Important Coronavirus Information
At Benedictine Living Community-St. Peter, 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.
Face masks still required on our campus:
On May 13, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued good news for those who are fully vaccinated. If you are fully vaccinated (meaning that you have completed the full series of the vaccine and two weeks have passed since the last dose), the CDC says you can resume activities without wearing a face mask or physically distancing, except where required by federal, state, or local law.
Unfortunately, healthcare is one of those exceptions in which wearing a face mask is still required except in certain circumstances. While face masks are required to be worn in most areas of our campus, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services does allow for fully vaccinated residents to visit in person with fully vaccinated visitors without wearing face masks and within close contact when in a private room or apartment. Face masks must be worn in common areas or when an unvaccinated person is in the room or area.
Employees who are fully vaccinated may remove their face masks in break rooms or meeting rooms when all present are fully vaccinated. All employees must continue to wear face masks and eye protection when in care areas.
If you are unvaccinated and are interested in vaccination, the COVID-19 vaccine is readily available in our community. Not sure where? Check out vaccines.gov, text your zip code to 438829, or call 1-800-232-0233 to find a location near you. If you still have questions, go to www.cdc.gov/coronavirus for more information on the COVID-19 vaccine.
We look forward to the day when COVID-19 is vanquished. Until then, we appreciate your cooperation as we comply with the requirements applicable to senior care facilities.
We are welcoming visitors for indoor visitation. We also continue to offer window visits as weather allows, essential caregiver and compassionate care visits, and visits through technology.
Reminder: All residents and their visitors need to follow the Core Principles of Infection Control. Visitors will need to be screened for COVID-19 before their visit, wear a well-fitting face mask over their nose and mouth for the entire visit, maintain social distance from other residents and staff, practice good hand hygiene and remain in the resident’s room or designated visiting space for the duration of their visit. Thank you so much for your cooperation with these measures.
Benedictine Living Community-St. Peter is providing COVID-19 testing regularly to our unvaccinated employees and as needed to residents, tenants and employees with symptoms. 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. We will update our hotline – 507-933-5277 – if our testing identifies any new positive cases.
As we have for the past year, we are closely monitoring all our residents and associates for signs and symptoms of the virus. We remain communication with our local and state health officials to ensure we are taking all appropriate steps to prevent the virus from spreading on our campus.
Infection Control Measures
Since March 2020, we have followed all recommended guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Centers Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), and our state and local health departments. We are in close communication with our local and state health officials to ensure we are taking all appropriate steps. Because we have taken this situation very seriously, our campus has been:
- Monitoring and screening residents daily for symptoms of respiratory illness, temperature and oxygen levels.
- Providing face masks to all residents to wear whenever one of our staff is in their room or apartment or when they venture outside their room or apartment.
- Encouraging health care providers to use telehealth when possible.
- Screening all employees for symptoms and temperature prior to beginning work. Employees 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.
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.
Frequently Asked Questions
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.
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. The CDC recommends wearing cloth face masks as a way to reduce the likelihood of transmitting the virus.
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. To ensure our residents’ needs are met, we will be connecting with area clergy to offer phone contact in addition to our onsite chaplain’s services.
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.
Can I drop off care packages or supplies for my parents?
Yes, we will gladly receive deliveries for our residents at the main door, and our staff will bring them to the appropriate residents’ apartment. Please call ahead so we can be prepared to meet you.
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?
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.
Are there other ways I can help?
Donations of goods for residents including items such as large print puzzle or activity books, fingernail polish, arts and crafts supplies, magazines/ books are appreciated. We are also accepting donations of new surgical-grade face masks, and homemade cloth masks from experienced sewers (please note: homemade masks will not replace surgical masks and medical grade Personal Protective Equipment that are worn by staff when necessary). For homemade mask instructions, visit www.benedictineliving.org/news
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 if unvaccinated.
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 to key locations within our community, her new neighbors and activities available within current social distancing guidelines.
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.
Get vaccinated against COVID-19. Getting the vaccine series (one or two shots, depending upon the manufacturer) is one of the best ways to protect yourself and everyone around you, particularly those who are at increased risk for severe illness. Getting the shots will not only reduce the likelihood of infection, it will help us take a big step towards ending this pandemic.
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.