Chris Jensen Health and Rehabilitation Center COVID-19 Update
Dear Chris Jensen Health + Rehabilitation Center Residents, Families, and Team Members,
As the highly transmissible COVID-19 Delta variant spreads throughout the United States, our top priority continues to be protecting the health and wellness of our residents, team members, and those residing in our broader community.
Chris Jensen Health and Rehabilitation Center COVID-19 Infection Prevention and Response Action Plan
First and foremost, our priority is to keep everyone safe and healthy. We continue following guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), as well as state and local health officials to protect our residents and team members from this virus, and are taking every action possible to prevent it from spreading in our senior living and care community.
The following is a summary of our COVID-19 Infection Prevention and Response Action Plan.
- Requiring team members be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 while encouraging residents and family members to get vaccinated. Getting vaccinated against COVID-19 is the best way to protect yourself and others, particularly older adults and those with underlying health conditions who are at increased risk for severe complications. The Delta variant now accounts for the majority of COVID-19 cases in the US because it is much more transmissible than previous strains. This poses as a major risk to anyone unvaccinated. Therefore, we continue to encourage everyone to get vaccinated against COVID-19 and will provide resources and support to those who need it.
- Utilizing appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE), as directed by CMS guidelines, including a well-fitting face covering or mask that covers the mouth and nose. Team members continue to wear PPE, including masks, eye protection, gloves, and gowns depending on the community’s COVID-19 status and our county’s transmission and positivity rates. Residents and visitors are asked to wear a face covering when interfacing with others if not fully vaccinated* or if our county’s community transmission rate is “high” or “substantial”.
- Screening and monitoring residents and team members for symptoms. We have increased our screening and monitoring of residents, tenants, and team members for COVID-19 symptoms. 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.We all play a part in keeping ourselves and others healthy. Please wash your hands often, avoid touching your face, cover your coughs and sneezes with a tissue, wear a well-fitting mask or face covering, and practice social distancing as appropriate. Residents: Please let a team member know immediately if you feel ill. We are here to support and care for you.Team members: Please don’t enter our senior community if you are ill. Any team member who exhibits symptoms should isolate at home, call your medical provider, and notify your supervisor. Any team member who exhibits symptoms at work should keep a well-fitting face mask on and notify their supervisor immediately.
- Using alcohol-based hand rub regularly.
- Tracing individuals who come in contact with anyone affected. The community will work with state and local health departments to assess all who may have come in close contact with an affected individual. We will continue to follow all requirements in implementing the next steps, which may include quarantining unvaccinated individuals who have been exposed to COVID-19 for 14 days.
- Testing residents and team members for COVID-19 based-on federal and state guidance. We follow all guidance from federal, state, and local health officials regarding testing residents and team members for COVID-19. The frequency of routine testing is determined based on the number of COVID-19 cases in the local county. Those who exhibit COVID-19 symptoms are tested to quickly identify and isolate residents and team members who may be positive for COVID-19. In addition, any team member or resident exposed to someone who has COVID-19, with exception for asymptomatic individuals who have had COVID-19 in the last 90 days, are tested twice, regardless of vaccination status or symptoms, within 5-7 days following exposure.
In the event there is a confirmed COVID-19 case, contact tracing will continue to identify anyone who may have been exposed to the virus and we will test individuals per federal, state, and local guidelines, which may include testing everyone twice within 5-7 days of exposure.
- Quarantining COVID-19 positive residents and implementing enhanced infection control measures. We have established a designated area in our care center for any COVID-19 positive residents and they are cared for and supported by designated team members. We continue to follow all infection control protocols as outlined by the CDC, CMS, and state and local health officials. COVID-19 positive residents remain in quarantine until they are well and cleared by medical professionals, and meet the CDC symptom-based criteria for return to normal activity.
- Advising COVID-19 positive team members to take all appropriate measures. For the health and well-being of our senior living and care community, any team member with a COVID-19 diagnosis is asked to quarantine at home, contact a medical provider for care, and notify their supervisor. We are following CDC guidance on the return-to-work criteria for health care professionals with confirmed COVID-19 diagnoses.
- Taking environmental safety precautions. Our housekeeping team continues to take extra measures to clean and disinfect all high-touch areas throughout the buildings. This includes countertops and tables, faucet handles, toilet flush handles, door knobs, door handles, crash bars, bathroom and kitchen areas, elevator call buttons, and hand rails.
- Assuring safe congregate dining and group activities. Communal dining and congregate group activities may be offered while adhering to the core principles of COVID-19 infection prevention. This includes social distancing, covering faces with masks per CDC and CMS guidance, and practicing proper hand hygiene.
- Adhering to safe visitation procedures, including maintaining six feet of distance between persons. We are committed to offering visitation that supports each resident’s physical, mental, and psychosocial well-being, and quality of life. Visitation may be conducted through different means based on our community’s structure and residents’ needs, such as in residents’ rooms, dedicated visitation spaces, outdoors, and for circumstances beyond compassionate care situations.
Safe Visitation Procedures
General Infection Control Practices for all In-Person Visits: Each visitor will be screened for signs and symptoms of COVID-19 and entry will be denied for those who exhibit signs or symptoms consistent with COVID-19. All visitors must complete hand hygiene with an alcohol-based hand rub upon arrival and wear a well-fitting face covering or mask that completely covers the mouth and nose, if not yet fully vaccinated*or if our county community transmission rate is “high” or “substantial”. We also ask visitors and residents to avoid congregating in common areas.
Team members will continue to wear masks and appropriate PPE regardless of vaccination status.
Due to the spread of the Delta variant, domestic travel guidance for unvaccinated individuals has been revised by the CDC. Requirements include testing before and after travel, self-monitoring for symptoms, and to stay home for a total of seven days after returning from a trip. Review the CDC’s guidelines here.
The CDC has also released new guidance relating to the use of masks in public spaces in response to the highly contagious Delta variant. This guidance asks all individuals in specific areas of the US to continue wearing masks indoors and outdoors. Those residing in areas where COVID-19 has a “high” or “substantial” level of community transmission must wear masks regardless of vaccination status. For county-specific community transmission rates, please see the CDC’s website.
Visitation options vary based on Chris Jensen’s COVID-19 status, our county’s positivity rate, our county’s rate of community transmission, and the rate of vaccination among residents and team members.
Visitation options may include:
Virtual Visits: We always encourage loved ones to communicate with residents by phone, letters, video chat, and/or social media. Please contact our team for assistance with these communication methods, if needed.
Window Visits: Closed window visits pose no risk of virus transmission.
Outdoor Visits: Outdoor visits pose a lower risk of virus transmission due to increased space and airflow. While the option to visit indoors is now possible, please note that state and federal health officials advise that it is safest for residents to participate in outdoor visits whenever comfortably possible.
Compassionate Care Visits: As aligned with state and federal guidance, we support visits for all types of compassionate care needs, including those beyond end-of-life or hospice situations such as to support a resident grieving a recent loss or experiencing emotional distress. Compassionate care visits are allowed at all times regardless of a resident’s vaccination status, our county positivity rate, county transmission rate or our community’s outbreak status.
Indoor Visits: If all participants are fully vaccinated* and our county community transmission rate is “low” or “moderate”, residents, families, and friends may visit without wearing masks and without socially distancing if alone in a resident’s private room. If a visitor is unvaccinated* and our county community transmission rate is “low” or “moderate”, they may visit with a fully vaccinated* resident alone in a resident’s room or apartment without socially distancing while wearing well-fitting face masks. Our team will help coordinate safe visits for residents who reside in a shared room.
We are overjoyed to support indoor visits for all residents with exception only for:
Residents currently positive for COVID-19 may not participate in indoor visits, despite vaccination status, until they meet the criteria for discontinuing transmission-based precautions.
Residents in quarantine due to suspected or confirmed COVID-19 may not participate in indoor visits, despite vaccination status, until they meet the criteria to be released from quarantine.
Unvaccinated residents may not participate in indoor visits if our county’s positivity rate is greater than 10% and less than 70% of our residents are fully vaccinated.
Unvaccinated residents who are identified as having been in close contact with someone who has COVID-19 will participate in indoor visitation only in the resident’s room if it is not shared. The resident or tenant and their visitors should wear well-fitting face masks and practice social distancing.
During indoor visits, we’ll ask visitors to participate in a COVID-19 screening, use an alcohol-based hand-rub, and avoid congregating in common areas. If not yet fully vaccinated* or if our county community transmission rate is “high” or “substantial”, individuals are also asked to wear a well-fitting face mask that covers the mouth and nose.
We ask individuals to postpone visiting our senior living and care community if they have had a positive viral test for COVID-19 in the last 14 days, are currently showing one or more symptoms of COVID-19, or meet any criteria for quarantine or exclusion from work.
To discuss safe visiting options or for help coordinating a visit, contact us: 218-625-6400.
*Unvaccinated individuals also includes those not yet fully vaccinated—individuals are deemed fully vaccinated against COVID-19 two weeks after their final dose of the vaccine.
In the event our community confirms a positive case of COVID-19 among our residents or team members, we will temporarily suspend indoor visits while we conduct contact tracing and at least one around of community-wide testing per CDC and CMS guidelines. If the round of testing identifies additional cases of the virus within other areas of our senior community, indoor visitation will be suspended for everyone until we meet the criteria to discontinue outbreak testing.
We will resume indoor visitation per the following recommendations:
Residents and tenants of areas or units in which the first round of testing reveals no additional COVID-19 cases may welcome indoor visitors regardless of vaccination status.
Residents and tenants of the COVID-positive unit or designated area may receive visitors 14 days after testing stops.
We continue to be in close communications with our medical director, other providers, and state and local health officials. We are also monitoring new information from the CDC, CMS, and state and local health departments to ensure we adhere to any applicable revision in guidance related to COVID-19 and infection prevention and control.
Please know our team is readily available to help coordinate and accommodate visits with Chris Jensen residents in a way that is appropriate for our physical setting, meets personal needs, and maintains the comfort and safety of all.
As state and federal guidance relating to the COVID-19 pandemic changes, we are committed to providing the most recent information. Some details in this update may have changed after publication.
For the latest on COVID-19, we encourage you to use the following resources:
- Minnesota COVID-19 Information
- Minnesota Department of Health
- Minnesota Department of Public Safety
- Saint Louis County COVID-19 Information
- CDC – Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)
- CDC – Enfermedad del Coronavirus 2019 (COVID‑19)
- Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services
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