Update: Preparedness and Management of Coronavirus/COVID-19

Updated: August 31, 2020

COVID-19 restrictions across the country are easing as states work to balance reopening of the economy with efforts to keep people safe from the virus. 

 

While many safety protocols remain in place for those we serve in our senior living communities, we’re pleased to provide a number of ways for our residents to safely connect with family and friends. These connections are vitally important to the health and well-being of those we serve. Most recently, several of our communities have begun welcoming scheduled care visits from designated Essential Caregivers, and in our Minnesota communities, we are following guidance from the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) on how to safely re-open to visitors, while protecting the health of our residents and team members. 

 

Ecumen has had an interdisciplinary Health Safety Team working full time since late February to lead our ongoing COVID-19 safety measures. The virus most dramatically impacts older adults—the people we serve every day. The risk for adverse outcomes increases at age 60, with the highest incidence of risk at age 80 and above. We continue our focus on the health and safety of those we serve and our team members, having implemented numerous safety protocols to reduce the occurrence and transmission of the disease. And we are prepared to safely care for residents who may be on COVID precautions.

 

As an organization, we are committed to transparent and timely reporting of any occurrences of the virus to our assisted living, memory care and long-term care residents, their family members, our team members, and to our state and federal health agencies. We continue to carefully follow guidelines provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), and our local and state health agencies in our ongoing effort to minimize the transmission of COVID-19 in our communities.

 

We thank our dedicated and trained caregivers.

 

Together, we will combat COVID-19.

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Ways to Connect

  • Essential Care Visits: Many of our communities are welcoming designated care providers back to the community, following strict safety protocols. More details available from each community.
  • Indoor Visits: We are following MDH guidelines on safely re-opening our communities to indoor visits. Each community is regularly assessing their current status as it relates to the Department of Health guidance. More details are available from each community.
  • Outdoor Visits: We are welcoming extended family and friends for these visits, following specific Department of Health safety protocols. Some communities offer “Connection Stations.” More details available from each community.
  • Window Visits: Open window visits are welcomed, with physical distancing of 6 feet. More details available from each community.
  • Virtual Visits: Use our Stay Connected technology to schedule a time for a video chat
  • Letters, phone calls, and text messaging.

Ongoing Safety Protocols for Assisted Living, Memory Care, Long-Term Care:

  • Resident Screening: Routinely conducting health screening  
  • Team Member Health Screening: Checking temperatures on arrival and at the end of shifts
  • Essential Caregiver Screening and personal protective equipment: Sign-in and health screening on arrival and appropriate PPE for duration of visit
  • Masks for all outdoor visits 
  • In-room activities as well as some safe distanced group activities in many of our communities
  • Safely distanced dining or in-room dining
  • The use of face masks and all appropriate PPE by team members to reduce transmission of the virus 
  • Those we serve are wearing face masks when receiving cares or when out of their apartments
  • We’re prepared to care for individuals on COVID precautions, following all safety protocols for isolation, PPE and care
  • We continue to focus on infection control and prevention, following all CDC guidelines
  • We have identified a dedicated part of our campuses, should it be needed, to care for our residents who may be recovering from COVID-19 and still be on COVID precautions 
  • We’ve established a Resident & Family Resource Line (1-844-614-2498) for approved resident representatives to call with health questions about their loved ones – available from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. CDT Monday through Friday

Indoor Visitor Policies:

  • The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) recently issued overarching guidance on criteria recommendations for safely re-opening our community to visitors as we continue to protect the health of our residents and team members. This is referenced as Level 2 reopening by MDH. This guidance includes a recommendation on limiting extended visitor guidelines if there has been an active case of COVID-19 at the community within the past 28 days or if the number of cases in the county is greater than 10 per 10,000 residents. Each community will be evaluating their status and updating residents and families on a weekly basis.
  • In many of our communities, we’ve implemented Essential Caregiver visits, designating specific individuals that are able to schedule time to come in and resume or provide many of those care services. Details are available at each community. We are carefully following the guidelines provided by our Departments of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
  • We are following the guidelines provided by our Departments of Health for those living in our independent living communities. We continue to encourage the use of masks and safe physical distancing of 6-feet. We also continue to follow established prevention procedures in these buildings, including frequent hand washing and the cleaning and disinfecting of shared areas and frequently touched surfaces, among other steps.

New Residents:

We are welcoming new residents to our communities across our organization every day. We have a dedicated team ready to listen and help you learn more about our communities. We’ll take you on a virtual tour and address your individual questions. We’ve developed an easy process for move-in to ensure that your loved one is safe and comfortable. Ecumen’s commitment to the physical, social and emotional well-being of those we serve has been constant for more than 150 years.

Testing:

We are partnering with our state health agencies for guidance on proactive testing for residents and team members in several of our communities. This testing is a helpful tool in identifying potential asymptomatic COVID-19 positive cases that may not otherwise be identified, to support our goal of reducing the transmission of the virus at our communities.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Q: May I visit my loved one?

A. We’re committed to connecting you with your loved one in as many ways as possible. We’ve developed a number of options for you to connect in-person via outdoor or window visits, as well as virtually via Zoom. Many of our communities are also opening to Essential Caregiver scheduled appointments and we are following Department of Health guidelines on safely opening our communities to extended visitors. Please contact the community directly to determine if they currently are welcoming additional visitors.

Q: May I do an in-person tour of the building?

A. At this time, we are offering virtual tours and a number of other personalized ways to help you get to know the community you’re considering. We request that you contact us so that we can share more information.

How are your residents staying busy?

A. We continue to develop new activities to keep those we serve engaged. We’re exploring new hobbies like songwriting, poetry, journaling, or art projects. Where possible, we’ve started to have small group activities, practicing safe distancing. Our in-person outdoor visits are a favorite new activity.

Q. How will I know if there is an occurrence of COVID-19 in an Ecumen community?

A. We’re actively monitoring our assisted living, memory care, and long-term care residents as well as our team members, and we are informing them, as well as all appropriate state and federal departments of health, on the occurrence of COVID-19 at one of our communities. We have a clearly defined plan on how to proceed following all safety protocols with a COVID positive test. Should it be needed, we will create a designated part of our campus to care for residents who are recovering or asymptomatic with COVID-19.

Q. Do you have adequate staff and equipment to care for my loved one if you have any individuals who are COVID-positive?

A. At this time we have appropriate supplies to care for individuals on COVID precautions. We also have strategies in place should this become an issue of concern. We regularly connect with our local and state health agencies. We have the experience of knowing how to designate a dedicated group of caregivers to care for those who are ill or recovering, ensuring both adequate protective wear and consistency of care for the comfort of those we’re serving.

Q. What can I do?

A. Ecumen remains committed to the safety and well-being of those we serve, our team members, and our greater communities. Please remember to practice good self-care. It’s important that you stay healthy so you can support your loved one. Be sure to contact your health care provider if you have symptoms such as a fever, cough, and shortness of breath. Practice physical distancing and please stay in touch with your loved ones with frequent phone calls, texts, video chats, and emails, as well as window visits and outdoor visits, if an option.

You can join us in supporting our COVID-19 preparedness efforts. Please consider making a donation online today at www.ecumen.org/together or reach out to Ecumen’s Philanthropy Team at philanthropy@ecumen.org | 651-766-4343. A gift of any amount will help us support those among us who are most impacted by COVID-19 with protective gear, resources for social connectedness, and more. Your generosity has a direct and immediate impact. Thank you!

TRUSTED RESOURCES FOR OFFICIAL UPDATES:

  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC): Link
  • Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS): Link

 

  • State Department of Health Resources:
    • Minnesota Department of Health: Link
    • Idaho Department of Health: Link
    • Indiana Department of Health: Link
    • Michigan Department of Health: Link
    • North Dakota Department of Health: Link
    • Ohio Department of Health: Link
    • Tennessee Department of Health: Link
    • Wisconsin Department of Health: Link