the care and support of residents. Our essential Caregiver program is designed to safely allow designated Essential Caregivers to come into the community to provide care and support residents consistent with state guidelines.
This new program will be implemented effective August 5th and is a narrowly defined exception to visitor restrictions which may allow certain cares and emotional supports to be provided by a personal caregiver from outside our community.
We know that you share our concerns about efforts to keep residents in our community safe during the COVID-19 pandemic. While we welcome this opportunity to make this unique exception to the current visitor restrictions, we must all continue to be vigilant to take the necessary precautions to prevent the spread of coronavirus.
We have provided details of our Essential caregiver program to our residents and family members. For more information, please contact Libby Molitor, COVID-19 Project Manager, at 651-404-7925 or Elizabeth.Molitor@benedictineliving.org
Important Update from Cheri High, Interim Executive Director
Benedictine Living Community-Regina’s priority is and has been the health and safety of our residents, especially during this time of coronavirus. On July 10, the Minnesota Department of Health issued guidance on allowing essential caregivers into long term care communities. This guidance represents the next interim step in encouraging safe and responsible visitation during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Although we are all excited about what this means for our residents’ health and wellbeing, Benedictine Living Community-Regina has just begun to review the information that was provided. At this time, we ask for your patience as we begin to create the policies and procedures that are required in order to bring essential caregivers into our community safely.
While the MN Department of Health has given long term care communities until July 25 to draft policies and procedures for implementing their individual program, we hope to complete our process soon and will share details on this page.
We are following the guidance provided by the Minnesota Department of Health on requirements of the Essential Caregiver, which includes screening, PPE, infection control and staffing. Please give us the time to create a plan that meets the needs of all and keeps all our residents safe and healthy. And, as the virus is still being transmitted throughout our state, we may also need to change options based on a resident’s status with COVID-19 and the overall status of COVID-19 on our campus.
In the meantime, we encourage you to schedule a virtual visit with your loved one.
Frequently Asked Questions regarding COVID-19
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 daily prior to beginning their shifts. Those with symptoms or known exposure are instructed to self-quarantine at home and/or seek medical care. We encourage them to monitor themselves for signs and symptoms of COVID-19.
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 via our website. Please fill out the “Connect With Us” form and put your message in the comments section. We will make sure your loved one gets the message.
- 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 Family Update page on our website and Facebook page for highlights and photos of the activities we are hosting to boost spirits all while protecting the health of our residents.
- Where possible and free of snow and ice, we welcome you to come to their window 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. Please call Dawn Tombley at (651) 404-7949 to arrange this window visit.
Is it okay for residents to order food delivery and/or for family to bring in food or drink to our front reception desk?
We want to minimize the number of persons coming into our reception area and prefer our residents choose meal options from their dining room menus. However, if food delivery is an integral part of the resident’s psychological well-being (ethnic food, comfort food etc.) it can be allowed providing the delivery person does not enter the community and leaves the food at the front desk and then exits.
What kind of faith-based services are being offered?
Our spiritual care staff realize how important faith practices are to our residents. We are providing one-on-one visits with spiritual care, broadcasting Interfaith, Mass and Rosary on our in-house community channel, communion room to room and communicating other tv channels that offer Mass.
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:
- Wellness team members are connecting family members with their loved ones through FaceTime or the Zoom program.
- For those unable to interact through mobile devices, Wellness team members are spending time with each resident and following up with their loved ones.
- Hastings Community members are sending heartfelt letters, crafts and pictures to the campus for our staff to distribute and residents to enjoy.
- In Assisted Living, groups of no more than 10 are gathering 6 ft apart in their hallways to group bingo, exercise and outdoor walks.
- Therapy team members are checking in with residents to offer at home exercises and individual walking sessions for those that are not interested in group activities.
I used to do my mom’s laundry for her, now how is her laundry getting done?
Our staff is picking up right where you left off and ensuring that any services our residents were receiving from their families are now being met by our staff. For the Assisted Living and Memory Care Communities, please call Cari Steinhibel, Director of Nursing (651) 404-7923 directly if you have specific questions about your loved one’s needs. For the Care Center and Transitional Care Unit, please call (651) 404-7901.
Can I drop off care packages or supplies for my parents?
Yes, we will gladly receive deliveries for our residents. If your loved one is residing in the Assisted Living, please deliver essential items at the 1008 1st Street West Entrance door. Please walk through the first set of automatic doors and drop the clearly labeled delivery into the cart provided. Essential items include; medications, incontinent products, toiletries and necessary clothing. If your delivery includes medications or items that need to be delivered immediately, please call the charge nurse at (651) 404-7916 and make arrangements.
If your loved on is residing in the Care Center or Transitional Care Unit at this time, please contact (651) 404-7901 to coordinate your drop off appointment. Our staff will bring them to the appropriate residents’ home. We will take deliveries on only Mondays and Thursdays for the whole campus.
Mood enhancers such as flowers, homemade treats and/or other items can only be accepted if delivered through the mail.
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. We’ve heard from residents and their families that they feel Regina is the safest place to be during this difficult time.
What can I do to help brighten a resident’s day?
We are excited to announce our new “#GramsForGrands” program that invites local children, family members and the public to send cards, letters, artwork, drawings or inspirational messages to our residents. The messages and artwork will be shared with our center’s grandmas, grandpas and other residents as well as posted on an “art gallery” wall in the center for residents and staff to enjoy. Please send messages and artwork to Regina Senior Living at 1008 1st Street West, Hastings MN 55033 and Attention it to Anna Raway, Housing Manager. She will work with the Regina team to make sure our Grands will receive them!
My dad enjoys walking around the campus and flower gardens. Can he still go outside?
Yes, our residents can go outside and walk or sit as long as they are safe in doing this activity. 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 Covid-19 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.