News and Events

Thanksgiving

Dear Family and Friends,

We recently learned that the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) and the federal Medicare agency (CMS) are advising against residents leaving their care center for holiday visits. As we continue to fight against COVID-19, we ask that you not take your loved ones out this Thanksgiving.

By not taking your loved one out for a holiday visit, you will help us in protecting the health of everyone who lives and works here. One of the best things that you can do for your family this holiday season is to not gather in groups and keep everyone safe by wearing a facemask when you do.

We know just how special the holiday season can be and spending time with family is what adds meaning to our celebrations.  However, we need your help to protect our residents, our staff, and yourself during this pandemic’s risky time by limiting our contact with the broader community.  As Governor Walz told us the other night, the COVID-19 surge is at a dangerous level in Minnesota.

This past year has been a challenge like no other and we deeply appreciate the sacrifices that you and your family have already made during these past months. The hope of a COVID-19 vaccine is promising, but until that time we all need to use extra caution to slow the spread of this highly contagious disease.

If a resident does choose to go to a holiday gathering outside of our care center, the resident will need to quarantine in his or her room for 14-days after returning as a necessary precaution. Even when being very careful and following all of the guidelines, the risk of being infected when being out in the general public is high.

Our staff is committed to keeping you connected during the holiday seasons. We have a variety of activities planned that will engage our residents and are doing all we can to facilitate alternative means of communication between you and your loved one.

We know that this news may cause concern or that you may have questions about what we are doing to keep everyone safe and healthy. Please do not hesitate to reach out to me at 218-279-4203. 

Sincerely,

Tara Adkins, Administrator

Suncrest Testing Staff Weekly

Dear Family and Friends,

Viewcrest Care Center conducted entire-site testing for both residents and staff on 11/17/2020. We are excited to announce that we have no additional cases of COVID-19 this week! We will be testing again on 11/24/2020. Suncrest Assisted Living continues to have no known cases of COVID-19.

Our county positivity rate has risen above 10% putting our care center in the “red zone.” According to CMS calculations, all Minnesota counties, but four, are now in the “red zone.” Being in the “red zone” requires our care center to routinely test our staff twice weekly. We are also required to suspend all indoor visits at this time. We encourage you to use alternate ways to connect with your loved ones such as Zoom, Facebook Portal, Phone, and Facetiming.

Suncrest Assisted Living is in one of the four counties that are in the “yellow zone.” Their staff will be routinely tested on a weekly basis. Indoor visitation is still available.

With hospital beds nearing capacity and healthcare staffing shortages, Governor Walz issued even more COVID restrictions this week. Restaurants, breweries, bowling alleys, movie theaters, and bars will be take-out only. Gyms will close and organized indoor sports will be suspended. We need your help to control the spread of the virus in our community. We encourage you to use masks, social distance and abide by the Governor’s Orders.

Looking for ways to help? We have a variety of positions available with flexible scheduling and on the job training. For more information or to apply, visit www.jobswithus.org.

Please follow our Facebook page (@Viewcrest Health Center) or our website (www.sfhs.org) for all COVID updates and information on what is happening inside our care center. Please do not hesitate to reach out to Tara Adkins, Administrator, at 218-279-4203 if you have any questions or concerns.

Suncrest Still COVID Free!

Dear Family and Friends,

Viewcrest Care Center conducted entire-site testing for both residents and staff on 11/10/2020. We are excited to announce that we have no additional cases of COVID-19 this week! We will be testing again on 11/17/2020. Suncrest Assisted Living continues to have no known cases of COVID-19.

Due to the positive cases at Viewcrest, we are still unable to host indoor or outdoor visits at this time. In order for visits to occur, there can be no new onset of COVID-19 cases in the last 14 days and the care center cannot currently be conducting outbreak testing. County positivity rates could also limit our ability to allow indoor visits. To schedule your visit at Suncrest, please contact Jodell Frenz @ 218-878-1180.

This week Governor Walz announced new COVID-19 restrictions. These include earlier bar and restaurant closing times and 10 person limits on all indoor and outdoor gatherings. We encourage everyone in their efforts to control the spread of the virus including wearing masks, social distancing and the recent turning back of the dial by the State.

Looking for ways to help? We have a variety of positions available with flexible scheduling and on the job training. For more information or to apply, visit www.jobswithus.org.

Please follow our Facebook page (@Viewcrest Health Center) or our website (www.sfhs.org) for all COVID updates and information on what is happening inside our care center. Please do not hesitate to reach out to Tara Adkins, Administrator, at 218-279-4203 if you have any questions or concerns.

Viewcrest – COVID Unit Open – Suncrest – COVID FREE

Dear Family and Friends,

Viewcrest Care Center conducted entire-site testing for both residents and staff on 11/03/2020. Viewcrest had one resident and three staff members test positive for COVID-19 this week. We will be testing again on 11/10/2020. We have moved the positive resident to the separated COVID unit. Suncrest Assisted Living continues to have no known cases of COVID-19.

Due to the positive cases at Viewcrest, we are still unable to host indoor or outdoor visits at this time. Indoor visits are restricted until the care center has gone 14 days without any additional positive cases of COVID-19. To schedule your visit at Suncrest, please contact Jodell Frenz @ 218-878-1180.

Our top priority is to support and protect our residents and dedicated caregivers. We have equipped our staff with the training and supplies needed to provide safe, quality care, services and support to our residents. We continue to urge everyone to practice proper hand hygiene and safe physical distancing.

We are committed to ensuring that physical distancing does not mean isolation. We are working to have a variety of one-one activities small group activities that engage our residents.

Looking for ways to help? We have a variety of positions available with flexible scheduling and on the job training. For more information or to apply, visit www.jobswithus.org.

Please follow our Facebook page (@Viewcrest Health Center) or our website (www.sfhs.org) for all COVID updates and information on what is happening inside our care center. Please do not hesitate to reach out to Tara Adkins, Administrator, at 218-279-4203 if you have any questions or concerns.

Positive Staff at Viewcrest

Dear Family and Friends,

Viewcrest Care Center conducted entire-site testing for both residents and staff on 10/27/2020. This week we had two additional staff members test positive for COVID-19. No residents have tested positive this week and we have closed our COVID unit. We will be testing again on 11/03/2020. Suncrest Assisted Living continues to have no known cases of COVID-19.

Due to the positive cases at Viewcrest, we are still unable to host indoor or outdoor visits at this time. Indoor visits are restricted until the care center has gone 14 days without any additional positive cases of COVID-19.

While Suncrest Assisted Living welcomes the new indoor visitation guidelines, we continue to monitor the COVID outbreak in our community and nearby counties. Our care center may ask visitors to get tested for COVID-19 prior to visiting with your loved one. Even when not experiencing symptoms, you may test positive for COVID-19 and spread the virus without knowing. To schedule your visit or for more information on our visitation policy, please contact Jodell Frenz @ 218-878-1180

COVID continues to change the way we celebrate holidays. This year our Halloween celebrations include staff costume days 10/30 & 10/31 along with special Halloween treats delivered to each resident.

Looking for ways to help? We have a variety of positions available with flexible scheduling and on the job training. For more information or to apply, visit www.jobswithus.org.

Don’t forget to get your flu shot this season to help protect our community. Please follow our Facebook page (@Viewcrest Health Center) or our website (www.sfhs.org) for all COVID updates and information on what is happening inside our care center. Please do not hesitate to reach out to Tara Adkins, Administrator, at 218-279-4203 if you have any questions or concerns.

Results from Entire-Site Testing

September 25, 2020

Our residents and employees were tested for COVID-19 on 09/22/20. All results have been received and are shown in the chart below.  We had 1 staff test positive for COVID-19.  We will be testing again on September 29th.  We continue to follow all recommendations from the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH), the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).

 Tests PositiveTests NegativeTests PendingTotal Tested
Residents078078
Staff01100110
Results from 09/22/20 testing

On September 17, 2020, the Center for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) released Memorandum QSO-20-39-NH Nursing Home Visitation – COVID 19 which provides updated visitation guidelines for skilled nursing facilities; https://www.cms.gov/files/document/qso-20-39-nh.pdf. We are currently waiting for the MN Department of Health direction on this Memo before we begin working on a policy & implementation plan.

Please follow our Facebook page (@Viewcrest Health Center) for all COVID updates and information on what is happening inside our care center. If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to reach out to Tara Adkins, Administrator, at 218-279-4203.

Positive Staff at Viewcrest

Dear Family and Friends,

Although not unexpected, as of 09/16/2020, we have 2 staff members in our care center who have tested positive for COVID-19.  This event triggers a planned process of isolating residents to aggressively minimize transmission to others. Our top priority is to keep everyone safe and healthy. We are collaborating with our Medical Director and the Minnesota Department of Health and are following all recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to ensure we are taking all appropriate steps at this time.

With the confirmed positive case of COVID-19 in our care center, we will move forward with entire site testing for both residents and staff on 9/22/20. We understand that this decision may result in increased confirmed cases, but the results will allow us to accurately isolate the virus and prevent the spread in our community. We believe this is the best way to protect residents, staff and our community and track the path of the virus. This means that we must cancel all outdoor and open window visits until further notice. We will continue to use technology and closed window visits for resident connection with you.

In the event we have any residents test positive, we would activate our COVID unit. The unit is segregated from the rest of our community. The designated staff that care for residents in this unit remain within the area and do not have physical contact with other non-segregated residents. Any staff who test positive will be self-quarantined at home and will not be allowed to return to work until they recover from the virus; 10 days following positive test and 72 hours from last fever without using medication. Our staff are equipped with specific training and PPE to continue to provide safe, quality care, services and support to the residents of our community.

As we’ve shared several times, in early March, we initiated proactive infection control practices, screening procedures and visitor restrictions that will help us manage this situation as effectively as possible and protect the safety and health of all who live and work here. We will continue to update you on any news, emerging issues, or additional changes in our operations via Bright Arrow, email, website, and our Facebook page.

We know that this news may concern you or that you may have questions about what we are doing to keep everyone safe and healthy. Please do not hesitate to reach out to me at 218-279-4203.

Sincerely,

Tara Adkins, Administrator

Weekly Update

Last week we learned about the new Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) testing requirements that include routine staff testing. Based on our current county positivity rate provided by CMS, our care center is in the low category.  CMS recalculates the county positivity rate weekly and we will keep you updated if our category changes. This category requires us to routinely test staff monthly. Our first round of routine testing for staff is yet to be determined. We continue to test symptomatic residents and staff as symptoms arise and perform entire-site testing during an outbreak (positive case in our care center). Should a confirmed case come from any of these tests, we would promptly notify our residents, staff and their families.

The threat of this devastating and deadly virus is still with us. Minnesota is experiencing an increase in the number of positive cases in areas across our state, which can pose a greater risk of exposure to both our residents and our staff. As of 9/11/2020, we have no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in our care center. We continue to follow all recommendations from the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH), the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).

We continue to offer outdoor visits, window visits and virtual visits. As a reminder, all visitors must comply with our screening protocols and other infection control measures when they visit their loved one. Please contact Jeremy Brew at 218-279-4210 to schedule your visit in advance.

Looking for ways to help? We have a variety of positions available with flexible scheduling and on the job training. Please contact our care center for more information or visit www.jobswithus.org to apply.

Thank you again for being partners with us in fighting the COVID-19 virus. Please do not hesitate to reach out to Tara Adkins, Administrator, at 218-279-4203 if you have any questions or concerns. Updated information on our planning and preparedness for Coronavirus and our activities within our care center can be found by visiting our website (www.sfhs.org) or our Facebook page.

New CMS Testing Requirements

As of 9/4/2020, we have no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in our care center. We continue to follow all recommendations from the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH), the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).

This week, CMS and MDH released new testing requirements for our care center’s staff and residents that are effective immediately. “Facility Staff” is defined broadly, to include employees, consultants, contractors, volunteers, and caregivers who provide care and services to residents on behalf of the facility, and students in the facility’s nurse aide training programs or from affiliated academic institutions.  The requirements outline routine testing depending on our county positivity rate:

  • Low: Monthly testing in counties with less than 5% positivity
  • Medium: Weekly testing in counties with 5-10% positivity
  • High: Bi-weekly testing in counties with greater than 10% positivity

The rule also requires testing in three scenarios: (i) symptomatic individual identified; (ii) outbreak (new case arises in facility); and (iii) routine testing.  While CMS does not recommend routine testing of residents unless the resident leaves the facility regularly, it does require routine testing of staff.

As providers of senior care, we know how important family and friends are in supporting the physical and mental health of our residents. We continue to review our visitation policy on a weekly basis. In the meantime, we welcome patio visits, open and closed window visits, and virtual visits. As a reminder, you can help limit exposure in our community through appropriate hand hygiene, mask use, and social distancing.

If you or someone you know is looking for ways to help, our residents and staff enjoy receiving letters and cards from the community. We also have a variety of open positions that can be found at www.jobswithus.org.

Updated information on our planning and preparedness for Coronavirus and our activities within our care center can be found by visiting our website (www.sfhs.org) or our Facebook page. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact Tara Adkins, Administrator, at 218-279-4203.

Weekly Update

On July 14th, the Trump Administration announced that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) would be distributing diagnostic antigen testing equipment that are authorized for use at our care centers. This technology will enable our care centers to administer tests on-site as needed and receive those results quickly. We are expecting to receive this equipment soon. Watch for more information on this in the coming weeks.

As of 8/28/2020, we have no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in our care center. We continue to follow all recommendations from the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH), the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).

Our doors are not yet open to the public but there are a number of options for meaningful social interactions between residents and their loved ones. Residents enjoy socially distanced dining and activities with each other and outdoor visits, window visits, and virtual visits with family and friends.

Outside of our care setting, we urge our community members to practice social distancing, wear a mask, and wash your hands frequently. You continue to be a key partner in limiting the spread of the virus and protecting our seniors. If you are looking for other ways you can help protect our seniors, please visit www.jobswithus.org or call our care center for more information.

Updated information on our planning and preparedness for Coronavirus and our activities within our care center can be found by visiting our website (www.sfhs.org) or our Facebook page. Please do not hesitate to reach out to Tara Adkins, Administrator, at 218-279-4203 with any questions or concerns.