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Positive COVID-19 test results

May 8, 2020

On Sunday, May 3rd, 2020, Bethel staff and residents underwent facility wide COVID-19 testing. First, I want to extend my immense gratitude to Governor Doug Bergum. He has remained steadfast and strong in his commitment against COVID-19, and thanks to his quick and thorough actions he has taken to further protect the residents and staff that work and reside in long term care he will most likely have helped save lives. On Wednesday, May 6th, 2020, I received notification of the first positive resulting from Sunday’s testing and not long after I received notification of a second positive. On May 9th, 2020 Bethel received all of their results back from the testing completed on May 3rd, 2020. No further positives were identified. On May 13, 2020 we were notified of a staff member who tested positive with COVID-19. While we are saddened of this news, we have prepared for this possible outcome.


Since March 12th, 2020, Bethel implemented several safety protocols into place which are listed below, and continued to make adjustments based on North Dakota Department of Health recommendations, the Center for Disease Control and Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services.       


     


  • Limiting the entrance/exit into the facility to the main entry door.
  • Visitor restrictions were implemented. Only exception is during end of life care in which immediate family (spouse and children) are allowed to visit. Visitor is required to go through a screening process COVID-19 symptom check with a temperature check prior to entrance into the building. Visitors are required to wear personal protective equipment i.e. surgical mask, visor, and gown. When the visitor enters Bethel and after application of the personal protective equipment (gown, visor, and surgical mask) they go to their loved ones room. After visit is completed the personal protective equipment is removed, hand hygiene is completed, and the visitor exits the building.  
  • Prior to an employee entering Bethel they are required to temperature scan in and answer questions regarding their health and symptoms of COVID-19. If the employee has a temperature and/or symptoms they are not to enter the building.    
  • Communal dining stopped and residents began having meals in their rooms.   
  • Communal activities have been stopped and residents have been completing activities on their neighborhoods in small groups ensuring social distancing of 6 feet. Hallway bingo has been a big hit.  
  • Nursing staff floating to other areas has been limited as much as possible.
  • Any other employees from other departments have been instructed to refrain from traveling through any other work areas in the facility that is not deemed necessary for work purposes.
  • Maintain the six-foot social distancing standard at all times.
  • Surgical masks were issued to staff and cloth masks later to residents based on the state requirements and recommendations.
  • Staff are required to stay home if experiencing any COVID-19 related symptoms or like illnesses.
  • Residents are screened twice a day for signs and symptoms of COVID-19 including temperature and oxygen level check. 
  • New admits into Bethel have a COVID-19 test prior to admit. Once a negative test result is obtained and Bethel can meet the needs of the individual they will be admitted. Contact/Droplet isolation precautions will be implemented for 14 days with enhanced monitoring of COVID-19 symptoms and vital sign monitoring.
  • Non-essential medical appointments have been canceled and rescheduled. If the medical appointment meets the use of telemedicine the medical appointment is conducted via telemedicine. If a resident requires a clinic visit precaution put in place are that both the resident and the provider will wear a mask and the resident is roomed upon arrival to clinic to minimize exposure.  
  • If a resident requires an emergency room visit, upon return to Bethel the resident will be placed on contact/droplet precautions for 7 days with enhanced symptom check for COVID-19 as well as temperature and oxygen check.
  • Mail has been held for 24 hours and is cleaned prior to distribution to the residents.
  • Early on in the pandemic Bethel did not allow families to bring items into the building for the resident. Most recently Bethel has implemented drop off dates for families to bring items in for the resident. Upon receiving these items they are cleaned and sit for 72 hours prior to distribution to the residents.  
  • Deep cleaning and disinfection was conducted on the skilled side May 12th and May 13th, 2020.  
  • After the two positive asymptomatic COVID-19 residents were identified and at the direction of the North Dakota Department of Health Strike team enhancement to the personal protective equipment for employees of a visor/face shield and isolation gown at all times with the surgical mask.
       


Despite our best efforts, COVID-19 is now, more than ever, a real threat to the heroes that live and work at Bethel. And I will not forget the families, who have given up so much time already with their loved one. You too are nothing short of a hero.  This is beyond difficult, but together we will get through this. Staff remain steadfast and dedicated. We immediately launched further protective measures including isolating of COVID-19 positive residents and assigned a dedicated staff member to care for them, and will continue to evolve as more tests results come in, and will continue to enforce our detailed safety checks, routine testing and various well-being screenings to ensure the health of everyone. We hoped and prayed we would receive nothing short of negative results, now we continue to pray for those affected, and that the impact is minimal and we can continue to keep residents and staff safe to the best of our ability.


 




 


 



 





      

 



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