News and Events

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.

Weekly Update

As of today, we have no known cases of Coronavirus in our care centers. We continue to follow the recommended guidance from the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention and Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, and the Minnesota Department of Health. We carefully monitor all residents for symptoms, screen all staff at the beginning of each shift, use PPE, and conduct audits of our infection control practices, providing further education as needed. 

COVID-19 is still being contagiously transmitted throughout our state. It’s important to keep in mind that our residents are highly vulnerable to the virus and are the most at risk if they are infected.  It is our policy to continually evaluate the presence of positive COVID-19 cases in our communities and nearby counties. We are carefully considering our options regarding visitation, evaluating our policies and protocols and will update you weekly. In the meantime, please contact Tara Adkins, Administrator at 218-279-4203 with any questions or concerns.

Currently, visiting with your loved one can be done through scheduled patio visits, open window visits, and closed window visits. We also encourage alternative means of communicating with residents such as phone calls, Facebook, Skype, etc. To schedule your visit, call Jeremy Brew at 218-279-4210.

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

Updated information on our planning and preparedness for Coronavirus and our activities within our care centers can be found by visiting our website (www.sfhs.org) or our Facebook page. Please do not hesitate to reach out to us with any questions or concerns.

Updated Best Practices for CoVid-19

As of 07/17/2020, there have been no known cases of Coronavirus in our care center. We know that you share our concerns about efforts to keep residents in our community safe during the COVID-19 pandemic.  A new, optional program called Essential Caregiver was released from the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) with guidelines last Friday.  While we welcome this opportunity to make necessary exceptions to the visitor restrictions for those previous to COVID-19 providing essential care, we must all continue to be vigilant.  We ask for patience as we consider the concept of the Essential Caregiver, what components make up the design of the program and when the time is right to implement this in our care center; balancing the safety, health and wellness for all who live and work here and for those who serve in the Essential Caregiver role.

We continue to follow recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) regarding infection and prevention control (IPC).  The following list identifies best practices currently in place at our care center:

Visitor Restrictions:

  • Indoor person to person visits are not allowed unless considered under the Compassionate Visit criteria.  Alternative opportunities for visits by appointment include,
    • Virtual visits.
    • Open or closed window visits with social distancing.
    • Outdoor patio visits with social distancing and Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) as required upon visitor successfully passing the visitor screening. All outdoor visits must be monitored by staff.
  • Volunteers.  In some cases, volunteers have been specially trained and specifically assigned screening or monitoring duties and have limited access to the care center with PPE use.
  • Non-essential health care providers (HCP).  In some cases, depending on ability to use telehealth methods and certain procedures required, HCP are allowed access.

Other Infection Control Practices

  • Residents are monitored for signs and symptoms of respiratory infection.
    • Resident(s) presenting with respiratory symptoms consistent with CoVid-19 will be recommended for testing and quarantined while awaiting test results.
    • Dependent on outcomes, point prevalence testing (PPT) of the entire resident population and employees will implemented.
  • Residents are quarantined
    • upon admission,
    • if exposed to individuals with COVID-19 or those with exposure risk,
    • or upon return from medically emergent appointments out of the care center.  Some medically necessary appointments may not require quarantine upon re-entry to the care center.
  • Essential health care providers (HCP), who cannot use telehealth methods for treatment or are providing specific procedures will be allowed access using PPE and using specific ICP.
  • Essential HCP, Compassionate Criteria visits and employee entrance to the building will be limited to one location when possible.
  • Employees/contractors are screened upon entry and actively monitored while in the care center.
    • Any staff or contractor showing respiratory symptoms consistent with CoVid-19 will be asked to be tested and not allowed to enter the building and expected to quarantine at home while waiting for test results.
  • Social distancing is practiced throughout the building.
  • All Staff are required to wear PPE including a surgical masks and eye protection.    Additional PPE is required if a segregated unit is used or outbreak occurs.
  • Residents are required to wear masks while receiving cares or are out of their room, unless medically exempt.
  • All deliveries are left at the care center designated delivery door or in the vestibule where possible.
  • Cleaning protocols are met for COVID-19.

Updated information on our preparedness for COVID-19 can be found on our website (www.sfhs.org) or Facebook page. Please do not hesitate to reach out to us with any questions or concerns.

Technology Grant

Our care center has been awarded a COVID-19 Technology Grant. This grant was developed by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and administered by the MN Department of Human Services in response to the challenging visitor restrictions caused by COVID-19. This grant is to be used for communication technology to improve our resident’s virtual visits with family and friends; and telehealth visits with physicians.

This equipment, added to the communication devices we have already been using, will greatly enhance our residents’ virtual visits. If you wish to set up a virtual visit, window visit or patio visit, please contact our care center. We ask that you schedule this visit ahead of time to ensure we have staff available to assist your loved one if needed.

As of 7/10/2020 there have been no known cases of Coronavirus in our care center. We continue to follow all recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH).  We are continuing to monitor information related to new cases in our rural communities and the impact this has on our ability to provide further access to residents within our care centers.  Updated information on our preparedness for COVID-19 can be found on our website (www.sfhs.org) or Facebook page. Please do not hesitate to reach out to us with any questions or concerns.