Important Coronavirus Information
January 11, 2021
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.
Please check our hotline – 507-933-5277 -for the latest COVID-19 update.
As we await our second COVID-19 vaccine clinic and when the COVID-19 vaccine available for all, we urge all to remain vigilant with wearing face masks, to wear them properly and to practice good hand hygiene and social distancing.
We also 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 this vaccine will not only protect you from being infected; it will help us take a big step towards ending this pandemic.
The second dose of the vaccine will be offered to our Care Center residents and associates on Jan. 27. We are waiting for information on when the vaccine will be made available to our assisted living residents. Watch for more information to come. Some basic information 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. It’s important that everyone receive both injections.
Essential Care Giver visits are allowed by appointment. We have also been able to reopen our onsite beauty shop and to resume socially distanced group activities and meals in common areas.
We are still unable to host indoor visitation at this time. The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) requires us to restrict visitation until we have not had a new COVID-19 positive case on our campus for 14 days and the level of transmission of COVID-19 in our area declines. We will continue to monitor this situation. We encourage family and friends to take advantage of virtual visits with our residents. Thank you so much for your cooperation with these measures.
Benedictine Living Community-St. Peter is providing coronavirus testing weekly to our Benedictine Care Center associates. 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 for the latest results.
As we have for the past few months, 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, 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.
- Offering socially distanced meal service and activities.
- Encouraging health care providers to use telehealth when possible.
- Restricting visitors per the current state guidance. Visitors must be screened and free of symptoms before they are allowed to enter with protective precautions in place.
- 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.
We encourage loved ones to keep in touch via phone, mail, email, video chat or outside visit.
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.
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.
- 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.
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.
cHow 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.bhshealth.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.
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.
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.