Important Coronavirus Information

January 14, 2021

At Benedictine Living Community of Wahpeton, our priority is the health and wellness of our guests and associates. We know that the frail and elderly are especially susceptible to the coronavirus.

Please check our hotline – 701-751-5156 – for the latest COVID-19 update.

Visitation:

Beginning Jan. 17, we will be able to resume communal dining and small group activities. We will also be able to resume indoor visits. Please see the enclosed information sheet for more information on our indoor visitation.

We deeply appreciate the sacrifices you have made and continue to make to limit the impact of COVID-19 in our community. In addition, we continue to encourage families to connect with their loved ones via zoom, phone call, window visit, and U.S. mail.

COVID-19 Vaccine:

Benedictine Living Community-Wahpeton residents and staff rolled up their sleeves on January 6 to receive their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. Our second COVID-19 vaccine clinic has been scheduled for Feb. 4. A few details on the vaccine:

  • There will be no cost to residents or our employees 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.

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 are vaccinated and 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.

Our COVID-19 Update:

Benedictine Living Community-Wahpeton is providing campus-wide coronavirus testing weekly. Testing enables us to better protect our residents and staff by identifying those who may be positive, but are not having any symptoms. Once identified, we can implement additional infection control measures quickly to better care for those who may be infected. Please check our hotline for the latest update on our testing results.

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. Because we have taken this situation very seriously, our campus has been:

  • Monitoring and screening residents each shift 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 social distancing with meals served to residents in their rooms and one on one activities.
  • Restricting visitors to only essential health care services and compassionate care situations such as end of life. Even those visitors must be screened and free of symptoms before they are allowed to enter with protective precautions in place.
  • 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.  Any employee who exhibits symptoms is instructed to self-quarantine at home and/or seek medical care.
  • Requiring all associates 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 loved ones to keep in touch via phone, mail, email 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.

Frequently Asked Questions

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.

  • Phone calls
  • Write them a letter, card or piece of art and send via U.S. Postal service.
  • 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, 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 Stephanie Cornelius 701-642-6667 or stephanie.cornelius@bhshealth.org@bhshealth.org to arrange this window visit.

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 calls ahead to arrange a drop-off time.

Our Associates 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 our online, virtual services. Our local Catholic Priest has set up weekly Zoom Meetings with his parishioners.

  • #GramsforGrands: Project to receive communications from the outside world to the residents.
  • #WorldofHearts: Project to display hearts around facility and in windows.
  • Facebook- ways for residents to share messages with loved ones.
  • 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.
  • One to One activities with each resident daily.
  • Hallway Bingo
  • Ice Cream Truck passes through the hallway weekly
  • Music and Entertainment through the hallways.

Our Associates are 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. Please call if you have specific questions about your loved one’s needs.

Yes, we will gladly receive deliveries for our residents at door 3 or door 4 and our staff will bring them to the appropriate residents’ room. Please call ahead of delivery to make arrangements for this to happen.

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 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 Stephanie Cornelius.

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 do encourage them to utilize our internal courtyard for their fresh air needs.

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.

Currently, we have an Associate that does the residents hair weekly. North Dakota has loosened their restrictions. Our Wellness Associates are 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.

Please feel free to contact us with any additional questions or concerns. We’re here for you and your loved one!