Hello St. William’s Living Center and McCornell Court Resident, Friends, and Family,
We are pleased to announce that we are creating a new program called Essential Caregiver – in accordance with guidelines released from Minnesota Department of Health (MDH). Our goal through this program is to help our residents who are missing care previously provided by a loved one or outside caregiver prior to the visitor restrictions required by state and federal guidelines due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The policy follows MDH guidelines and is a narrowly defined exception to visitor restrictions which may allow certain cares to be provided by a personal caregiver from outside our community. This new guidance is not intended to be a reopening of visitors, but instead is intended to provide essential care for high risk residents.
Below are some of the criteria we will use as we evaluate and designate Essential Caregivers in our settings:
- Essential Caregivers will be determined based on consultation/assessment with our interdisciplinary team. Residents will be consulted about their wishes to help determine whom to designate as an Essential Caregiver.
- Essential Caregivers will be actively screened for symptoms of COVID-19 prior to entering the building and must wear all necessary personal protective equipment while in the building. They must also perform frequent hand hygiene and maintain social distancing of at least 6 feet with staff and other residents while in our building.
- Essential Caregivers will limit their movement in our building, providing care and support in their loved ones’ room or a designated space in our building.
- Essential Caregivers must inform us if they develop a fever or symptoms consistent with COVID-19 within 14 days of a visit to a resident.
With this new guidance, it is important to know that Essential Caregivers cannot take a resident out into the community except for essential medical appointments and must not visit a resident during a resident’s 14-day quarantine and must not visit when a resident is positive for COVID-19 or symptomatic, unless the visit is for compassionate care. Please know we do retain the right to restrict or revoke Essential Care status if the designated person fails to follow our established policies and protocols.
If, at any time, it is deemed unsafe for Essential Caregivers to enter the building—due to a rise in the number of cases in our community, either within our walls or in the broader community—it is our obligation per MDH guidelines to revisit and reassess the program.
We recognize the concern you may have that not everyone will be able to serve as an Essential Family Caregiver. We also deeply feel the desire of our residents and their loved ones to be connected in a more meaningful way.
Please know we continue to provide outdoor visits, window visits, and visits through technology and encourage you to take advantage of these opportunities.
Michelle Hartmann, our Social Services Director, will be the main contact for the Essential Care Program. Michelle can be reached at 218-338-1008.
St. William’s Living Center