Important Coronavirus Information

January 12, 2021

 

At Benedictine Living Community-Northfield, our priority is protecting the health and wellness of our residents and employees. During this time, we are currently providing weekly COVID-19 testing to our employees and residents of our Assisted Living and Memory Care. Testing provides peace of mind for our residents and employees and 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 507-650-5162 for the latest COVID-19 update.

At Benedictine Living Community-Northfield, our priority is protecting the health and wellness of our residents and employees. We continue to closely monitor all residents and employees for signs or symptoms of the virus and are currently providing weekly coronavirus testing to our employees and residents of our Assisted Living and Memory Care. To provide peace of mind for our independent living residents, we are also offering transportation to community coronavirus testing.

COVID-19 Vaccine:

We’re excited for January 24 to come. We have been notified that our first COVID-19 vaccine clinic has been scheduled for January 24 for our residents and employees.

Some basic information about the COVID-19 vaccine:

  • There will be no cost to residents or employees 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.

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. We encourage everyone to get vaccinated against COVID-19. It 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 wait for the vaccine for all, we must continue to remain vigilant with wearing our masks and wearing them properly, practicing good hand hygiene and social distancing.

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Infection Control Measures

Since March, we have had aggressive infection control measures in place. We have implemented all recommended guidance from the Centers for Disease Control, 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:

  • Provided face masks to all residents to wear whenever one of our staff is in their room/apartment or when they venture outside their room/apartment.
  • Screened all residents daily for symptoms, temperature and oxygen levels.
  • Restricted visitors to only essential health care and compassionate care situations, such as end of life. Those individuals were required to pass a health screening before entering.
  • Encouraged health care providers to use telehealth when possible.
  • Implemented social distanced dining and activities.
  • Screened 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.
  • Required all associates to wear face masks and face shields or goggles while providing care.
  • Implemented 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 mail, e-mail and/or video chats.

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-Northfield 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 and 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 July 25,, 2020 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 e-mail us at ken.kirkman@bhshealth.org or hodan.abdi@bhshealth.org.

Frequently Asked Questions regarding COVID-19

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.

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. The CDC recommends wearing cloth face masks as a way to reduce the likelihood of transmitting the virus.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Yes, we will gladly receive deliveries for our residents at the front door, and our staff will bring them to the appropriate residents’ apartment.

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 is providing compassionate care to make sure residents are staying mentally healthy and stimulated while adhering to social distancing guidelines.

We are excited to share 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 2030 North Avenue, Northfield, MN 55057, attention #GramsForGrands.

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.

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 to key locations within our community, and introducing her to her new neighbors and activities within current social distancing guidelines.

Current federal and state guidelines prevent our hair stylist from working at this time. Our staff is stepping in and assisting with grooming needs to ensure your mom looks and feels her best.

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.

Thank you!

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.