COVID-19: Proactive Testing By National Guard at St. William’s Living Center

At St. William’s, we abide by one, simple rule: Provide the highest quality health care and services to seniors.

The rise of the recent COVID-19 pandemic is no exception to the rule. We refuse to allow this global catastrophe to compromise the quality of service we offer.

According to the Minnesota Department of Health, 82% of all COVID-19 deaths in our state were residents of long-term care or assisted living facilities. That chilling statistic puts us on high alert to protect our vulnerable residents.

We have had no positive cases of COVID-19 at our facility. Keep reading to learn the measures we’re taking at St. William’s to ensure the safety of our residents and employees.

Proactive Testing

The best way to mitigate the dangers of this disease is prevention. We’ve done this by following strict social distancing guidelines and practicing high levels of personal hygiene. But another important factor in preventing an outbreak is testing.

The State of Emergencies Operations Center (SEOC) in collaboration with the Minnesota National Guard are making a plan to test all long-term care residents and employees throughout the state. They will be at St. William’s on the following dates:

  • May 29, 2020
  • June 5, 2020
  • June 11, 2020

National Guard members will be on-site during those days to test all residents and staff. This is great news because it will help us in our fight to keep St. William’s free from COVID-19.

Extra Precautions

Infection prevention has always been one of our top priorities, but since the outbreak, we have taken more proactive measures to isolate and prevent the spread. Visitation remains restricted until further notice. We have also restricted all communal dining and activities, instead opting for activities that residents can do from their rooms including traveling happy hour and daily movies.

All St. William’s staff members wear masks during their shifts and direct care staff members also wear protective goggles. Our supplies of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) are healthy as we have large numbers of masks, gowns, and eye protection on hand. We also have ample amounts of cleaning and sanitation supplies.

Employees are screened for COVID-19 symptoms at the beginning of each shift. Residents are also screened twice per day to detect symptoms early.

In a proactive move, we have hired plenty of extra staff members so we can continue to provide the highest quality of care for our residents as the pandemic reaches new heights. We have also been in contact with a nurse staffing agency should staffing levels drop due to infections.

Plan for the Future

Again, there have been no positive cases at St. Williams and our goal is to keep it that way. However, we must remain realistic. As this disease spreads and the economy opens again, we will see positive cases rise and it will impact our residents and staff members.

If we do have a resident test positive for the disease, we have an action plan to care for them until they are no longer contagious. We have been following the Minnesota Department of Health guidelines and our staff members are well-versed in the proper infection control procedures. We will take swift action to ensure the disease doesn’t spread and that the resident gets the best care possible while they recover.

Family members, residents, and staff will be updated immediately if a positive test result occurs at St. William’s.

To Our Staff Members

St. William’s wouldn’t be the exceptional facility it is without our amazing staff members. Over the last few months, they have been especially important as they are at the front lines of this pandemic, caring for those who are the most vulnerable.

Wearing a face mask and eye protection every day is a burden. Taking multiple tests to rule out infection is a burden. Dealing with the stress of the pandemic while continuing to care for others is a burden.

Our staff has handled these burdens with exceptional poise and we are greatly appreciative of every one of them!

Questions? Give Us a Call

At this time, St. William’s has no positive cases of COVID-19 and we plan to do everything we can to keep it that way. If you have any questions about how we’re dealing with this crisis, please feel free to contact us: Tim Kelly, Administrator at 218-338-1001, or Lori Roers, Director of Nursing at 218-338-1009.