Important Coronavirus Information
At Benedictine Living Community-Wahpeton, 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 and that is why we have been doing everything we can to prevent the spread of this virus onto our campus.
Visitors are welcome on our campus. New federal guidance allows visitors even if we have an active case of COVID-19. Be aware that there may be a risk for becoming infected by COVID-19 when there are active cases in the building. We take all recommended infection and prevention control precautions, but becoming infected is always a possibility.
Visitors need to follow several infection prevention and control requirements, including:
- All visitors must still complete a health screening and follow the Core Principles of Infection Control, including practicing good hand hygiene, wearing a face covering or mask that covers the mouth and nose, and physically distancing at least six feet from other residents and staff.
- Visitors who have had a positive viral test for COVID-19 or have symptoms of COVID-19, or who currently meet the criteria for quarantine, should not enter the facility. Visitors need to understand that there is a risk of exposure to COVID-19 when visiting.
- For the health and safety of visitors and all residents, visits should take place in the resident’s room (if private) or in a common space where physical distancing can be followed
- If our county’s COVID-19 community level of transmission is substantial to high, all residents and visitors, regardless of vaccination status, should wear face coverings or masks and physically distance at all times. You can check out our County’s COVID-19 transmission rate at www.covid.cdc.gov/covid-data-tracker/#county-view.
- When our county’s COVID-19 community level of transmission is low to moderate, the safest practice is for residents and visitors to wear face coverings or masks and physically distance, particularly if either of them is at increased risk for severe disease or is unvaccinated. If the county transmission level is low, the resident and all visitor(s) are fully vaccinated, and the resident is not moderately or severely immunocompromised, residents and visitors may choose not to wear face coverings or masks and to have physical contact.
- While CMS does not recommend visitation when a resident is actively infected with COVID-19 or in quarantine, residents may still choose to have visitors. The Core Principles of Infection Control need to be followed.
You can further help protect our residents and staff. Consider taking an over-the-counter COVID-19 test prior to visiting. This strategy helps to keep those who are ill from carrying COVID-19 into our building to our residents and staff.
with the requirements applicable to senior care facilities.
Benedictine Living Community-Wahpeton is currently providing coronavirus testing as required by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and as needed to residents and employees with symptoms. 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. We will update our hotline – 701-751-5156 – if our testing identifies any new positive cases.
As we have for the past year, we will continue to closely monitor all residents and employees for signs or symptoms of the virus. We remain in communication with our state and local health officials to ensure we are implementing all appropriate measures.
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. Because we have taken this situation very seriously, our campus has been:
- Monitoring and screening residents 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 for unvaccinated residents.
- Restricting visitation when required.
- 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.
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 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?
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.
What kind of faith-based services are being offered?
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.
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:
- #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.
I used to do my mom’s laundry for her, now how is her laundry getting done?
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.
Can I drop off care packages or supplies for my parents?
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.
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?
Our “#GramsForGrands” program 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.
My dad enjoys walking around the campus. 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. We do encourage them to utilize our internal courtyard for their fresh air needs.
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?
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.
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.
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!