04/09/2020 Governor’s Stay at Home Order Extended

MN’s Governor, Tim Walz, instituted a stay at home order beginning Saturday, March 28th, 2020 which has now been extended to May 4th.  St. Francis encourages all visitors to honor the stay at home order.  We also recognize how difficult it is not to see your loved one and how difficult it is for our residents to not see their loved ones. 

Prior to the governor’s stay at home order, we encouraged visiting with residents through windows. While these visits are a creative way to bring joy to our residents, we encountered some difficulties. Throughout Minnesota, windows were opened and items were passed through the window to a resident potentially exposing not just the resident being visited, but other residents and staff of the care center.  Residents are also at greater risk of falling in their attempt to try to get to a window without assistance.  Privacy issues occurred as visitors were walking by windows of other residents. 

Again, we encourage you to follow the governor’s stay at home mandate.  As indicated in the governor’s address, the stay at home mandate has successfully bought Minnesota time to better prepare for the imminent outbreak. 

If you choose not to follow the governor’s stay at home mandate and plan to make a window visit to your loved one, we ask that you call ahead and schedule the visit so an employee is available to assist the resident at that time.  We encourage you to use alternative means of communicating with residents such as phone calls, Facebook, Skype, etc.  Thank you for your patience as we learn how to navigate visitors in these unprecedented times. Our highest priority is reducing the risk of occurrence and transmission within our communities.

3/30/2020 Employee Update COVID-19

Thank you for your work during these incredibly challenging times. Please know you are very important to us and especially the residents you care for. 

The information and resources below is offered to assist you in managing through these times. Our residents and your co-workers depend on you to continue to remain healthy. We know that you are well trained on Infection Control, but if you have any questions please see the care center’s Infection Preventionist nurse or the Administrator.  A copy of the policies and procedures specifically related to COVID-19 can be accessed by through this link.

Many people around the country are having challenges managing the many stressors associated with COVID-19c. Please know the following resources available to you:

  • St. Francis Health Services’ Employee Assistance Program: Offers no-cost confidential assistance. This services provides you with direct, 24/7 access to a Guidance Consultant, who will answer your questions and, if needed, refer you to a counselor or other resources. 

            Phone: 800.460.4374 TDD: 800.697.0353

            Online: guidanceresources.com

                        Web ID: EAPEssential

            App: GuidanceResources® Now

  • The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) has set up a free toll-free line to assist with managing stress during the COVID-19. SAMHSA’s Disaster Distress Helpline provides 24/7, 365-day-a-year crisis counseling and support to people experiencing emotional distress related to natural or human-caused disasters.

Website: https://www.samhsa.gov/find-help/disaster-distress-helpline

Phone: 1-800-985-5990

Text: TalkWithUs to 66746 to connect with a trained crisis counselor.

  • If you are having difficulty finding child care: Minnesota has set up a child care

information hotline open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Metro number: 651-297-1304

Greater Minnesota: 1-800-657-350

What you should know about COVID-19 taken from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC):

Based on what is currently known about COVID-19 and what is known about other coronaviruses, spread is thought to occur mostly from person-to-person via respiratory droplets among close contacts. Close contact can occur while caring for a resident, including:

  • being within approximately 6 feet (2 meters) of a resident with COVID-19 for a prolonged period of time.
  • having direct contact with infectious secretions from a resident with COVID-19. Infectious secretions may include sputum, serum, blood, and respiratory droplets.

Please practice social distancing, as able, in your interactions both at work and at home.

Our care centers are following the recommendations of the CDC on using basic contact precautions to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Current information from the CDC and local and state health department is being shared when it occurs. We are committed to following these recommended CDC guidelines.

As employees, we will:

  • Complete the screening information upon reporting for work. If becoming ill any time during the shift report to the charge nurse.  Screening of temperatures may increase to checking prior to leaving work, dependent on community illness.
  • Use proper hand washing hygiene including washing hands for at least 20 seconds or use alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60-95% alcohol upon entering the building and before and after interaction with residents. Soap and water should be used if hands are visibly dirty, before and after meals, and using the restroom.
  • Cover our mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing and avoid touching face – especially your eyes, nose and mouth – with unwashed hands. If a tissue is not available, cough or sneeze in your sleeve/elbow.
  • Perform routine environmental cleaning. Routinely clean all frequently touched surfaces in the workplace, such as workstations, countertops, and doorknobs. Use the cleaning agents that are usually used in these areas and follow the directions on the label. No special cleaning is necessary for COVID-19.
  • Assess and monitor residents with acute respiratory symptoms for COVID-19 to minimize chances of exposure, including placing a facemask on the resident and placing them in a room with the door closed.
  • Use the determined standard precautions when caring for residents with confirmed or possible COVID-19.
  • Practice proper use of personal protective equipment (ppe) to prevent self-contamination.
  • When we return home after work, remove and wash clothing immediately and continue to practice social distancing as much as possible. This assists in managing virus exposure outside of our care centers.

 Your health and well-being is important to us, please let any of us know if there is anything more we can do to support you in this time of uncertainty.  Thank you for being a part of St. Francis Health Services and your care center.

3/30/2020 COVID-19 Update

St. Francis Health Services of Morris is dedicated to assisting each of our care centers providing direction and support as we work through the steps required to provide care in the event we have a COVID-19 outbreak in one of our care centers.  Given this virus especially can affect those we serve within our care centers, we ask that you continue to cooperate with us restricting your visits and focus on other methods of reaching out to your loved ones.  As the number of COVID-19 cases continue to grow in Minnesota and our communities, we believe it is inevitable that at some point we will be managing cases within our care centers.

Please know that our corporate office and care centers have been proactively working on an outbreak plan and have instituted several steps and processes to address this if/when it comes to fruition. 

We continue to focus on and actively follow infection control protocols and other guidance provided by reliable sources (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), and our local and state health agencies) holding the goal of reducing the risk of occurrence and transmission within our communities as our highest priority.  Those measures are:

  • Complying with the Governors orders to “shelter in place” with the exception of all essential workers.
  • Restricting visitors; with the exception of allowing a very limited category of essential visitors determined on a case by case basis and screened prior to entry.
  • Completing resident screening for any changes that may identify any illness.
  • Monitoring all employees at entry and for signs and symptoms of the virus that may develop at work.
  • Eliminating group activities except where social distancing can occur and be maintained.
  • Identifying and setting up segregated areas of our care centers that will be used if any resident develops COVID-19 symptoms, to minimize the risk to others.
  • Determining staffing changes needed in the event of an outbreak to meet the needs of those in our care.
  • Providing ongoing communication with those we serve and our employees.

Please know that we continue to find ways to share joy and fun with those who live within our care centers. If you have not had an opportunity, please take time to visit the specific care center’s Facebook page. We are providing many pictures that will allow you to see all we are doing to provide the best service we can for those you love.  Especially in these challenging times, our focus is to provide opportunities for each person to stay connected with their loved ones and their community.

Many community members have been motivated to give of their time, money, and other resources for our care center communities. We appreciate this so much and want you to know this makes a difference to residents, families, and staff. THANK YOU!

Please continue to stay connected and let us know if you have any questions or concerns by reaching out to the administrator, social worker or activity personnel. 

We are stronger together!

Resource Links:

Center for Disease Control and Prevention: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html

Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services : https://www.cms.gov/

Minnesota Health Department: https://www.health.state.mn.us/diseases/coronavirus/index.html

Covid-19 Plan 3/17/20

We at St. Francis Health Services of Morris take caring for your loved ones very seriously.

In response to coronavirus (COVID-19) we have aggressively implemented prevention and preparedness activities in all of our care centers (nursing homes, assisted livings, and group homes).

These interventions are intended to address the risk for our residents and employees from contracting and spreading the COVID-19.  We continue to follow guidelines provided to us by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), and our local and state health agencies.

Visitor Restrictions:

  • Restricting all visitors effective immediately, with the exception of compassionate care. Essential visits are determined and evaluated case-by-case.
  • Restricting all volunteers and non-essential health care personnel.  A limited number of volunteers have been assigned to screening tasks and limited to a single entry door.

Infection Control Practices

  • We are monitoring our residents for signs and symptoms of respiratory infection and will work with our providers if someone becomes symptomatic.
  • We are following the guidelines of quarantine when a resident is newly admitted, been out of the care center, or been exposed to individuals at risk.
  • We have limited essential entrance to the building to one location.
  • We are actively monitoring and screening all employees/contractors upon entry into each of the care centers.
  • We have cancelled all group activities including communal dining.
  • We are practicing social distancing within each of our care centers.
  • We ask all deliveries be left at the care center identified door exterior entrance.

Status of COVID-19 Monitoring

  • We continue to monitor for updates, changes, and recommendations on a daily basis from all legitimate sources.
  • We have a designated team that is reviewing and updating infection prevention practices and emergency preparedness activities.
  • We are in contact with our local and state health department and emergency preparedness contacts.
  • We will continue to update residents, families, and this website as new information becomes available.

Trusted Resources for Official Updates:

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC): https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html

Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS): https://www.cms.gov/newsroom/press-releases/cms-announces-new-measures-protect-nursing-home-residents-covid-19 

Minnesota Department of Health: https://www.health.state.mn.us/diseases/coronavirus/index.html