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Boundary Waters Care Center Coronavirus Precautions

Updated as of September 17 2020 at 8:36 p.m. CDT

To the Residents, Families, Staff, and Friends of Boundary Waters Care Center,

We sincerely appreciate your ongoing support and empathy as we navigate the impact of the Coronavirus pandemic on Boundary Waters Care Center, our residents and staff, and the broader community.

As you may know, we have implemented changes in our regular operations as part of our response plan, including enhanced infection control and strict prevention measures, monitoring residents and staff for symptoms and testing individuals as appropriate, and restricting non-essential visitors inside our building.

We are thankful to share that as of today we have zero cases of COVID-19 among the residents and staff of the Boundary Waters Care Center family. Rest assured— we are continuing to closely monitor guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), as well as state and local health officials.

The Minnesota Department of Health has provided guidance so we may safely welcome visitors to join us outside during scheduled outdoor and window visits. To safeguard the safety and health of our residents, visitors, and our staff, outdoor visits will be limited and structured differently than what we are accustomed to. Please click here to learn more about our Outdoor Visiting Program.

Should we have a positive COVID-19 case in our care community, we are committed to respectful, open, and transparent communication. We will first notify the affected resident, their family, and our staff, and will follow all privacy requirements. Our medical director and other providers as well as local and state health departments will guide our efforts, as well as our own preparedness plans. We will provide updates to all residents, families, and staff as we learn more, ensuring we respect and follow all health and employment privacy requirements.

We will continue to work around-the-clock to protect our care community from this virus by focusing on our COVID-19 Preparation and Response Action Plan, which includes an Infection Prevention Control Program. The following is a summary of these preventive actions:

  • Quarantining residents and implementing enhanced infection control measures. This includes establishing a designated area in the building should there be a resident with a positive COVID-19 diagnosis and quarantining the resident in their room. We will have designated staff to support and care for them, and continue to follow all infection control protocols as outlined by the CDC, CMS, and local and state health officials. The resident would remain in quarantine until well and cleared by medical professionals to return to normal activity.
  • Advising affected staff to take all appropriate measures. For their health and well-being, should there be a staff member with a COVID-19 diagnosis, the staff member will be asked to quarantine at home, and contact their medical provider to guide their care. We will follow all CDC guidance on the return to work criteria for health care professionals with confirmed COVID-19.
  • Continuing to monitor and screen residents for symptoms. We continue to actively screen residents for fever and respiratory symptoms. We are all key partners in keeping ourselves and others healthy. Please wash your hands often and avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth. We continually remind our dear residents to notify our team immediately if they feel ill.
  • Assessing and screening of individuals who come in contact with anyone affected. The community will work with state and local health officials to assess and screen anyone who may come in close contact with an affected individual, and we will be following all requirements in implementing next steps which may include self-monitoring as determined by health officials. In such an event, we understand there may be an increased desire to be tested for COVID-19. We will follow all direction from state and local health officials regarding required testing for residents and staff.
  • Continuing to monitor and screen residents for symptoms. We have increased our screening of residents for fever and respiratory symptoms. Residents: we appreciate your partnership in keeping yourself and others healthy. Please wash your hands often, avoid touching your face, and cover your coughs and sneezes with a tissue. Remember to let us know immediately if you feel ill. COVID-19 symptoms include fever or chills, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fatigue, muscle or body aches, headache, new loss of taste or smell, sore throat, congestion or runny nose, nausea or vomiting, or diarrhea. For additional information, please visit the Minnesota Department of Health’s website: www.health.state.mn.us/diseases/coronavirus or the CDC’s website: www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html.
  • Continuing to screen staff prior to beginning work. Staff are not allowed in the building if they are ill. Screening includes taking temperature upon arriving at the building as well as completing a detailed health screening. Any staff who exhibit symptoms are instructed to put on a mask, isolate at home, call their medical provider, and notify their supervisor. Additionally, our staff is following CDC guidelines for hand and other related hygiene requirements.
  • Continuing to implement environmental safety precautions. Housekeeping staff continue to take extra measures to clean and disinfect all high-touch areas throughout the building. This includes countertops and tables, faucet handles, toilet flush handles, door knobs, crash bars, door handles, bathroom and kitchen areas, elevator call buttons, and hand rails.
  • Continuing to restrict visitors in our building for everyone’s safety. We encourage loved ones to communicate with residents by phone, letters, video chat, and/or social media, and are happy to facilitate this communication. We understand that it is hard to not have visitors, especially family. Visitors who need to enter the building for end-of-life care situations are evaluated on a case-by-case basis to protect everyone’s safety.
    Visitors who are permitted to enter the building for end-of-life situations are first screened for fever and respiratory symptoms. They are also required to frequently clean their hands, limit their visit to a designated area within the building, and wear a facemask.
  • Continuing to restrict congregate dining and have canceled any group activities that don’t allow for social distancing. We have cancelled congregate dining, all community outings, and any group activities. This occurred following social distancing guidance from the CDC, CMS, and state and local health officials. We also continue to help residents to practice social distancing and to frequently clean their hands.
  • Utilizing personal protective equipment (PPE) when interacting with residents, as directed by CMS guidelines.

We will continue to be in close communications with our medical director, other providers, as well as state and local health officials, and are monitoring new information from the CDC and CMS to ensure we are taking the appropriate next steps.

We want to take this opportunity to share our ongoing gratitude to our dedicated staff, for their commitment to the care of and service to our residents. Their courage is nothing short of inspiring—they are our heroes!

It is moments like these that we remember our true calling and what brought us to senior health care. We care deeply about our residents and staff and consider them to be members of our own extended families.

Thank you for support and understanding; we are all in this together. Please do not hesitate to contact the the Boundary Waters Care Center team via phone: 218-365-8705 with any questions or concerns you may have.

NOTE TO MEDIA PERSONNEL: Please send inquiries to media@hdgi1.com.

As information about the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic rapidly changes, we are committed to providing the most recent information. Some of the details in this update may have changed after publication.

For the latest on COVID-19, we encourage you to use the following resources: