Employees Only

_________________________________________________________________________

November 28th, 2022

Residents, Families and Friends,

We identified a positive case of COVID-19 among one of our staff yesterday afternoon. This single case of COVID-19 does put our facility back in OUTBREAK status. Per CDC guidance and BLHCC facility policy; Testing for COVID-19 will be completed today November 28th, Wednesday November 30th and on Friday December 2nd. Testing is required for ALL residents and all staff. If all tests are negative we will be done testing, if more cases are identified we will continue to test every 3-7 days for 14 days until no new positive cases are identified.

If anyone, resident or staff, becomes ill or develops symptoms similar to COVID-19, please complete a COVID test right away or alert a staff member for help with testing. Residents who are experiencing symptoms (that are not explained my other health issues) should be placed in quarantine until they receive 2 negative antigen COVID-19 tests 48 hours apart.

Reminders:

  • ALL visitors and staff are required to wear a mask anytime they are in the building.
  • Visits must only occur in resident rooms, where everyone should keep their mask on. Preform good hand hygiene.
  • Residents MUST wear their surgical masks when out of their rooms. This includes in activities and throughout the common areas. Residents are still allowed to eat together.
  • Staff must remain vigilant with all required infection control protocols. Staff caring for a positive resident are required to use a gown, gloves, face shield and an N95 mask. Nursing staff should be the only department entering the room of a positive resident, they will assist with bringing in meals, cleaning, and other duties as needed.

We will send out another update next week.

Thank you,

Mark Rust                                                                               Kendra Hiles

Administrator                                                                  Director of Nursing

__________________________________________________________________________

November 23rd, 2022

Residents, Staff and Families,

All required outbreak testing is complete with no new cases identified.

If anyone, resident or staff, becomes ill or develops symptoms similar to COVID-19, please complete a COVID test right away or alert a staff member for help with testing. Residents who are experiencing symptoms (that are not explained my other health issues) should be placed in quarantine until they receive 2 negative antigen COVID-19 tests 48 hours apart.

Outbreak/High Transmission Rate During the Holidays

Our facility continues to be in outbreak status and will remain there until Nov 25th as long as no additional cases are identified. Renville County is currently in a lower level transmission rate, but we must continue to follow the high transmission rate guidelines until next week. With the holidays coming up we want to remind everyone of the visiting guidance during times of outbreak and high transmission.

  • Visiting is not encouraged during times of facility outbreak as it is a threat to the health of others. We will not refuse your visit unless the resident voices concern.
  • Visits must only occur in resident rooms, where everyone should keep their mask on. Preform good hand hygiene. We discourage larger family gatherings during outbreak or high transmission. If you feel you must gather you will need to reserve your space ASAP. Families will be placed away from other residents and there must be enough space to accommodate physical distancing within your group. For Example: If a resident has family who wants to join him/her for Thanksgiving dinner the resident’s room could accommodate up to 5 people total (including the resident) and still allow for social distancing of 6ft.
  • Visitors must stay in resident rooms or the reserved space and not wander the halls/activity room etc. Visitors should avoid other residents and staff.
  • Residents MUST wear their surgical masks when out of their rooms. This includes in activities and throughout the common areas. Residents are still allowed to eat together.
  • Visiting a resident who is positive is NOT recommended and is a risk to your health. If you must visit, please see a nurse first so infection control recommendations can be followed.
  • Visitors may now enter/exit at all regular entrances of the building. Masks must still be worn and have been placed by all doors and visitor guidelines been posted for you to review and uphold.

Thank you,

Mark Rust                                                                        Kendra Hiles Administrator                                                           Director of Nursing


November 16th, 2022

Residents, Staff and Families,

We continue to complete outbreak testing for anyone with a high risk exposure, no additional cases have been discovered thus far. Testing for COVID-19 will be completed again Thursday November 17th. We were able to identify high risk exposures for this case, so only residents and staff who have had a high risk exposure will need to be tested. If all tests are negative we will be done testing, if more cases are identified we will continue to test every 3-7 days for 14 days until no new positive cases are identified.

  • High risk exposure: close contact (within 6ft) with another person for greater than 15 minutes where only one or neither person was wearing a mask.

If anyone, resident or staff, becomes ill or develops symptoms similar to COVID-19, please complete a COVID test right away or alert a staff member for help with testing. Residents who are experiencing symptoms (that are not explained my other health issues) should be placed in quarantine until they receive 2 negative antigen COVID-19 tests 48 hours apart.

Outbreak/High Transmission Rate During the Holidays

Our facility continues to be in outbreak status and will remain there until Nov 25th as long as no additional cases are identified. Renville County is also noted to be in High Transmission. With the holidays coming up we want to remind everyone of the visiting guidance during times of outbreak and high transmission.

  • Visiting is not encouraged during times of facility outbreak as it is a threat to the health of others. We will not refuse your visit unless the resident voices concern.
  • Visits must only occur in resident rooms, where everyone should keep their mask on. Preform good hand hygiene. We discourage larger family gatherings during outbreak or high transmission. If you feel you must gather you will need to reserve your space ASAP. Families will be placed away from other residents and there must be enough space to accommodate physical distancing within your group. For Example: If a resident has family who wants to join him/her for Thanksgiving dinner the resident’s room could accommodate up to 5 people total (including the resident) and still allow for social distancing of 6ft.
  • Visitors must stay in resident rooms or the reserved space and not wander the halls/activity room ect. Visitors should avoid other residents and staff.
  • Residents MUST wear their surgical masks when out of their rooms. This includes in activities and throughout the common areas. Residents are still allowed to eat together.
  • Visiting a resident who is positive is NOT recommended and is a risk to your health. If you must visit, please see a nurse first so infection control recommendations can be followed.

Thank you,

Mark Rust                                                                               Kendra Hiles

Administrator                                                                         Director of Nursing


All Staff:                                                  Effective November 1, 2022

The Board of Directors is always thankful and appreciative of our incredible staff. The Board has authorized an increase of $2.00/hour for all staff. This increase is effective with hours worked starting November 1st.

Thank you for all you do for our residents and their families.

          Mark Rust, Adm.                  Kendra Hiles, DON

**If you are not current with all your Educare training modules, please complete them by November 15th so there is no delay in your wage increase**


October 26th, 2022

Residents, Staff, Families and Friends,

We completed outbreak testing Monday and had no new positive cases. Our building is considered to be out of outbreak status. Weekly testing continues to be required for staff who are not “fully vaccinated”.

If anyone, resident or staff, becomes ill or develops symptoms similar to COVID-19, please complete a COVID test right away or alert a staff member for help with testing. Residents who are experiencing symptoms (that are not explained by other health issues) should be placed in quarantine until they receive 2 negative antigen COVID-19 tests 48 hours apart.

Reminders:

  • ALL visitors are required to wear a mask in all public spaces of the facility. Visitors may remove their mask while in the room of a loved one, if the resident is comfortable and no other residents/staff are around. Visits should only occur in resident rooms or outside, weather permitting.
  • Residents must wear their surgical masks when out of their rooms. This includes in activities and throughout the common areas. Residents are still allowed to eat together.
  • Staff must remain vigilant with all required infection control protocols. Staff caring for a positive resident are required to use a gown, gloves, face shield and an N95 mask. Nursing staff should be the only department entering the room of a positive resident, they will assist with bringing in meals, cleaning, and other duties as needed.

COVID-19 Booster Update: We administered COVID-19 boosters last week to all staff and residents who desired to receive their shot. If you missed the booster clinic, please look for your booster at your local clinic or pharmacy. BLHCC will host vaccination clinics as needed, nothing scheduled at this time. COVID-19 vaccination continues to be one of the best practices to keep yourself safe from severe COVID-19 or death from COVID-19.

Thank you,

Mark Rust                                                                    Kendra Hiles

Administrator                                                         Director of Nursing


Educare:  We have signed an agreement to work with Educare to provide on-line education services.   This will help to ensure that all staff has the proper training to perform their job.

Educare Log in:

***No Courses are too be completed while you are punched in, you can complete while at work but are not to be “on the clock”. ***

1) Go to educaretrainingonline.westnetmlp.com **Please make sure you are only using this website**

2) Enter in your username: Your first name and the first four of your birthday.  Example:  Joe Smith with a birthday of 4/2/1992 username is:  joe0402

3) Enter in your password:  blhcc or blhcc1 if you were hired after 9/1/2018

4) Click submit

5) Click on the course you would like to start, click launch course and your course will start, you will need to advance each slide by clicking the play button. (The slides have both written information and audio presentation – you will need to have sound on your computer).  There is a test-out you must pass to successfully complete a course.

6) You can stop and resume a course at anytime.  The system will remember where you left off.

Pay:

We will reimburse you for completing the courses.  The courses you are assigned are mandatory to complete on a quarterly basis.  This quarter will be October, November and December.  You will have until December 31st to complete the courses you are assigned and will get paid for the normal run time of the course on your January 6th paycheck. No overtime will be paid for educational hours. You do not need to turn in any information to be paid, we will run a report to determine who has completed the courses.  If you do not complete the course by December 31st, you will not be paid but will still be required to complete the courses as part of your job requirements.

Internet access:  If you do not have easy access to internet services (home/library) we will provide accommodations on an individual basis.

**For employees who are not comfortable with the instructions provided or would like to learn more about this required training; Kendra provide training.  See or call Kendra to arrange a training date.

Courses:

Title Runtime CEU
Emergency Preparedness Human Hazards-SNF 22:26 .75
Resident Rights-SNF 21.22 .75
     

If you were unable to attend the All Staff In-Service on September 28, 2022, you must complete all courses by December 31st. You will receive 1 hour of in-service pay on your January 6th paycheck. CEU’s certificates can be printed upon request by the business office.


October 19th, 2022

Residents, Staff, Families and Friends,

We completed outbreak testing yesterday and had no new positive cases. Our building continues to be in outbreak and all required infection control practices should continue to be used. Staff and residents will need to test on Monday, October 24th. If all tests are negative, we will be done testing, if more cases are identified we will continue to test every 3-7 days for 14 days until no new positive cases are identified.

If anyone, resident or staff, becomes ill or develops symptoms similar to COVID-19, please complete a COVID test right away or alert a staff member for help with testing. Residents who are experiencing symptoms (that are not explained my other health issues) should be placed in quarantine until they receive 2 negative antigen COVID-19 tests 48 hours apart.

Reminders:

  • ALL visitors and staff are required to wear a mask anytime they are in the building.
  • Visits must only occur in resident rooms, where everyone should keep their mask on. Preform good hand hygiene.
  • Residents MUST wear their surgical masks when out of their rooms. This includes in activities and throughout the common areas. Residents are still allowed to eat together.
  • Staff must remain vigilant with all required infection control protocols. Staff caring for a positive resident are required to use a gown, gloves, face shield and an N95 mask. Nursing staff should be the only department entering the room of a positive resident, they will assist with bringing in meals, cleaning, and other duties as needed.

COVID-19 continues to be a concern for all of us. Use caution while out and about, visit ONLY if you have NO symptoms, haven’t been exposed and are not COVID-19 positive. Being vaccinated and boosted continues to be one of the best tools to fight COVID-19.

COVID-19 Booster Update: We administered COVID-19 boosters earlier this week to all staff and residents who desired to receive their shot. Our facility continues to maintain our 100% vaccination compliance for staff (all staff are vaccinated or have an approved exemption) as well as 98% of residents are fully vaccinated. We accredit this data to our currently healthy population. Although we have seen staff and residents who are up to date with the COVID-19 vaccine be diagnosed with COVID, they have healed quickly with recoverable symptoms. Vaccination continues to be the best defense against COVID-19 and its many variants.

Other News: BLHCC is offering a specialized safety training for all staff on October 26th. Sign up by the time clock. You will be paid for your time and refreshments will be provided.

Stay Safe,

Mark Rust                                                                   Kendra Hiles

Administrator                                                         Director of Nursing


October 12th, 2022

Residents, Families and Friends,

We identified a positive case of COVID-19 among our staff yesterday afternoon. This means our building continues to be in outbreak and all required infection control practices should continue to be used. ALL staff and residents will need to test for COVID-19 today, Friday October 14th, Monday October 18th, and October 24th. If all tests are negative, we will be done testing, if more cases are identified we will continue to test every 3-7 days for 14 days until no new positive cases are identified.

If anyone, resident or staff, becomes ill or develops symptoms similar to COVID-19, please complete a COVID test right away or alert a staff member for help with testing. Residents who are experiencing symptoms (that are not explained my other health issues) should be placed in quarantine until they receive 2 negative antigen COVID-19 tests 48 hours apart.

Reminders:

  • ALL visitors and staff are required to wear a mask anytime they are in the building.
  • Visits must only occur in resident rooms, where everyone should keep their mask on. Preform good hand hygiene.
  • Residents MUST wear their surgical masks when out of their rooms. This includes in activities and throughout the common areas. Residents are still allowed to eat together.
  • Staff must remain vigilant with all required infection control protocols. Staff caring for a positive resident are required to use a gown, gloves, face shield and an N95 mask. Nursing staff should be the only department entering the room of a positive resident, they will assist with bringing in meals, cleaning, and other duties as needed.
  • The COVID-19 vaccination clinic is currently on hold, waiting for vaccine supply to be delivered from the pharmacy. We will contact residents and all staff interested as soon as we have a date for the clinic.

The newest positive case reminds us that COVID-19 is still in our communities and our homes. It continues to spread invisibly and we are all at risk. Use caution while out and about, visit ONLY if you have no symptoms, haven’t been exposed and are not COVID-19 positive. Being vaccinated and boosted continues to be one of the best tools to fight COVID-19.

Stay Safe,

Mark Rust                                                                  Kendra Hiles

Administrator                                                          Director of Nursing


October 6th, 2022

Residents, Families and Friends,

We identified a positive case of COVID-19 among one of our residents this morning. The resident is being cared for with all recommended infection control precautions. Visiting a resident who is positive is NOT recommended and is a risk to your health. If you must visit, please see a nurse first so infection control recommendations can be followed. This single case of COVID-19 does put our facility back in OUTBREAK status. Per the newest CDC guidance and BLHCC facility policy; ALL staff and residents will need to test for COVID-19 this Friday October 7th, Monday October 10th and on Wednesday October 12th. If all tests are negative we will be done testing, if more cases are identified we will continue to test every 3-7 days for 14 days until no new positive cases are identified.

If anyone, resident or staff, becomes ill or develops symptoms similar to COVID-19, please complete a COVID test right away or alert a staff member for help with testing. Residents who are experiencing symptoms (that are not explained my other health issues) should be placed in quarantine until they receive 2 negative antigen COVID-19 tests 48 hours apart.

Reminders:

  • ALL visitors and staff are required to wear a mask anytime they are in the building.
  • Visits must only occur in resident rooms, where everyone should keep their mask on. Preform good hand hygiene.
  • Residents MUST wear their surgical masks when out of their rooms. This includes in activities and throughout the common areas. Residents are still allowed to eat together.
  • Staff must remain vigilant with all required infection control protocols. Staff caring for a positive resident are required to use a gown, gloves, face shield and an N95 mask. Nursing staff should be the only department entering the room of a positive resident, they will assist with bringing in meals, cleaning, and other duties as needed.
  • COVID-19 vaccination will be completed on October 11th as originally planned.

We will send out another update next week.

Thank you,

Mark Rust                                                                               Kendra Hiles

Administrator                                                                         Director of Nursing


October 5th, 2022

Staff, Residents, Families and Friends,

We have completed outbreak testing with no new cases identified. We are officially considered out of outbreak. There are a few changes to our infection control guidance that we will outline below. We recognize, for some, this is amazing news, a step closer to getting back to normal. This transition may also be scary and we invite anyone who has questions or concerns to reach out in person or phone: (320)-833-5364 to Kendra Hiles (Director Of Nursing ext. 14) or Shyann Topel (Safety Director ext. 30).

Some of the newest guidance from the CDC released in September is dependent on the county transmission rate. Renville County continues to be at a “High” transmission rate which means there is NO change to the guidance around masking. Staff, Residents and Visitors continue to be required to wear a blue surgical mask as you have been (in patient care areas, during visits unless resident is comfortable with VISITOR taking mask off, and for residents, in hallways and during group activities). Everyone must continue to sanitize hands upon entering and exiting the facility and resident rooms. If your hands become visibly soiled, use soap and water to wash hands. Visits continue to be allowed in resident rooms only or outside – weather permitting.

What HAS Changed?

Staff and Visitor Screening: Staff and Visitors are required to monitor themselves for signs and symptoms of COVID-19 and should not enter the building if they are ill. Visitors should not visit if they are positive for COVID-19 or within 14 days after recovery. Visitors should also refrain from entering if they have been exposed to someone positive for COVID within the last 10 days. Staff should complete an antigen test for COVID-19 at the first sign of any symptoms and again 48 hours later. As before, staff should see the charge nurse before working if any symptoms are present, or if they have been exposed. Staff who test positive for COVID-19 will need to continue to follow the quarantine requirements. Active Symptom and Temperature Screening is NO LONGER REQUIRED for staff and visitors. Residents still need to have O2, Pulse and Temperature screening completed daily as we have been.

Eye Protection: Eye protection provides a barrier between staff and the people they encounter to help stop the spread of COVID-19 and other infectious illnesses. Eye protection will remain available in the NE Wing Scheduling/Safety Director office for anyone who would like to use it. Eye protection is optional, and no longer required.

Testing: Testing will continue to be required for staff and residents if a case of COVID-19 is identified in the building and if symptoms of COVID-19 are present. Staff or residents experiencing symptoms should test immediately and again 48 hours later. Weekly testing for staff who are NOT fully vaccinated* continues to be required but routine testing for staff who are NOT up to date* has been discontinued.

*Fully vaccinated: a person has received all of the initial doses in a vaccine series.

*Up to date: a person has received all the initial doses of the vaccine series and the latest recommended booster dose recommended for them.

Care for COVID-19 Suspected or Confirmed Patients: Residents experiencing symptoms, with no other explanation or residents who are positive for COVID-19 will continue to be placed in quarantine. Staff who provide care for residents in quarantine will need to continue to wear gloves, gown, N95 masks, face shields and other PPE as deemed necessary. We continue to discouraged visits for anyone in quarantine. If you must visit, alert a nurse and training will be provided to you before you enter the room of your loved one.

Vaccination: Vaccination continues to be one of the best tools to protect yourself and others from severe illness/death caused from COVID-19. We encourage everyone to get vaccinated and boosted as you are able. Staff members who are NOT fully vaccinated* or have an approved exemption will need to continue COVID-19 testing once per week, and will be required to complete vaccination education modules/in-services every year. Remember it is ok to change your mind, vaccines continue to be available at any time. Kendra or Shyann can assist you in finding a vaccination location.

Vaccination Clinic at BLHCC: BLHCC will be holding a vaccine clinic for staff and residents to receive the most recent Bivalent booster on October 11th. Any staff member who would like the vaccine should let Kendra or Shyann know so we can get you on the list. Residents will be vaccinated in the morning and staff will be vaccinated during their shift or Kendra/Shyann will be in contact with you for an appointment time.

At this time, we encourage our volunteers to seek vaccination at local clinics/pharmacies. If you need assistance please let us know and we can help you find a vaccination location.

As we continue to move forward in the fight against COVID-19 and other infectious diseases, let us never forget the lessons we’ve learned and may we never underestimate the power of comradery between our staff, residents, families and friends. We appreciate all of you! We are blessed to have your continued support.

With Appreciation,

Mark Rust                                                                Kendra Hiles

Administrator                                                         Director of Nursing


September 21st, 2022

Staff, Residents, Families and Friends,

Weekly outbreak testing was completed on Monday, all resident and staff test results were negative at that time. We will complete facility wide testing again on September 26th. If all test results are negative, we will commence outbreak testing. Another update will be sent next week.

Anyone who has symptoms related to COVID-19 should complete a rapid test and speak with a nurse before clocking in to work. Residents should also be tested if presenting with any similar COVID-19 symptoms. Symptoms of COVID-19 include; shortness of breath, cough, loss of taste or smell, fever (a full list of symptoms can be found on the CDC website).

Resident visitors are welcome in our facility. We ask that you wear a blue surgical mask for the entirety of your visits, sanitize your hands upon entering your loved ones room, and ONLY visit in the resident room or outside. Visits are NOT to occur during activities or in the common areas (dining room).

Staff continue to be required to practice good infection control including; sanitizing your hands upon entering and exiting resident rooms, wearing your mask and eye protection and completing weekly/bi-weekly COVID-19 testing as required for outbreak testing and based on your vaccine status. Any staff member who is not up to date with the COVID-19 vaccine must test twice per week and is encouraged to speak with Kendra or Shyann for information about how to receive your initial or booster dose. Vaccination against COVID-19 continues to be effective in decreasing COVID-19 hospitalizations and death.

Thank you!

Mark Rust                                                               Kendra Hiles

Administrator                                                    Director of Nursing


September 13th, 2022

Staff, Residents, Families and Friends,

Our weekly outbreak testing has been completed and NO positive resident cases were identified. However, we did discover a positive staff member this past weekend. That staff member had worked 48 hours prior to the positive test which means our facility continues to be in “outbreak” status. We will complete facility wide testing on September 19th and 26th. Weekly updates will continue until the outbreak has commenced.

Anyone who has symptoms related to COVID-19 should complete a rapid test and speak with a nurse before clocking in to work. Residents should also be tested if presenting with any similar COVID-19 symptoms. Symptoms of COVID-19 include; shortness of breath, cough, loss of taste or smell, fever (a full list of symptoms can be found on the CDC website).

Resident visitors are welcome in our facility. We ask that you wear a blue surgical mask for the entirety of your visits, sanitize your hands upon entering your loved ones room, and ONLY visit in the resident room or outside. Visits are NOT to occur during activities or in the common areas (dining room).

Staff continue to be required to practice good infection control including; sanitizing your hands upon entering and exiting resident rooms, wearing your mask and eye protection and completing weekly/bi-weekly COVID-19 testing as required for outbreak testing and based on your vaccine status. Any staff member who is not up to date with the COVID-19 vaccine must test twice per week and is encouraged to speak with Kendra or Shyann for information about how to receive your initial or booster dose. Vaccination against COVID-19 continues to be effective in decreasing COVID-19 hospitalizations and death.

Thank you!

Mark Rust                                                                               Kendra Hiles

Administrator                                                                         Director of Nursing


September 7th, 2022

Staff, Residents, Families and Friends,

The second round of COVID-19 testing was completed yesterday, Sept 6th with no new cases identified. BLHCC continues to be in outbreak status 14 days after the last positive case identified (8/29/22). This means we will complete one more round of facility wide testing on September 13th. If all test results are negative, we will cease outbreak testing. Staff who are not up to date will still be required to test based on the county transmission rate (currently HIGH = twice weekly testing).

Anyone who has symptoms related to COVID-19 should complete a rapid test and speak with a nurse before clocking in to work. Residents should also be tested if presenting with any similar COVID-19 symptoms. Symptoms of COVID-19 include; shortness of breath, cough, loss of taste or smell, fever (a full list of symptoms can be found on the CDC website).

COVID-19 Vaccine Update: A new booster has been approved by the CDC. This COVID-19 booster has been re-created to provide protection for the original COVID-19 virus as well as the newest variants of the virus that continue to spread rapidly. We are working closely with our in-house pharmacy to be able to offer this new booster when it becomes available. Any staff who are interested in receiving the newest booster should talk with Kendra or Shyann so we can put your name on the waiting list. According to the most recent update from the CDC: You are up to date with your COVID-19 vaccines if you have completed a COVID-19 vaccine primary series and received the most recent booster dose recommended for you by CDC.

More COVID-19 Vaccine/Booster information can be found here: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/stay-up-to-date.html

Thank you!

Mark Rust                                                                               Kendra Hiles

Administrator                                                                         Director of Nursing


August 31st, 2022

Staff, Residents, Families and Friends,

We identified 4 additional positive staff since the beginning of the outbreak last week, some were identified during outbreak testing, and some because of symptom onset. The first staff has completed their quarantine and is able to return to work. We pray that all affected staff heal and recover without any complications. You are all missed!

ALL staff and residents will test again on September 6th and September 12th for outbreak testing. Staff who are not scheduled to work on the 6th or 12th can come in and test on those dates, or may test during a shift prior too or after (as close to the testing date as possible). Staff who are not “up to date” with the COVID-19 vaccine also need to test a second time during the week. Anyone who has symptoms related to COVID-19 should complete a rapid test and speak with a nurse before clocking in to work. Residents should also be tested if presenting with any similar COVID-19 symptoms. Symptoms of COVID-19 include; shortness of breath, cough, loss of taste or smell, fever (a full list of symptoms can be found on the CDC website).

The COVID-19 policy is located in the main nursing office and is available for reference if you have questions or concerns. We encourage you to reach out to Kendra Hiles, Director of Nursing or Shyann Topel, Safety Director for assistance with COVID-19 vaccination or other infection control concerns.

Our staff work diligently every day to keep our residents safe, comfortable and happy. We are honored each of our staff has chosen BLHCC as their place of employment. Dietary, Environmental Services, Nursing, Maintenance, Activities, Office Staff; EVERYONE has an important role at BLHCC and we are thankful for everyone!

Infection Control Reminders:

  • ALL visitors and staff are required to wear a mask anytime they are in the building.
  • Visits must only occur in resident rooms, where everyone should keep their mask on.
  • Residents MUST wear their surgical masks when out of their rooms.
  • Staff must remain vigilant with all required infection control protocols, including the use of eye protection while in resident care areas.
  • COVID-19 vaccination and all recommended boosters are strongly encouraged to keep EVERYONE safe.

We wish you a safe Labor Day weekend!

Mark Rust                                                                               Kendra Hiles

Administrator                                                                         Director of Nursing


August 26th, 2022

Residents, Families and Friends,

We identified a second positive case of COVID-19 among our staff today. This staff member worked within 48 hours of symptom onset and worked in various areas of the building. ALL staff will need to test for COVID-19 today, Tuesday August 30th and again on September 6th. Residents have already been tested today, all are negative. They will be tested again on August 30th and September 6th.

If anyone, resident or staff, becomes ill or develops symptoms similar to COVID-19, please complete a COVID test right away or alert a staff member for help with testing. COVID-19 continues to spread rapidly throughout our county. Staff who are not up to date with their COVID-19 vaccines continue to be required to test twice per week per CMS guidelines.

Reminders:

  • ALL visitors and staff are required to wear a mask anytime they are in the building.
  • Visits must only occur in resident rooms, where everyone should keep their mask on. Complete the screening forms upon entrance, preform good hand hygiene, and practice social distancing. Per MDH and CDC guidance visitors are encouraged to complete an at home COVID-19 test 2-3 days before visiting to ensure no one is ill. Testing it is not a requirement for visitation.
  • Residents MUST wear their surgical masks when out of their rooms. This includes in activities and throughout the common areas. Residents are still allowed to eat together.
  • Staff must remain vigilant with all required infection control protocols.
  • COVID-19 vaccination and all recommended boosters are strongly encouraged to keep EVERYONE safe. Staff must continue to complete COVID-19 tests based on vaccine status as well as for outbreak status.

We will send out another update next week.

Have a nice weekend,

Mark Rust                                                                               Kendra Hiles

Administrator                                                                         Director of Nursing


August 24th, 2022

Staff,

Our facility has identified a positive case of COVID-19 among our staff. This case of COVID-19 puts our facility in outbreak status, but because the case was isolated to a small number of exposures, only residents and staff with high risk exposures will be required to test. Exposed resident(s) will be tested today and again on Monday, August 29th. As long as no more positive cases are identified further testing will not be required.

If anyone, resident or staff, becomes ill or develops symptoms similar to COVID-19, please complete a COVID test right away or alert a staff member for help with testing. COVID-19 continues to spread rapidly throughout our county. Staff who are not up to date with their COVID-19 vaccines continue to be required to test twice per week per CMS guidelines.

Reminders:

  • ALL visitors and staff are required to wear a mask anytime they are in the building.
  • Visits must only occur in resident rooms, where everyone should keep their mask on. Complete the screening forms upon entrance, preform good hand hygiene, and practice social distancing. Per MDH and CDC guidance visitors are encouraged to complete an at home COVID-19 test 2-3 days before visiting to ensure no one is ill. Testing it is not a requirement for visitation.
  • Residents MUST wear their surgical masks when out of their rooms. This includes in activities and throughout the common areas. Residents are still allowed to eat together.
  • Staff must remain vigilant with all required infection control protocols.
  • COVID-19 vaccination and all recommended boosters are strongly encouraged to keep EVERYONE safe. Staff must continue to complete COVID-19 tests based on vaccine status as well as for outbreak status.

We will send out weekly updates, until the outbreak has ended. Outbreak time frame is defined as 14 days beyond the identification of the most recent positive case.

In other news we are planning an ALL staff mandatory in-service for September 28th. This in-service will closely represent the Fall Festival we had last year. There will be games, food, scrubs on wheels and things for your kids to do. Educare requirements can also be met by joining in on the fun!

Thank you,

Mark Rust                                                                               Kendra Hiles

Administrator                                                                         Director of Nursing


Buffalo Lake Healthcare Center/ Educare

ON-LINE Training: All Staff

Educare:  We have signed an agreement to work with Educare to provide on-line education services.   This will help to ensure that all staff has the proper training to perform their job.

Educare Log in:

***No Courses are too be completed while you are punched in, you can complete while at work but are not to be “on the clock”. ***

1) Go to educaretrainingonline.westnetmlp.com **Please make sure you are only using this website**

2) Enter in your username: Your first name and the first four of your birthday.  Example:  Joe Smith with a birthday of 4/2/1992 username is:  joe0402

3) Enter in your password:  blhcc or blhcc1 if you were hired after 9/1/2018

4) Click submit

5) Click on the course you would like to start, click launch course and your course will start, you will need to advance each slide by clicking the play button. (The slides have both written information and audio presentation – you will need to have sound on your computer).  There is a test-out you must pass to successfully complete a course.

6) You can stop and resume a course at anytime.  The system will remember where you left off.

Pay:

We will reimburse you for completing the courses.  The courses you are assigned are mandatory to complete on a quarterly basis.  This quarter will be July, August and September.  You will have until September 30th to complete the courses you are assigned and will get paid for the normal run time of the course on your October 7th paycheck. No overtime will be paid for educational hours. You do not need to turn in any information to be paid, we will run a report to determine who has completed the courses.  If you do not complete the course by September 30 you will not be paid but will still be required to complete the courses as part of your job requirements.

Internet access:  If you do not have easy access to internet services (home/library) we will provide accommodations on an individual basis.

**For employees who are not comfortable with the instructions provided or would like to learn more about this required training; Kendra provide training.  See or call Kendra to arrange a training date.

Courses:

Title Runtime CEU
Dementia-Person Centered Care 20:00 .75
Elder Justice Act 16:18 .75
QAPI-Compliance and Ethics 32:00 1.00

You must complete all courses by September 30th. You will receive 2 hours of in-service pay on your October 7th paycheck.  CEU’s certificates can be printed upon request by the business office.


August 3rd, 2022

We completed all required outbreak testing with no additional positive cases of staff or residents inside the facility within 48 hours from positive test/symptom onset. We are considered to be OUT OF OUTBREAK status. We did have one staff member test positive earlier in the week but they were not in the building 48hours prior to symptom onset, this case does NOT require additional testing. We continue to encourage all staff and residents to test for COVID-19 if they are feeling ill.

Most of the state of Minnesota continues to be high risk for transmission of COVID-19, please use caution while out and get vaccinated/boosted when you can.

Staff who are not up to date with their COVID-19 vaccines continue to be required to test twice per week per CMS guidelines. Testing results are collected and logged on a spreadsheet to prove compliance for this CMS mandate. Periodically these spreadsheets are checked to ensure everyone is testing at the required amount. Please test as required.

*Up to date means you have had all recommended doses for your age group within the recommended time frames.

If you are newly vaccinated or have received a booster dose, please bring your vaccine card to Kendra or Shyann so our records can be updated.

Other News:

  • COVID-19 vaccine will be available at BLHCC on August 12th – Moderna Brand. Talk to Kendra if you are interested in getting your booster or starting your series.
  • Nursing staff who missed N95 fit testing will be scheduled a time for fit testing on August 17th. Please talk to Shyann if you have a specific desired time. (11:45-3pm)
  • Residents MUST wear their surgical masks when out of their rooms. This includes in activities and throughout the common areas. Residents are still allowed to eat together.
  • Staff must remain vigilant with all required infection control protocols. Wear your eye protection and mask at all times while in resident care areas (resident care areas includes the entire building except; alone in office/station, break room, bathroom)

Although we hope to keep COVID-19 out of our building it has become something we are always preparing for. Another outbreak will occur, but continued vaccination efforts and good infection control can help keep everyone safe.

Staff, Thank you! We know your jobs are not easy but we continue to hear great things from residents and family who truly appreciate all you do.

Thank you,

Mark Rust                                                                               Kendra Hiles

Administrator                                                                          Director of Nursing


July 28th, 2022

Residents, Staff, Families and Friends,

We completed outbreak testing for the second time this week and discovered one additional positive staff. This staff member had not been in the building 48 hours prior to testing positive. We continue to encourage all staff and residents to test for COVID-19 if they are feeling ill. Any staff member who has experience a high risk exposure outside of the facility is also asked to test on days 1,2,3, and 5-7 after exposure. We will conduct facility wide outbreak testing again on Monday August 1st.

Renville County continues to be a high transmission county. It is the season for large community gatherings, please be safe and remember to use good infection control while enjoying such activities. Staff who are not up to date with their COVID-19 vaccines continue to be required to test twice per week per CMS guidelines.

Reminders:

  • Visits are not recommended during an outbreak, but if you must visit; ALL visitors and staff are required to wear a mask anytime they are in the building.
  • Visits must only occur in resident rooms, where everyone should keep their mask on. Complete the screening forms upon entrance, preform good hand hygiene, and practice social distancing. Per MDH and CDC guidance visitors are encouraged to complete an at home COVID-19 test 2-3 days before visiting to ensure no one is ill. Testing it is not a requirement for visitation.
  • Residents MUST wear their surgical masks when out of their rooms. This includes in activities and throughout the common areas. Residents are still allowed to eat together.
  • Staff must remain vigilant with all required infection control protocols.
  • COVID-19 vaccination and all recommended boosters are strongly encouraged to keep EVERYONE safe. Staff must continue to complete COVID-19 tests based on vaccine status as well as for outbreak status.

We will send an additional next week.

Thank you,

Mark Rust                                                                               Kendra Hiles

Administrator                                                                          Director of Nursing


July 21th, 2022

Residents, Staff, Families and Friends,

We discovered a COVID-19 positive staff member last evening. This staff person was in the building 48 hours before the positive test. Additional testing will be required. ALL staff and resident will need to complete outbreak testing on Friday July 22nd, Monday July 25th and Monday August 1st. Outbreak testing will cease if no new cases are discovered. Let this be a reminder that COVID-19 continues to spread rapidly in our communities. Use precautions while out in the community, and follow ALL infection control protocols if you must visit our facility.

If anyone, resident or staff member, becomes ill or develops symptoms similar to COVID-19, please complete a COVID test right away or alert a staff member for help with testing. COVID-19 is still spreading very rapidly throughout our county. Staff who are not up to date with their COVID-19 vaccines continue to be required to test twice per week per CMS guidelines.

Reminders:

  • ALL visitors and staff are required to wear a mask anytime they are in the building.
  • Visits must only occur in resident rooms, where everyone should keep their mask on. Complete the screening forms upon entrance, preform good hand hygiene, and practice social distancing. Per MDH and CDC guidance visitors are encouraged to complete an at home COVID-19 test 2-3 days before visiting to ensure no one is ill. Testing it is not a requirement for visitation.
  • Residents MUST wear their surgical masks when out of their rooms. This includes in activities and throughout the common areas. Residents are still allowed to eat together.
  • Staff must remain vigilant with all required infection control protocols.
  • COVID-19 vaccination and all recommended boosters are strongly encouraged to keep EVERYONE safe. Staff must continue to complete COVID-19 tests based on vaccine status as well as for outbreak status.

Thank you for your continued support,

Mark Rust                                                                               Kendra Hiles

Administrator                                                                          Director of Nursing


July 20th, 2022

Residents, Staff, Families and Friends,

Our facility has completed two rounds of outbreak testing on the residents and staff who were a high risk exposure to the positive person. Everyone has tested negative for COVID-19. We will test again on Monday the 25th. A second staff member tested positive today, however; this staff person was not in the building with in the last 48 hours prior to symptom on set, so no further testing is required.

If anyone, resident or staff member, becomes ill or develops symptoms similar to COVID-19, please complete a COVID test right away or alert a staff member for help with testing. COVID-19 is still spreading very rapidly throughout our county. Staff who are not up to date with their COVID-19 vaccines continue to be required to test twice per week per CMS guidelines.

Reminders:

  • ALL visitors and staff are required to wear a mask anytime they are in the building.
  • Visits must only occur in resident rooms, where everyone should keep their mask on. Complete the screening forms upon entrance, preform good hand hygiene, and practice social distancing. Per MDH and CDC guidance visitors are encouraged to complete an at home COVID-19 test 2-3 days before visiting to ensure no one is ill. Testing it is not a requirement for visitation.
  • Residents MUST wear their surgical masks when out of their rooms. This includes in activities and throughout the common areas. Residents are still allowed to eat together.
  • Staff must remain vigilant with all required infection control protocols.
  • COVID-19 vaccination and all recommended boosters are strongly encouraged to keep EVERYONE safe. Staff must continue to complete COVID-19 tests based on vaccine status as well as for outbreak status.

We will send another update next week.

Sincerely,

Mark Rust                                                                               Kendra Hiles

Administrator                                                                          Director of Nursing


July 13th, 2022

Residents, Staff, Families and Friends,

Our facility has identified a positive case of COVID-19 among our staff. The staff person is suffering from mild symptoms and is out of work per quarantine guidance. This case of COVID-19 puts our facility in outbreak status, but because the case was isolated to a small number of exposures, only residents and staff with high risk exposures will be required to test. Testing for the exposed residents will be Thursday July 14th, Monday July 18th and Monday July 25th. As long as no more positive cases are identified further testing will not be required. Exposed staff will also complete outbreak testing based on exposure guidance.

If anyone, resident or staff member, becomes ill or develops symptoms similar to COVID-19, please complete a COVID test right away or alert a staff member for help with testing. COVID-19 is still spreading very rapidly throughout our county. Staff who are not up to date with their COVID-19 vaccines continue to be required to test twice per week per CMS guidelines.

Reminders:

  • ALL visitors and staff are required to wear a mask anytime they are in the building.
  • Visits must only occur in resident rooms, where everyone should keep their mask on. Complete the screening forms upon entrance, preform good hand hygiene, and practice social distancing. Per MDH and CDC guidance visitors are encouraged to complete an at home COVID-19 test 2-3 days before visiting to ensure no one is ill. Testing it is not a requirement for visitation.
  • Residents MUST wear their surgical masks when out of their rooms. This includes in activities and throughout the common areas. Residents are still allowed to eat together.
  • Staff must remain vigilant with all required infection control protocols.
  • COVID-19 vaccination and all recommended boosters are strongly encouraged to keep EVERYONE safe. Staff must continue to complete COVID-19 tests based on vaccine status as well as for outbreak status.

We will send out weekly updates, until the outbreak has ended.

Please let us know of any questions.

Sincerely,

Mark Rust                                                                               Kendra Hiles

Administrator                                                                          Director of Nursing


uly 11, 2022

With sadness we are letting the staff know that Natalie, after 12 years of dedicated service, has decided to pursue other opportunities. We want to express our sincere gratitude for all she has done over these past many years. Her last day with BLHCC will be July 14th. Best wishes Natalie!

All requests for time off should be made using the request forms. For the schedule of August 31st-Aug 13th requests are due by
July 13th. We will continue to meet your individual requests as best we can. Requests after the deadline date will be your responsibility to find someone to work. It is also extremely important that everyone punches the timeclock accurately and any known corrections that need to be made are filled out on a time clock correction form. Any questions can be directed toward Kendra at this time at 320-833-5364 ext 14 or khiles@blhcc.org.


July 1st, 2022

Residents, Staff, Families and Friends,
We completed our last round of outbreak testing earlier this week. No new positive cases were identified. Our facility is out of “Outbreak” status. Weekly testing for residents and facility staff who are “up to date” will cease for now. Our county transmission rate remains “high” therefore; we continue to encourage everyone to follow safe practices to protect yourself and others from COVID-19. Some reminders are listed below.
Reminders:

1) Visitors are required to wear a blue surgical mask at ALL TIMES while in the hallways or common areas of the building.
2) Visits must only occur in resident rooms, where everyone should keep their mask on. Complete the screening forms upon entrance, preform good hand hygiene, and practice social distancing. Per MDH and CDC guidance visitors are encouraged to complete an at home COVID-19 test 2-3 days before visiting to ensure no one is ill. Testing it is not a requirement for visitation.
3) Residents MUST wear their surgical masks when out of their rooms. This includes in activities and throughout the common areas. Residents are still allowed to eat together.
4) Staff must remain vigilant with all required infection control protocols.
5) COVID-19 vaccination and all recommended boosters are strongly encouraged to keep EVERYONE safe. Staff must continue to complete COVID-19 tests based on country transmission rate and vaccination status. Anyone who is not “up to date” must test twice per week.

A big thank you to our staff for everything you do day after day and thank you to those working over the long holiday weekend. Many of our staff have put in extra hours and continue to pick up extra shifts whenever possible. We recognize that right now is a difficult time to be working in healthcare, and we are so grateful for the amazing staff we have.

We also appreciate our residents and their loves ones for your patience and understanding. As we continue to navigate everyday life as well as the COVID-19 protocols that have become a “new normal”, we couldn’t do our best work without your support.

Happy Fourth of July!
Stay Safe,

Mark Rust Kendra Hiles
Administrator Director of Nursing


June 23rd, 2022

Residents, Staff, Families and Friends,

Our most recent round of outbreak testing did not identify any additional COVID positive cases. We will continue with outbreak testing on Monday June 27th for all staff and residents. Our facility is considered to be in “Outbreak” status, visits are permitted however the safest practice would be to wait to visit until the outbreak has ended. Listed below are a few additional reminders to help keep everyone safe from COVID-19.

Reminders:

  • ALL visitors and staff are required to wear a mask anytime they are in the building.
  • Visits must only occur in resident rooms, where everyone should keep their mask on. Complete the screening forms upon entrance, preform good hand hygiene, and practice social distancing. Per MDH and CDC guidance visitors are encouraged to complete an at home COVID-19 test 2-3 days before visiting to ensure no one is ill. Testing it is not a requirement for visitation.
  • Residents MUST wear their surgical masks when out of their rooms. This includes in activities and throughout the common areas. Residents are still allowed to eat together.
  • Staff must remain vigilant with all required infection control protocols.
  • COVID-19 vaccination and all recommended boosters are strongly encouraged to keep EVERYONE safe. Staff must continue to complete COVID-19 tests based on vaccine status as well as for outbreak status.

We will send out another update next week.

Sincerely,

Mark Rust                                                                               Kendra Hiles

Administrator                                                                          Director of Nursing


June 15th, 2022

Residents, Staff, Families and Friends,

Our facility has identified a staff member positive for COVID-19. The employee is experiencing symptoms and was in the building 48 hours prior to testing positive. We are now considered to be in outbreak status. Outbreak means all staff and residents will complete COVID-19 testing on Friday June 17th, and the following two Mondays. Additional testing will be completed as needed for any new cases identified and testing based on vaccine status.

Reminders:

  • Visits must only occur in resident rooms, where everyone should keep their mask on, complete good hand hygiene, and practice social distancing.
  • Residents MUST wear their surgical masks when out of their rooms. This includes in activities and throughout the common areas. Residents are still allowed to eat together.
  • Staff must remain vigilant with all required infection control protocols.

We will send out a weekly update with any necessary information for the duration of this outbreak.

Sincerely,

Mark Rust                                                                               Kendra Hiles

Administrator                                                                          Director of Nursing


  • Must have been employed at least 120 hours in Minnesota in one or more frontline sectors between March 15, 2020, and June 30, 2021.
  • For hours worked during that time period, the applicant was not able to telework due to the nature of their work and worked in close proximity to people outside their household.
  • Must meet income requirements for at least one of the 2020 or 2021 tax years.
  • Did not collect more than 20 total weeks of unemployment benefits between March 15, 2020, and June 26, 2021.

See if you qualify and apply at frontlinepay.mn.gov.

Applications open June 8 through July 22, 2022.

This information serves as the required employer notice.

May 2022


June 3rd, 2022

Residents, Staff, Families and Friends,

On Monday we completed our last round of outbreak testing with no new COVID-19 cases identified. This means we will only need to test residents based on exposure, symptoms, or upon admission. Staff who are not “up to date” will need to continue to test twice per week. Reminder: “Up to date” incudes everyone who has received all the recommended COVID-19 shots, initial dose(s) and all boosters.

As of today, our facility is considered to be out of outbreak status however, we caution everyone to continue with the current infection control guidelines; masking, hand hygiene, social distancing and vaccination as recommended. Renville County continues to be in “High” transmission rate for COVID-19, therefore it is only a matter of time before we see another case with in our homes or work places. Please be safe whenever you are out and about.

Staff Reminder: Anyone who is not “up to date” on their vaccine must test twice weekly. If you have symptoms of COVID-19 or are just not feeling well, please test for COVID-19 and alert the charge nurse – no matter your vaccine status.

Resident Reminder: Please alert a staff member if you are not feeling well. Any resident experiencing symptoms will be tested as needed based on the nurse’s assessment. Residents should wear their mask when in common areas, when they have a visitor and while out of the building.

Visitor Reminder: If you are experiencing any symptoms associated with COVID-19 please refrain from visiting until you are well. If you must visit during an outbreak; wear your blue surgical mask at all times, preform hand hygiene often, and practice social distancing. All visits must only occur IN RESIDENT ROOMS.

Thank you to our staff and families for your continued support and patience. We understand how frustrating things can be. If anyone has any questions or concerns, feel free to reach out. To our residents – we are sorry that life in healthcare has changed drastically over the last two years. We know this is not how anyone imagined living, but we admire your resilience and tenacity with every mandate, every guideline, and every change in protocol. It’s not easy but we will continue to try to make things as accommodating as possible.

**This pandemic seems unending, so is the emotional stress it imposes on us. If you notice you are struggling and need help; please reach out to a trusted friend, loved one, co-worker or mental health professional. Everyone one is needed and important, please take care of yourself. National Suicide Prevention Hotline: 800-273-8255 Woodland Center 24-hour crisis line: 800-992-1716

Sincerely,

Mark Rust                                                                               Kendra Hiles

Administrator                                                                          Director of Nursing


May 26, 2022

Residents, Staff, Families and Friends,

Outbreak testing was completed on Monday with zero new COVID-19 cases identified. We will complete one more round of outbreak testing on Monday May 30th for all staff and residents.  If everyone is negative on the 30th we can go back to routine testing based on county transmission level and vaccine status.

BLHCC continues to be in outbreak status and we caution everyone who visits to use proper infection control.

To alleviate the burden of receiving so many COVID-19 updates, we have updated our notification policy for “COVID-19 Outbreaks”. As of May 26th: you will receive one notification within 12 hours of our facility identifying its first COVID positive case indicating outbreak status. After that, we will send out weekly updates to alert you of any new cases or changes in protocol. We will identify the end of outbreak status in the last letter sent. This process will start over when a new case is identified.

Although we all want this pandemic to end, it seems we are being forced to learn to live with COVID-19 in all areas of our life. If you have any questions or concerns, please reach out at any time and we will do our best to provide information. Things continue to change frequently and we understand it’s hard to keep up with all the different expectations.

Staff Reminder: ALL staff are required to test once per week for outbreak testing and anyone who is not “up to date” on their vaccine must test twice weekly. If you have symptoms of COVID-19 or are just not feeling well, please test for COVID-19 and alert the charge nurse.

Resident Reminder: Please alert a staff member if you are not feeling well. Any resident experiencing symptoms will be tested as needed based on the nurse’s assessment. Residents should wear their mask when someone is in their room and while out of the building.

Visitor Reminder: If you are experiencing any symptoms associated with COVID-19 please refrain from visiting until you are well. If you must visit during an outbreak; wear your blue surgical mask at all times, preform hand hygiene often, and practice social distancing. All visits must only occur IN RESIDENT ROOMS.

As always, if you have not been vaccinated or have not had your recommended booster doses, do so as soon as possible. Vaccination continues to be the most effective way to prevent severe illness/death from COVID-19.

Sincerely,

Mark Rust                                                                               Kendra Hiles

Administrator                                                                          Director of Nursing


Educare:  We have signed an agreement to work with Educare to provide on-line education services.   This will help to ensure that all staff has the proper training to perform their job.

Educare Log in:

***No Courses are too be completed while you are punched in, you can complete while at work but are not to be “on the clock”. ***

1) Go to educaretrainingonline.westnetmlp.com **Please make sure you are only using this website**

2) Enter in your username: Your first name and the first four of your birthday.  Example:  Joe Smith with a birthday of 4/2/1992 username is:  joe0402

3) Enter in your password:  blhcc or blhcc1 if you were hired after 9/1/2018

4) Click submit

5) Click on the course you would like to start, click launch course and your course will start, you will need to advance each slide by clicking the play button. (The slides have both written information and audio presentation – you will need to have sound on your computer).  There is a test-out you must pass to successfully complete a course.

6) You can stop and resume a course at anytime.  The system will remember where you left off.

Pay:

We will reimburse you for completing the courses.  The courses you are assigned are mandatory to complete on a quarterly basis.  This quarter will be April, May and June.  You will have until June 30th to complete the courses you are assigned and will get paid for the normal run time of the course on your July 7th paycheck. No overtime will be paid for educational hours. You do not need to turn in any information to be paid, we will run a report to determine who has completed the courses.  If you do not complete the course by June 30th you will not be paid but will still be required to complete the courses as part of your job requirements.

Internet access:  If you do not have easy access to internet services (home/library) we will provide accommodations on an individual basis.

**For employees who are not comfortable with the instructions provided or would like to learn more about this required training; Kendra provide training.  See or call Kendra to arrange a training date.

Courses:

Title Runtime CEU
Medicare – Fraud, Waste, and Abuse 12:40 .50
OSHA – SNF 20.37 .75
     

If you were unable to attend the All Staff In-Service on March 17, 2022, you must complete all courses by June 30th. You will receive 1 hour of in-service pay on your July 7th paycheck. CEU’s certificates can be printed upon request by the business office.


Dear Staff,

Although it seems COVID-19 has ended in some parts of our lives, it is still alive and causing severe illness/death in the world of healthcare. We still have to react to the changing rates of transmission and take precautions as required by our regulatory services. Renville county, as of 5 17 2022, is considered to be in High COVID-19 transmission rate.  As a reminder: this means all staff are again REQUIRED to wear eye protection in accordance to our facility policy. We have ordered a new style of eye protection that we have heard is easier to wear as they do not fog up as badly. Eye protection will be available by the main staff entrance. Please be sure you have a pair and are using them as required. Keep the pair you grab as they are reusable.

Testing Changes: Due to the increase in county transmission rate any staff member who is not “up to date” on their COVID-19 vaccine/booster must test twice per week. Staff are responsible for themselves to be sure they test twice per week as required in the vaccination policy.

Our facility remains in outbreak status and we encourage everyone to practice good infection control and use all safety precautions while out in the community. Outbreak testing for ALL staff on Monday May, 23rd.

Eye Protection Policy

The Minnesota Department of Health and Centers for Disease Control states; staff should wear eye protection while in all resident care areas. The Buffalo Lake Healthcare Center is determined to do everything we can to prevent staff and residents from becoming sick or spreading COIVD-19 asymptomatically. Staff comfort and flexibility is also a high priority. That is why we have developed a policy to keep everyone safe.

  • During times of High or substantial COVID-19 transmission rates – ALL Staff will wear eye protection when in a resident care area or within 6 feet of someone not wearing a mask.
  • Staff will be able to choose which form of eye protection they would prefer to use; face shields or safety glasses. Vision correction glasses may be used as eye protection as long as they have top and side shields and fit snuggly to the staff members face.
  • Hand hygiene should be performed before and after touching your eye protection and face mask to prevent contaminating yourself or others.
  • Eye protection should be used for your entire shift and sanitized at the end of your shift for re-use the next time you work.
  • Store your re-usable eye protection in a safe place and ensure it is properly clean/disinfected before and after use.
  • Eye protection can be washed with soap and water or disinfected with the “red top bucket” wipes and then rinsed with water and dried.

We understand this is a burden for staff. Thank you for your compliance.

Questions? Contact: Kendra Hiles DON or Shyann Topel Safety Director


May 19, 2022

Residents, Staff, Families and Friends,

We identified one additional COVID-19 positive staff member this afternoon. The staff member is out of work on quarantine and we pray for a speedy recovery. All residents and staff will be tested again on Monday, May 23rd.

COVID-19 county transmission levels are increasing and we continue to monitor the situation in order to keep everyone safe. We will send additional updates as needed.

Due to the positive cases of COVID-19, our facility remains in OUTBREAK status. We encourage everyone to wear a mask, use hand hygiene and practice social distancing. We also highly suggest that you get vaccinated and boosted when able.

Thank you all for your support and encouragement as we continue to navigate through this pandemic!

Sincerely,

Mark Rust                                                           Kendra Hiles

Administrator                                                     Director of Nursing


May 18, 2022

Residents, Staff, Families and Friends,

We identified one additional COVID-19 positive staff member this morning. The staff member is out of work on quarantine and we pray gets well soon. All residents and staff will be tested again on Monday May 23rd. COVID-19 county transmission levels are increasing and we continue to monitor the situation in order to keep everyone safe. We will send additional updates as needed. Due to the positive cases of COVID-19 our facility remains in OUTBREAK status. We encourage everyone to wear a mask, use hand hygiene, practice social distancing and get vaccinated or boosted when you are able.

Sincerely,

Mark Rust                                                                               Kendra Hiles

Administrator                                                                          Director of Nursing


May 16, 2022

Residents, Staff, Families and Friends,

COVID-19 continues to be of great concern for our communities. We identified one positive staff member at the start of our outbreak testing this morning. All residents are negative. We will send out another update if there are any more positive cases identified in staff. We will test everyone again on Monday May 23rd. With the new positive case, our facility remains in OUTBREAK status. We encourage everyone to read and follow the reminders below.

Staff Reminder: If you have symptoms of COVID-19 or are just not feeling well, please test for COVID-19 and alert the charge nurse.

Resident Reminder: Please alert a staff member if you are not feeling well. Any resident experiencing symptoms will be tested as needed based on the nurse’s assessment.

Visitor Reminder: If you are experiencing any symptoms associated with COVID-19 please refrain from visiting until you are well. If you must visit during an outbreak; wear your blue surgical mask at all times, preform hand hygiene often, and practice social distancing. All visits must only occur IN RESIDNET ROOMS.

As always, if you have not been vaccinated or have not had your recommended booster doses, do so as soon as possible. Vaccination continues to be the most effective way to prevent severe illness/death from COVID-19.

Sincerely,

Mark Rust                                                                               Kendra Hiles

Administrator                                                                          Director of Nursing


May 9, 2022

Residents, Staff, Families and Friends,

We completed our second round of outbreak testing today and have identified one additional staff member who is positive for COVID-19. This staff person has mild symptoms. Our staff who were previously positive are recovering. All residents tested this morning are negative for COVID-19. We will test everyone again on Monday 16th.

With this news, it means we continue to be in outbreak status and caution should be used if you are coming to visit.

Staff Reminder: If you have symptoms of COVID-19 or are just not feeling well, please test for COVID-19 and alert the charge nurse.

Resident Reminder: Please alert a staff member if you are not feeling well. Any resident experiencing symptoms will be tested as needed based on the nurse’s assessment.

Visitor Reminder: If you are experiencing any symptoms associated with COVID-19 please refrain from visiting until you are well. If you must visit during an outbreak; wear your blue surgical mask at all times, preform hand hygiene often, and practice social distancing. All visits must only occur IN RESIDNET ROOMS.

As always, if you have not been vaccinated or have not had your recommended booster doses, do so as soon as possible. Vaccination continues to be the most effective way to prevent severe illness/death from COVID-19.

Sincerely,

Mark Rust                                                                               Kendra Hiles

Administrator                                                                          Director of Nursing


May 2, 2022 (2nd Update)

Residents, Staff, Families and Friends,

From the outbreak testing that has been completed so far, we have identified one additional staff member who is positive for COVID-19. This staff person has mild symptoms. We wish both staff who are ill a fast recovery. All residents tested this morning are negative for COVID-19. We will test everyone again on Monday May 9th for the second round of outbreak testing.

Staff Reminder: If you have symptoms of COVID-19 or are just not feeling well, please test for COVID-19 and alert the charge nurse.

Resident Reminder: Please alert a staff member if you are not feeling well. Any resident experiencing symptoms will be tested as needed based on the nurse’s assessment.

Visitor Reminder: If you are experiencing any symptoms associated with COVID-19 please refrain from visiting until you are well. If you must visit during an outbreak; wear your blue surgical mask at all times, preform hand hygiene often, and practice social distancing. All visits must only occur IN RESIDNET ROOMS.

As always, if you have not been vaccinated or have not had your recommended booster doses, do so as soon as possible. Vaccination continues to be the most effective way to prevent severe illness/death from COVID-19.

Sincerely,

Mark Rust                                                                  Kendra Hiles

Administrator                                                           Director of Nursing



BLHCC and Westview Estates
Family/Resident/Tenant/Staff COVID-19 Update

May 2, 2022

Residents, Staff, Families and Friends,

Our facility has identified a staff member positive for COVID-19. The employee is experiencing symptoms and was in the building 48 hours prior to testing positive. For this reason, we must increase our infection control practices to keep everyone safe, we are now considered to be in outbreak status.

The changes include:

  1. Visits must only occur in resident rooms, where everyone should keep their mask on and practice social distancing.
  2. Residents MUST wear their surgical masks when out of their rooms. This includes in activities and throughout the common areas. Residents are still allowed to eat together.
  3. Staff are recommended to once again wear eye protection for all resident care encounters. (This could become mandatory again if our county numbers continue to go up).
  4. Outbreak testing for all staff and residents will be completed today and again on May 9th. Additional testing will be based upon testing results.

Use caution while you are in the facility and while you are out. Residents who are not “up to date” are asked to stay in their rooms when possible.  If you must leave, practice social distancing of 6 feet, wear your mask and remember good hand hygiene.

Any staff or residents that are interested in getting the COVID vaccine or booster contact Shyann or your supervisor as soon as possible.

Thank you for your ongoing support.

Sincerely,

Mark Rust                                                                               Kendra Hiles

Administrator                                                                          Director of Nursing


BLHCC and Westview Estates
Family/Resident/Tenant/Staff COVID-19 Update
March 31, 2022

Residents, Staff, Families and Friends,

We are pleased to announce a few changes in our COVID-19 protocols. Based on the Renville County COVID-19 Transmission rate (Moderate Transmission), we can adjust a few of our rules for staff, residents, and visitors. Please note that if the transmission rate moves back into Substantial/High levels, we will have to re-implement more strict protocols.

Per CDC guidance – County Transmission Level (Moderate/Low):

Resident Mask Usage – It remains the safest practice to wear a mask when out in the hallway, during activities and while visiting in your rooms. However, residents who are “up to date” on their COVID-19 vaccines may choose whether to wear there mask or leave it off while out of their room.

Visitor Changes – Visits must only occur in resident rooms. No visits in the dining area or activity room.

  • When you visit; enter at door number 1, screen in, answering all of the questions, take your temperature, wear a blue surgical mask at all times during your visit. If both the visitor and the resident are “up to date” on their COVID-19 vaccines and the resident is comfortable; masks may be removed while in the resident room (you may eat/drink with your loved one in their room, not in the dining room with others present).

Staff Eye Protection –Staff are NOT required to wear eye protection during patient care.

COVID-19 testing for BLHCC staff:

  • If you have any symptoms consistent with COVID-19 please test immediately.
  • Staff who are “up to date on COVID-19 vaccines” do not need to test for COVID-19 on a routine basis.
  • Staff who are unvaccinated or who are NOT up to date on COVID-19 vaccines will be required to test twice per week (Monday/Thursday).
  • If you miss testing on Monday/Thursday you need to test prior to working your next shift.
  • Staff = payroll staff, volunteers and contracted workers
  • If you have received your booster dose of COVID-19 vaccine and have not submitted this information to the facility, please bring your updated vaccine card to your supervisor.

Definition of “Up to Date” – To be considered up to date you must be fully vaccinated and have received a booster dose as recommended.

*If you are fully vaccinated but have not reached the recommended time frame to receive a booster dose, you are considered to be up to date. If you are past the time frame to receive a booster dose and have chosen not to be boosted, you are NOT considered up to date.

COVID-19 Vaccine Update: People age 50 years or older have been approved for a second booster dose of Pfizer or Moderna brand COVID-19 vaccine. This news was just released on Tuesday and we are working to gather all the necessary information.

Despite the lightened restrictions, COVID-19 is still a threat to all of us. Please continue to wash your hands, stay home while ill, and if you have not received your COVID-19 vaccine and booster, do so as soon as possible.

It has been a long road to this relief of COVID-19 restrictions. Work force shortages and stringent COVID-19 protocols have not been easy to maneuver over the last two years (BLHCC First Shut Down to Visitors on March 9th 2020). It is because of our staff, residents, families and community that we continue to be able to serve this beautiful rural community. We know it hasn’t been easy for anyone, but we are so gracious to you for sticking with us. As we look towards Easter, we thank all of you for your support and compassion.

Sincerely,

Mark Rust                                                                               Kendra Hiles

Administrator                                                                          Director of Nursing


BLHCC and Westview Estates

Family/Resident/Tenant/Staff COVID-19 Update

February 19, 2022

Residents, Staff, Families and Friends,

We completed outbreak testing Thursday as planned. All staff and residents were negative for COVID-19. Because we have not identified any positives cases, we can return to routine testing of staff. Residents will only be tested if symptomatic or possibly exposed. See Routine testing changes below.

Per CDC guidance:

Routine testing for BLHCC staff:

  • Staff who are “up to date on COVID-19 vaccines” will need to test once per week (Mondays) as a mitigation effort to combat COVID-19.
  • Staff who are unvaccinated or who are NOT up to date on COVID-19 vaccines will be required to test twice per week (Monday/Thursday).
  • Staff = pay roll staff, volunteers and contracted workers

Definition of “Up to Date” – To be considered up to date staff must be fully vaccinated and have received their booster dose as recommended.

*If you are fully vaccinated but have not reached the recommended time frame to receive a booster dose, you are considered to be up to date. If you are past the time frame to receive a booster dose and have chosen not to be boosted, you are NOT considered up to date.

If you have received your booster dose of COVID-19 vaccine and have not submitted this information to the facility, please bring your updated vaccine card to your supervisor as soon as possible so your COVID-19 vaccine records can be updated.

If you miss testing on Monday/Thursday you will need to test prior to working your next scheduled shift.

If you have any symptoms consistent with COVID-19 please test immediately.

Sincerely,

Mark Rust                                                                               Kendra Hiles

Administrator                                                                          Director of Nursing


Buffalo Lake Healthcare Center / Educare

ON-LINE Training:  All Staff

2/15/2022

Educare:  We have signed an agreement to work with Educare to provide on-line education services.   This will help to ensure that all staff has the proper training to perform their job.

Educare Log in:

***No Courses are too be completed while you are punched in, you can complete while at work but are not to be “on the clock”. ***

1) Go to educaretrainingonline.westnetmlp.com **Please make sure you are only using this website**

2) Enter in your username: Your first name and the first four of your birthday.  Example:  Joe Smith with a birthday of 4/2/1992 username is:  joe0402

3) Enter in your password:  blhcc or blhcc1 if you were hired after 9/1/2018

4) Click submit

5) Click on the course you would like to start, click launch course and your course will start, you will need to advance each slide by clicking the play button. (The slides have both written information and audio presentation – you will need to have sound on your computer).  There is a test-out you must pass to successfully complete a course.

6) You can stop and resume a course at anytime.  The system will remember where you left off.

Pay:

We will reimburse you for completing the courses.  The courses you are assigned are mandatory to complete on a quarterly basis.  This quarter will be January, February and March.  You will have until March 31st to complete the courses you are assigned and will get paid for the normal run time of the course on your April 7th paycheck. No overtime will be paid for educational hours. You do not need to turn in any information to be paid, we will run a report to determine who has completed the courses.  If you do not complete the course by March 31st you will not be paid but will still be required to complete the courses as part of your job requirements.

Internet access:  If you do not have easy access to internet services (home/library) we will provide accommodations on an individual basis.

**For employees who are not comfortable with the instructions provided or would like to learn more about this required training; Kendra provide training.  See or call Kendra to arrange a training date.

Courses:

Title Runtime CEU
Dementia Management and Abuse Prevention 44:20 1.25
HIPPA 30: 23 1
Vulnerable Adult – SNF MN 30:49 1

You must complete all courses by March 31st. You will receive 2 hours of in-service pay on your April 7th paycheck.  CEU’s certificates can be printed upon request by the business office.


BLHCC and Westview Estates
Family/Resident/Tenant/Staff COVID-19 Update
February  11th , 2022

Residents, Staff, Families and Friends,

We completed outbreak testing yesterday as planned. All staff and residents were negative for COVID-19 during that round of testing. However, we had one staff test positive today. We will test ALL staff and residents on Monday Feb. 14th and Thursday Feb. 17th.  This means we continue to be in outbreak status and caution everyone who is visiting, in person, to take all the necessary precautions. If you feel you must visit in person please practice good infection control procedures posted throughout the building. Other avenues for visiting are available upon request. Please call to set up a video chat or phone call. Ask for Lyn (320)-833-5364 ext. 36 or sign up at BLHCC Virtual Visit.

Staff/Volunteer Reminder: If you have received your booster dose of COVID-19 vaccine and have not submitted this information to the facility, please bring your updated vaccine card to your supervisor as soon as possible so your COVID-19 vaccine records can be updated.

If you have any symptoms consistent with COVID-19 please test immediately.

Sincerely,

Mark Rust                                                           Kendra Hiles

Administrator                                               Director of Nursing


BLHCC and Westview Estates
Family/Resident/Tenant/Staff COVID-19 Update
February  7th , 2022

Residents, Staff, Families and Friends,

We completed outbreak testing today as planned. We discovered one positive staff. This staff member has not worked within the last 48 hours. All of the residents continue to test negative. Our next round of outbreak testing will be Thursday Feb 10th. If everyone is negative after that round of testing we will go back to our routine testing.

We continue to caution everyone who comes to visit at our facility as we are in outbreak status. You will see signs posted on the main entrance doors as well as in the main hall as you come in. These signs offer infection control education. Please practice all necessary infection control procedures while you are here.

COVID-19 is easily spread from person to person. Getting the COVID-19 vaccine will greatly reduce your symptoms and chance of serious illness. We have seen the positive effect of having the vaccine in all of our vaccinated individuals who have contracted COVID-19. When you are able, please get vaccinated and boosted.

FYI: The CDC has updated vaccine status definitions. Individuals are considered to be “Up to Date” on their COVID-19 vaccine if they are fully vaccinated and have received a booster dose as recommended. Anyone who is unvaccinated, fully vaccinated but not yet boosted as recommended, are considered to be “NOT Up to Date”. Routine testing changes will be coming for our staff (Staff includes: facility staff, volunteers and contracted staff). If you have received your booster dose of vaccine and have not submitted this information to the facility, please bring your updated vaccine card to your supervisor as soon as possible so your COVID-19 vaccine records can be updated.

If you have questions or concerns please reach out to (320)-833-5364 to our Director of Nursing ext. 14 or Safety Director ext. 30.

Thank you!

Sincerely,

Mark Rust                                                                               Kendra Hiles

Administrator                                                                          Director of Nursing


BLHCC and Westview Estates
Family/Resident/Tenant/Staff COVID-19 Update
February  5th , 2022

Residents, Staff, Families and Friends,

One of our staff tested positive for COVID-19 this morning. We will complete outbreak testing for ALL staff and residents Monday Feb. 7th and Thursday Feb. 10th.

Thank you to all of our staff who work tirelessly to keep our residents cared for and safe. Many of you have worked extra hours on weekends, holidays and during regular hours. You all do an amazing job day in and out. Thank you for being here.

Anyone visiting today or in the near future should continue to use hand sanitizer frequently, keep your blue surgical mask on at all times, and do not join your friend or loved one in activities or in the dining room. Visiting during an outbreak is a risk to your health, please keep yourself and our residents and staff safe while you are here.

Sincerely,

Mark Rust                                                                               Kendra Hiles

Administrator                                                                          Director of Nursing


BLHCC and Westview Estates
Family/Resident/Tenant/Staff COVID-19 Update
February 3rd, 2022

Residents, Staff, Families and Friends,

We wanted to let you know that we discovered three additional COVID-19 positive staff yesterday during our outbreak testing. No positive residents at this time. We will need to complete outbreak testing for ALL staff and residents Monday Feb. 7th and Thursday Feb. 10th.

We are hopeful that soon we will start to see a decline in the transmission rate of COVID-19 but for now we remain cautious and wish all of our ill staff the best. So far, everyone is doing well with mild cold like symptoms. If you are feeling ill we encourage you to stay home, quarantine and get tested for COVID-19.

Thank you for your continued support,

Mark Rust                                                                               Kendra Hiles

Administrator                                                                          Director of Nursing


BLHCC and Westview Estates
Family/Resident/Tenant/Staff COVID-19 Update
February 2nd, 2022

Residents, Staff, Families and Friends,

We wanted to let you know that we discovered one COVID-19 positive staff member today. This staff member does have symptoms and was in the building 48 hours before the symptoms started. We will need to complete outbreak testing for ALL staff and residents tomorrow, Feb. 3rd and Monday Feb. 7th.

We continue to caution everyone to use good infection control practices when out and about. Also, please get your COVID-19 vaccine and get boosted when you are able.

Sincerely,

Mark Rust                                                                               Kendra Hiles

Administrator                                                                          Director of Nursing


BLHCC and Westview Estates
Family/Resident/Tenant/Staff COVID-19 Update
February 1st, 2022

Residents, Staff, Families and Friends,

Our facility completed two rounds of outbreak testing with no new positive staff or resident cases discovered. We currently have one resident in quarantine, they are doing well with no symptoms at this time.  We will resume our routine testing schedule of all staff one time per week and unvaccinated staff twice per week.  At this time residents will not be tested unless symptomatic or we identify a new staff case of COVID-19.

We are happy that no new cases have been detected but we are hesitant to celebrate. We know that COVID-19, specifically the omicron variant, is spreading rapidly. The transmission rate for Renville County continues to be “High”.

We continue to encourage everyone to get vaccinated and boosted. When you are in our building you must; practice good hand hygiene, wear a blue surgical mask at all times, and practice social distancing from other staff and residents. If you are here during meal times or afternoon coffee, we encourage you remain masked and refrain from eating with your loved one. If you feel you must stay during meals or coffee time, you are required to stay in the resident’s room. You may only remove your mask in the residents room if you are fully vaccinated and you’re loved one is comfortable with you not wearing your mask. At this time: No visitors are allowed in the dining area or activity room.

As this year plunges forward we look for brighter, healthier times, but right now the reality remains; COVID-19 is still a danger to everyone. Please continue to help us keep staff and residents safe by following all of our COVID-19 protocols. As always we appreciate your ongoing support and understanding.

Staff….we cannot say THANK YOU enough, we have seen countless staff step into roles that are not their preferred role.  We thank you! The residents thank you!  Without our outstanding TEAM at BLHCC we could not provide the exceptional care our resident deserve.  THANK YOU!

Sincerely,

Mark Rust                                                                               Kendra Hiles

Administrator                                                                          Director of Nursing


BLHCC and Westview Estates
Family/Resident/Tenant/Staff COVID-19 Update
January 26th, 2022

Residents, Staff, Families and Friends,

Our facility completed outbreak testing on all staff and residents as planned on January 24th. We discovered one positive staff and one positive resident. The staff member is doing ok with mild cold like symptoms and the resident has no symptoms at this time. We will need to complete outbreak testing for all residents and staff on Thursday Jan 27th and Monday January 31st, both days will be rapid tests. Once we complete two rounds of COVID-19 testing with NO new positive cases identified we can resume our regular testing of only staff as required by CMS.

COVID-19 seems to be everywhere these days and even people who are vaccinated are testing positive. However, studies continue to show that the vaccine keeps people from becoming severely ill or dying. If you have not been vaccinated please do so, and if you have not had your COVID-19 vaccine booster shot, we recommend that you get it as soon as you are able.

We caution everyone who comes to visit our residents. Please do not visit if you are experiencing any symptoms associated with COVID-19, have tested positive for COVID within the last 14 days or have been exposed to someone with COVID. If you feel you must visit; sanitize your hands before and after visiting, wear your blue surgical mask during your entire visit, and practice social distancing from residents and staff.

If you are having symptoms of COVID-19 please stay home and get tested.

The CDC has posted a link for everyone to be able to order 4 at home COVID-19 test kits for free. It’s a simple form to fill out on the U.S Postal Service Website:

https://special.usps.com/testkits?ACSTrackingID=USCDC_2067-DM74062&ACSTrackingLabel=Free%20At-Home%20COVID-19%20Tests%20%20%7C%20COVID-19&deliveryName=USCDC_2067-DM74062

Sincerely,

Mark Rust                                                                               Kendra Hiles

Administrator                                                                          Director of Nursing


January 20, 2022

Residents, Staff, Families and Friends,

Our facility completed outbreak testing today as planned. We identified two additional staff cases, both with symptoms. These staff were tested before having resident contact. We also discovered one positive resident. This resident is having mild symptoms and is doing fine at the moment. The previous staff and residents who are positive continue to get better.

Again a reminder to our visitors: If you are experiencing any symptoms of COVID-19, or the common cold, refrain from visiting until your symptoms are gone and you feel better. Anyone with symptoms should get tested for COVID-19 as soon as possible, to avoid spreading the disease further. If you feel you must visit; we ask that you use caution when you enter the facility. Keep your blue surgical mask on for your entire visit, sanitize your hands often (before and after entering or exiting a resident room) and practice social distancing.

We will complete outbreak testing for all staff and residents on Monday Jan. 24th (Mayo tests).

A big thank you to all of our staff who are giving up their personal time and time with families and loved ones to help us get through this COVID outbreak! We also appreciate all of our families and visitors for their understanding and patience!

Sincerely,

Mark Rust                                                           Kendra Hiles

Administrator                                                   Director of Nursing


Are at-home COVID-19 diagnostic test kits covered? – Updated on 1/14/22

The federal government recently released FAQ #51 on coverage for COVID-19 testing by private health insurers and group health plans. The guidance clarifies how members in the group or individual health plans can seek reimbursement for over-the-counter (OTC) COVID antigen diagnostic home tests.

Effective Jan. 15, 2022, and for the duration of the national public health emergency, Medica members enrolled in individual plans and commercial fully and self-funded plans have coverage for OTC FDA authorized COVID-19 antigen tests without a prescription from a qualified health professional.

  • Coverage includes up to eight FDA-approved OTC COVID-19 antigen home tests for each member per month covered under a subscriber’s plan.
  • Tests can be obtained through a network pharmacy at no cost.*
  • Tests obtained at an out-of-network pharmacy or retailer are eligible for reimbursement at $12 per OTC test. Members will be required to submit a claim form to process reimbursement.
  • Tests purchased to fulfill employer-directed testing requirements are not eligible for reimbursement.

*If the network pharmacy is unable to directly submit the claim for the member’s OTC antigen tests, they can complete and submit a Pharmacy Claim Submission form. Completed forms and receipt(s) should be mailed to the following address for reimbursement:

Express Scripts
ATTN: Commercial Claims
P.O. Box. 14711
Lexington, KY 40512-4711

Or members can fax their claim form and receipt(s) to 1 (608) 741-5475.

A listing of FDA-approved Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) COVID-19 antigen tests can be found on the FDA’s website.

How can members order free at-home COVID-19 diagnostic test kits? – Updated on 1/18/22

Beginning Jan. 18, 2022, each U.S. household may order up to four free at-home antigen COVID-19 test kits from the federal government. The free test kits may be ordered at COVIDtests.gov and orders will ship for free.

Download our pdf about this here.


BLHCC and Westview Estates
Family/Resident/Tenant/Staff COVID-19 Update
January 19th, 2022

Residents, Staff, Families and Friends,

On January 18th we identified one additional staff member positive for COVID-19. We are wishing all of our ill staff and residents well. So far everyone is experiencing mild symptoms.

We will complete outbreak testing for all staff and residents this week on Thursday (Rapid tests) and on Monday January 24th (Mayo tests).

Thank you for your patience and understanding.

Sincerely,

Mark Rust                                      Kendra Hiles

Administrator                             Director of Nursing



BLHCC and Westview Estates
Family/Resident/Tenant/Staff COVID-19 Update
January 17th, 2022

Residents, Staff, Families and Friends,

We want to inform you that we identified three positive residents and three more positive staff today during our outbreak testing. All staff and residents are doing well. Most are experiencing cold like symptoms. We encourage everyone to wear there surgical mask at all times while in the facility. We are asking all residents to wear there mask for the entire time they are out of their room or apartment, this includes in the activity room. Communal dining is still open, but we encourage those who can to eat in their room.

Visitors, if you are experiencing any symptoms of COVID-19, or the common cold, refrain from visiting until your symptoms are gone and you feel better. Anyone with symptoms should get tested for COVID-19 as soon as possible to avoid spreading the disease further. If you feel you must visit; we ask that you use caution when you enter the facility. Keep your blue surgical mask on for your entire visit, sanitize your hands often (before and after entering or exiting a resident room) and practice social distancing. A phone call might be more appropriate if that is an option for your loved one.

We will complete outbreak testing for all staff and residents again on Thursday (Rapid tests) and on Monday next week (Mayo tests).

Please continue to take all the necessary precautions to keep yourself and others safe. Wear a mask, practice social distancing, get vaccinated and boosted, and stay home if you are feeling ill.

Sincerely,

Mark Rust                                                                               Kendra Hiles

Administrator                                                                          Director of Nursing


BLHCC and Westview Estates
Family/Resident/Tenant/Staff COVID-19 Update
January 15th, 2022

Residents, Staff, Families and Friends,

We discovered one COVID-19 positive staff today. All of our COVID positive staff are doing ok and experiencing mild symptoms. We will complete outbreak testing for all staff and residents on Monday and Thursday next week.

Please continue to take all the necessary precautions to keep yourself and others safe. Wear a mask, practice social distancing, get vaccinated and boosted, and stay home if you are feeling ill.

Mark Rust                                          Kendra Hiles

Administrator                                   Director of Nursing


BLHCC and Westview Estates
Family/Resident/Tenant/Staff COVID-19 Update
January 14th, 2022

Residents, Staff, Families and Friends,

We discovered one COVID-19 positive staff today during our routine testing. We will complete outbreak testing for all staff and residents on Monday and Thursday next week. We encourage any staff member who may be experiencing symptoms consistent with those of COVID-19 to please complete a rapid test immediately.

A reminder for visitors who enter our building; a BLUE SURGICAL mask is required to be worn throughout the facility when visiting. Our facility in outbreak status we encourage everyone to stay masked and practice social distancing during your entire visit.

Thank you for all you continue to do to keep our residents and staff safe.

Mark Rust                                                                  Kendra Hiles

Administrator                                                           Director of Nursing


BLHCC and Westview Estates
Family/Resident/Tenant/Staff COVID-19 Update
January 11th, 2022

Residents, Staff, Families and Friends,

We wanted to let you know that we discovered two COVID-19 positive staff yesterday during our routine testing and an additional staff self-reported being positive after taking an at home test. All three staff members had not been in the facility 48 hours prior to testing positive so no outbreak testing will be needed. We wanted to share this information with you as a cautionary statement; please wear your mask, use good hand hygiene and get vaccinated or boosted at your next availability.

Thank you for your ongoing support.

Mark Rust                                                                  Kendra Hiles

Administrator                                                           Director of Nursing


BLHCC and Westview Estates
Family/Resident/Tenant/Staff COVID-19 Update
December 30, 2021

ALL Families/ResidentS/Tenant/staff UPDATE:                               

This update is to let everyone know that we identified one positive staff case of COVID-19 today (December 30th).  The positive staff was in the building within 48 hours prior to testing positive and has no symptoms.

We are considered to be in outbreak status, however this staff had no contact with residents and we will only be testing all staff per our routine testing on Monday January 3rd with rapid tests.

Feel free to contact us with any questions.

It is best to email us at khiles@blhcc.org or mrust@blhcc.org

Mark Rust, Administrator

Kendra Hiles, Director of Nursing


Starting 2022 on a very positive note

All Staff,                                                                                                                        December 23, 2021

Your important work and dedication is being recognized. To help with the staffing challenges that Care Centers are dealing with the State of Minnesota will be providing funds for staff retention and sign-on bonuses.

  • All staff who are regularly scheduled to work, and have been here at least 90 days, will be eligible for a bonus of $1000 on January 12th. In addition, any staff who have worked at least 1000 hours in 2021 will be eligible for an additional $500
  • Any regularly scheduled staff who have worked less than 90 days will be eligible for the $1000 bonus after completing 90 days.

 

  • Any on-call staff who start working a regular schedule would become eligible for the $1000 bonus after 90 days.

 

The state funds do have a requirement that any staff member receiving a bonus must either be fully vaccinated or have an approved medical or religious exemption.           We want all our dedicated staff to receive a bonus                                                                         and will work toward that important goal.

 

  • To help bring on new staff, a sign-on bonus of $1000 will be paid out to new hires after completing 90 days.
  • In addition, we are starting a referral bonus of $500 for any staff member who recruits a new employee that works for us at least 90 days.

Under this program new hires must start by March 31, 2022.

 

 Thank you for all you do for our residents,                                                                                 

BLHCC Board of Directors

Please Note: The federal mandate requiring staff to be vaccinated or have an approved exemption continues to be on hold pending court proceedings. This bonus program is not directly related.


Greetings Residents, Staff, Families, Friends;

There have been a few changes to the visitor screening upon entry to our facility.

Visitors are now able to screen themselves into the building. Upon entry you will still need to put on a surgical mask, fill out a screening form and take your temperature just like you have in the past. The doors will open whenever you are ready to enter, you will no longer have to ring the doorbell unless you are visiting after hours.

Visits are still only allowed in a resident’s room or tenant’s apartment.

Also new, residents may have visitors at their choosing even during times of quarantine or isolation. Please note that if you choose to visit a resident while they are in quarantine/isolation due to COVID that this is a great threat to your own health. You will also be expected to wear the proper PPE to keep you safe. Nursing staff will guide you through this process. COVID-19 is a contagious virus that has proven to be detrimental to people from all ages, backgrounds and health statuses. The best way to protect yourself and others is to become vaccinated and get your COVID-19 booster doses, wear your mask, practice social distancing and stay home if you are sick or have been exposed to anyone who is positive for COVID-19.

If face to face visitation isn’t possible we have a few other options available. You can sign up for a virtual visit at https://www.signupgenius.com/go/904044AA9AF22A4F94-blhcc1 or go to our website at https://blhcc.org/, scroll down and you will see a link to sign up for our virtual visit. If you need assistance with signing up or need a different time and date that is not listed on our sign up,  please call Lyn at 320-833-5364 ext. 36 or e-mail: atotenhagen@blhcc.org and we will try out best to set it up for you and your loved one.

  • COVID-19 Update: A positive case of COVID-19 has been identified in a facility staff member. ALL residents and staff will be COVID tested with rapid tests on Thursday Dec. 16th 2021 and Mayo tests on Monday Dec. 20th. If no new cases are identified, we will return to our regular staff testing schedule..

BLHCC and Westview Estates
Staff/Family/Resident/Tenant COVID-19 Update

December 1st, 2021

ALL Families/ResidentS/Tenant/staff UPDATE:                               

This update is to let everyone know that we identified one positive staff case of COVID-19 today (December 1st).  The positive staff was in the building within 48 hours prior to symptom onset during the infectious period.

We are considered to be in outbreak status and have tested all residents and staff on Monday November 28th and will test everyone again Friday December 3rd with PCR tests and Monday December 6th with rapid tests.

We want to continue to encourage everyone to get vaccinated and if eligible to get your booster dose as soon as you are able. 

Feel free to contact us with any questions.

It is best to email us at khiles@blhcc.org or mrust@blhcc.org

Mark Rust, Administrator

Kendra Hiles, Director of Nursing


December 1, 2021

We have received notice that the CMS vaccine mandate has been put on hold pending court proceedings.  There is a strong possibility that things will move forward but the December 6th deadline no longer applies.

At this time we are encouraging staff to move forward and use this time to get your vaccine or complete your exemption.  We will not be moving forward with any employment implications until further information is known.

Thank you for all you do to care for our residents!  We appreciate each of you!!

Mark Rust, Administrator

Kendra Hiles, Director of Nursing


BLHCC and Westview Estates

Family/Resident/Tenant/Staff COVID-19 Update

November 27, 2021

ALL Families/ResidentS/Tenant/staff UPDATE:                               

This update is to let everyone know that we identified one positive staff case of COVID-19 yesterday.  We have tested all residents and staff as this staff was in the building within 48 hours prior to symptom onset and no further cases have been identified.

We will complete testing again on all staff, residents and tenants again on Monday November 29th with rapid tests and Friday December 3rd with the Mayo tests (PCR).

So far, vaccines have proven to be effective, protecting those who are fully vaccinated against severe illness, hospitalization and death.  While vaccinated people have tested positive to COVID these people do not tend to end up with the severe illness, this means the vaccine is doing its job.

We want to continue to encourage everyone to get vaccinated and if eligible to get your booster dose as soon as you are able. 

We will be offering vaccines and booster doses for staff at the facility on December 1st.

If you wish to begin the vaccination series please contact Kendra or Shyann to get scheduled.  There is no charge for the vaccine.

While we are all very tired we could not be more Thankful for everyone’s continued support!!  We are truly blessed with an amazing care team!

Sincerely,

Mark Rust, Administrator

Kendra Hiles, Director of Nursing


November 23rd, 2021

Educare:  We have signed an agreement to work with Educare to provide on-line education services.   This will help to ensure that all staff has the proper training to perform their job.

Educare Log in:

***No Courses are too be completed while you are punched in, you can complete while at work but are not to be “on the clock”. ***

1) Go to educaretrainingonline.westnetmlp.com **Please make sure you are only using this website**

2) Enter in your username: Your first name and the first four of your birthday.  Example:  Joe Smith with a birthday of 4/2/1992 username is:  joe0402

3) Enter in your password:  blhcc or blhcc1 if you were hired after 9/1/2018

4) Click submit

5) Click on the course you would like to start, click launch course and your course will start, you will need to advance each slide by clicking the play button. (The slides have both written information and audio presentation – you will need to have sound on your computer).  There is a test-out you must pass to successfully complete a course.

6) You can stop and resume a course at anytime.  The system will remember where you left off.

Pay:

We will reimburse you for completing the courses.  The courses you are assigned are mandatory to complete on a quarterly basis.  This quarter will be October, November and December.  You will have until December 31st to complete the courses you are assigned and will get paid for the normal run time of the course on your January 7th paycheck. No overtime will be paid for educational hours. You do not need to turn in any information to be paid, we will run a report to determine who has completed the courses.  If you do not complete the course by December 31st you will not be paid but will still be required to complete the courses as part of your job requirements.

Internet access:  If you do not have easy access to internet services (home/library) we will provide accommodations on an individual basis.

**For employees who are not comfortable with the instructions provided or would like to learn more about this required training; Kendra provide training.  See or call Kendra to arrange a training date.

Courses:

Title Runtime CEU
Infection Prevention and Control PPE 15.50 1.0
Resident Rights–SNF 22.21 0.75

You must complete all courses by December 31st. You will receive 1 hours of in-service pay on your January 7th paycheck.  CEU’s certificates can be printed upon request by the business office.

 **If you attended the Fall Festival and completed both activities, your Educare for the 4th Quarter has been marked completed!!**


Covid19 Vaccination Policy Meeting Video:

Click HERE for a full video

IF the full video does not work for you, please click on each video, each video is 17 minutes long, video 5 is about 1 minute and 45 sec.

Video 1

Video 2

Video 3

Video 4

Video 5


November 17, 2021

Buffalo Lake Healthcare Center and Westview Estates
Vaccination Policy Summary

(Full policy located in the COVID binder in the Employee Breakroom & Nurses desk after December 5th, 2021)

It is the policy of the Buffalo Lake Healthcare Center and Westview Estates (BLHCC) to require COVID-19 vaccinations for all current and future employees or have an approved medical or religious exemption. This policy is effective immediately and will remain in effect until CMS regulations change or BLHCC dismantles the policy. Vaccination is one of the most important and effective strategies to preventing severe illness or health from coronavirus. Under the direction of CMS and MNOSHA BLHCC is developing a policy that will ensure safety for our staff, residents, families, and friends.

CMS has the process laid out in two phases:

Phase I: By December 5, 2021, all employees must have received the first dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine or a single dose of the Janssen vaccine or have requested a medical or religious exemption.

Phase II: By January 4, 2022, all employees must have received the second dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine or a single dose of the Janssen vaccine or have an approved medical or religious exemption.

Medical and religious exemptions are available for those who provide evidence and proof of the necessity for the exemption they are applying for. Exemptions should be requested by completing the appropriate form and given to the Business Office.

Staff will be paid for time away from work to receive the vaccine and for any days missed due to illness or adverse side effects that develop up to two days after the vaccine is administered. Proof from a licensed medical professional will be required for severe illness or reactions that extend past 72 hours. Your personal PPL will not be used to cover this time off.

Staff will be required to show proof of receiving their vaccine either by giving the facility a copy of the vaccine card or by allowing the facility to look up vaccine information via MICC.

Staff who choose not to comply with vaccination requirements of Phase I or Phase II will be put on unpaid leave for 30 days. By the end other 30 days, staff will need to have started their vaccine series to comply with the vaccine requirement or request an exemption, or be terminated.

Vaccine Mandate Decision Tree

Download a pdf of the Vaccine Mandate Tree.

Alixa RX COVID-19 Consent Form

Download a pdf of the Alixa RX COVID-19 Consent Form.

Request for Medical Exemption/Accommodation from Mandatory COVID-19 Vaccination

Download a pdf of the Request for Medical Exemption page 1.
Download page 2 of this file.

Request for a Religious Exception or Accommodation from Mandatory COVID-19 Vaccination

In order to request a religious exception, please fill out this form. The purpose of this form is to start the accommodation process and help your agency determine whether you may be eligible for a religious exception. You do not need to answer every question on the form to be considered for a religious exception, but we encourage you to provide as much information as possible to enable the agency to evaluate your request. Where there is an objective basis to do so, the agency may ask you for additional information as needed to determine if you are legally entitled to an exception. Objections to COVID-19 vaccinations that are based on non-religious reasons, including personal preferences or non-religious concerns about the vaccine, do not qualify for a religious exception.

Employers may consider several factors in assessing whether a request for an exception is based on a sincerely held religious belief, including whether the employee has acted in a manner inconsistent with their professed belief. But no one factor is determinative. An individual’s beliefs—or degree of adherence—may change over time and, therefore, an employee’s newly adopted or inconsistently observed practices may nevertheless be based on a sincerely held religious belief. All requests for a religious exception will be evaluated on an individual basis.

Request For A Religious Exception To The COVID 19 Exception To The COVID 19 Vaccination Requirement

Download a pdf of the Religious Exemption.


November 10th, 2021

COVID-19 Vaccine MANDATE Staff Meeting:

For:  All Unvaccinated Staff- All staff are WELCOME to attend

What:  COVID-19 Vaccine Mandates

Where:  Activity Room

When:  2pm Wednesday November 17th

Facility staff will provide education on the new mandate, exception process, timelines and answer questions.

**You will also be able to call in on our conference call line if you are unable to attend in person.  If you get a busy signal just keep calling.  #425-436-6348

Access number=681-808

We will also be trying to record this meeting for those that are absolutely unable to attend.


Health/Benefits renewal deadline is November 30th

Annual Employee Health Insurance and Benefits Meetings

Thursday November 18th    

1:30pm   or    3:00pm

Presentation will be in the new Activity Room

Health/Benefits renewal date is November 30th  

Changes will be effective January 1st

********

If you work at least 20 hours per week:

You are eligible for Colonial Life Insurances, Eye Med & Delta Dental

Information packets will be handed out at the November 18th meetings and will be at the front reception desk after that for you to pick up. The deadline to enroll, change or drop these       insurances is November 30th – all changes are effective January 1st.

 

*********

If you work at least 30 hours per week:

You are eligible for the health insurance and HSA Benefit

Information and packets will be given out at the November 18th meetings.

 You must sign up by November 30th.

If you work 30 hours per week and don’t want the health insurance please sign the waiver

and return to the business office by November 30th.


To All Staff,

As you may have heard, the federal government announced today that January 4th will be the date that health care workers and/or anyone that works for a company with 100 or more employees will be required to have received a COVID-19 vaccination.

The actual regulations have not been published yet so we do not know specific details. We will be setting up a meeting for all unvaccinated staff after the regulations are published.

We sincerely hope to not lose any staff because of this mandate. While we strongly believe that vaccinations are in the best interest of all of us, our families, our residents and our community; we also understand that some staff have strong feelings about vaccinations.

At the meeting we will go over the regulations, discuss concerns that have been brought up about vaccinations and go over the exemption process that any who wishes can apply for.

We do not have specific information on exemptions yet, other than the quote “they are to be based on recognized medical conditions or beliefs, observances or practices”. Our intent is to be as supportive of exemptions as the regulations will allow.

Again, as soon as we get more information on these regulations we will schedule a meeting to go over them.

Mark Rust, Administrator

Kendra Hiles, DON


BLHCC and Westview Estates

Family/Resident/Tenant/Staff COVID-19 Update

November 3, 2021

ALL Families/Residents/Tenant/staff UPDATE:                               

This update is to let everyone know that we identified one positive staff case of COVID-19 during our outbreak testing Monday 11/1/21.  The testing is now complete for all staff, residents, and tenants with no other cases identified.

We will complete testing again on all staff, residents and tenants on Monday November 8th.  If everyone is negative at that time we will return to our once per week testing of all staff and twice per week testing of unvaccinated staff (Unvaccinated staff will also be tested this week on Thursday).

At this time the county transmission rate for Renville County is very high at 15.22% with 118 cases identified in the county in the last 7 days.  Your best options for protection remain to be vaccinated, practice social distancing, good hand hygiene and mask up.

So far, vaccines have proven to be effective, protecting those who are fully vaccinated against severe illness, hospitalization and death.  While vaccinated people have tested positive to COVID these people do not tend to end up with the severe illness, this means the vaccine is doing its job.

We want to continue to encourage everyone to get vaccinated and get your booster shots. You are eligible for a booster shot 6 months following your second vaccine of Pfizer or Moderna and 2 months after the Jassen vaccine.

We will be offering booster doses for the vaccine here to all residents, tenants and staff.  Our main pharmacy provider will be providing these doses beginning today.  We encourage families and community members to reach out to your clinic to set up your vaccine.

If you wish to begin the vaccination series please contact Kendra or Shyann to get a date scheduled.  There is no charge for the vaccine.

Thank you for all your continued support!

Sincerely,

Mark Rust, Administrator                                                Kendra Hiles, Director of Nursing


All Staff:                                                                                                   November 2021

We are so proud of all our staff’s dedication in dealing with the continued challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic. Both in caring for our residents and in your own personal lives. Your efforts are exceptional.

The Board of Directors is always thankful and appreciative of our incredible staff. The Board has authorized an increase of $1.00/hour for all staff. This increase is effective with hours worked starting November 1st.

Thank you for all you do for our residents and their families,

Mark Rust

**If you are not current with all your Educare training modules,  please complete them by November 15th  **


Dear Staff;

BLHCC will be hosting a COVID-19 vaccine booster clinic on November 3rd. Residents and staff are eligible to receive the booster dose 6 months after receiving their second dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine. AlixaRX, our in-house pharmacy will be providing and administering these booster doses. Consent forms can be found by the time clock. Please fill out and return a booster vaccine consent form to Kendra, Shyann or Michelle by Monday, Nov 1st.

For anyone who received the Johnson & Johnson Janssen vaccine, you are eligible to receive a booster dose two months after your initial dose. AlixaRX will not be able to supply the Janssen vaccine booster on Nov 3rd, but the CDC has approved the ability to mix and match vaccines. If you received the Janssen vaccine and want a booster dose of Pfizer or Moderna, please fill out a consent form or if you want a booster of the Janssen vaccine contact Shyann, she can assist you in finding a location that offers the Janssen booster vaccine.

Remember if you are ill or experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 that you need to let the facility know and complete a rapid or PCR test. If you are experiencing symptoms or have tested positive but are not working for a few days, we ask that you still let us know of your symptoms and/or positive test. There are certain steps that the facility must take immediately if a staff member or resident is ill or tests positive.

In Other News: We still do not have any further information regarding the vaccine mandate. We had been told to expect guidance by the end of October. We are in the last week of October, and these guidelines could still come out by the end of the week, but that is not a guarantee. Please hang in there, we will give you any information as soon as we have it.

We know that staffing continues to be a challenge and it is frustrating for all of us. You should know, that although the residents notice that we are shorthanded they continue to say good things about our staff.

Even though they are in a hurry, they are still courteous and nice.” “We know that they have many people to care for, but they still take time for me.”

Keep up the good work, the residents appreciate all you do! We appreciate all you do!

Mark Rust                                                        Kendra Hiles
Administrator                                               Director of Nursing


BLHCC and Westview Estates

Family/Resident/Tenant/Staff COVID-19 Update

October 26, 2021

ALL Families/ResidentS/Tenant/staff UPDATE:                                

This update is to let everyone know that we identified one positive staff case of COVID-19 during our routine testing yesterday (Monday 10/25/21) afternoon.  We have completed testing on all staff, residents, and tenants with no other cases identified.

We will complete testing again on all staff, residents and tenants on Monday November 1st.  If everyone is negative at that time we will return to our once per week testing of all staff and twice per week testing of unvaccinated staff (Unvaccinated staff will also be tested this week on Thursday).

So far, vaccines have proven to be effective, protecting those who are fully vaccinated against severe illness, hospitalization and death.  While vaccinated people have tested positive to COVID these people do not tend to end up with the severe illness, this means the vaccine is doing its job.

We want to continue to encourage everyone to get vaccinated. Vaccination, along with social distancing, mask usage per recommendations, and hand hygiene are the best tools we have at fighting this virus.

We will be offering booster doses for the vaccine here to all residents, tenants and staff.  Our main pharmacy provider will be providing these doses and we are working with them to work out dates and will keep you posted as we know more.

If you wish to begin the vaccination series please contact Kendra or Shyann to get a date scheduled.  There is no charge for the vaccine.

Thank you for all your continued support!

Sincerely,

Mark Rust, Administrator

Kendra Hiles, Director of Nursing


*Flu Vaccine Clinic for Staff Under the Age of 65*

September 27th from 2pm-3:15pm
* Come in Door #11
*Complete your COVID test
*Get your flu shot
*Protect yourself and those around you!!!

THANK YOU!!!


ALL STAFF/FAMILIES/RESIDENT ALERT:  

We are happy to announce that all COVID-19 testing has been completed for today and we are back open to visiting at this time.  Everyone (staff and residents/tenants) will be tested again on Tuesday September 7th.   

Please remember that visiting should only take place in the resident/tenant room, you are required to wear a mask at all times, and in all areas of the building, including the resident room.  There are no visitors allowed in the activity room with other residents, and eating or drinking while visiting is not allowed.   

Thank you for your continued effort to keep everyone safe! 

Please contact us at any time with questions or concerns (320) 833-5364.   

Mark Rust Administrator   

Kendra Hiles Director of Nursing 


BLHCC and Westview Estates
Staff/Family/Resident/Tenant COVID-19 Update

September 1, 2021

ALL STAFF/FAMILIES/RESIDENT ALERT:

This notice is to let everyone know that we have received notice of a positive case of COVID-19 in one staff member. This puts our facility into outbreak status and we are immediately testing all residents/tenants. Staff have been required to test weekly and will be tested again on Tuesday next week. Until testing is complete on all residents/tenants, and we know that everyone is negative for COVID-19, we are closed to visitors at this time.

Please watch for further notices.

Mark Rust
Administrator

Kendra Hiles
Director of Nursing


Attention ALL Buffalo Lake Healthcare Center Staff;

In an effort to keep our residents, tenants, and staff safe from the ever present variants of COVID-19, BLHCC will now require weekly COVID-19 testing for ALL employees regardless of vaccination status. Testing is available from 2-3pm on Mondays in the chapel area through August. In September the testing area will move to the old break room. If you miss the scheduled testing time frame or will not be available during this time you must test BEFORE your next shift. Alert, Kendra, Shyann or the charge nurse if you perform your test outside of the Monday hour, this way your result can be read and documented.

Yesterday, August 18th, President Biden announced guidance for long term care facilities, that are Medicare and Medicaid funded.  The guidance is mandating the COVID-19 vaccine for all staff or lose funding.  Details of the policy have not yet been released, leaving us without information on a number of key issues.  We will share any information with you as it becomes available. The COVID-19 vaccine is available at local clinics, pharmacies, and at BLHCC. Our next vaccine clinic at BLHCC will be held in September, date TBA.

Booster doses for Long Term care staff and residents are also set to begin in parts of the country in September and will be available to anyone who previously received their vaccine at least eight months prior to the booster dose. We will alert you when the booster dose becomes available here at the facility and we know more information.

We know this leaves many of you with unanswered questions.  The truth is that we do not have the answers on how this will all work at this time.  We expect the next couple of weeks to be filled with guidance and direction and will keep you informed as we know more.  We thank you, and our resident’s thank you for your care as we move into the next chapter of this virus.

Sincerely,

Mark Rust, Administrator

Kendra Hiles, Director of Nursing


Staff, Residents, Families and Friends,

COVID-19 Update:

Due to the rising cases of COVID-19 within our region and county BLHCC has decided to take steps to be proactive in our response to keep everyone safe.

Effective immediately:

  • All visitors must wear a mask inside our facility at all times regardless of vaccination status, this also means no eating or drinking with your loved one.
  • Per MDH recommendations, ALL unvaccinated staff will be required to complete a rapid COVID 19 test weekly. Testing will be held from 2-3pm on Mondays starting August 9th. Anyone who misses the testing time will be expected to test before their next scheduled shift.

We understand that these changes are frustrating but it is the best way to keep everyone safe. The COVID-19 variant, Delta, is spreading rapidly. We strongly encourage EVERYONE to get vaccinated if they are not already, consider wearing your mask while out in the community and continue to use good hand hygiene and practice social distancing.

Thank you for your continued support!

Mark Rust                                                                                                      Kendra Hiles

BLHCC Administrator                                                                                  Director of Nursing



Educare Information for Staff

Educare:  We have signed an agreement to work with Educare to provide online education services.   This will help to ensure that all staff has the proper training to perform their job.   

Educare Log in:  

***No Courses are to be completed while you are punched in, you can complete them while at work but are not to be “on the clock”. *** 

1) Go to educaretrainingonline.westnetmlp.com **Please make sure you are only using this website** 

2) Enter your username: Your first name and the first four of your birthday.  Example:  Joe Smith with a birthday of 4/2/1992 username is:  joe0402 

3) Enter in your password:  blhcc or blhcc1 if you were hired after 9/1/2018 

4) Click submit 

5) Click on the course you would like to start, click launch course and your course will start, you will need to advance each slide by clicking the play button. (The slides have both written information and audio presentation – you will need to have sound on your computer).  There is a test-out you must pass to successfully complete a course. 

6) You can stop and resume a course at any time.  The system will remember where you left off.  

Pay: 

We will reimburse you for completing the courses.  The courses you are assigned are mandatory to complete on a quarterly basis.  This quarter will be July, August, and September.  You will have until September 30th to complete the courses you are assigned and will get paid for the normal run time of the course on your October 7th paycheck. No overtime will be paid for educational hours. You do not need to turn in any information to be paid, we will run a report to determine who has completed the courses.  If you do not complete the course by September 30 you will not be paid but will still be required to complete the courses as part of your job requirements.  

Internet access:  If you do not have easy access to internet services (home/library) we will provide accommodations on an individual basis.   

**For employees who are not comfortable with the instructions provided or would like to learn more about this required training; Kendra provide training.  See or call Kendra to arrange a training date. 

Courses:   

Title  Runtime  CEU 
Emergency Preparedness-Site & Natural Hazards – SNF  26:40  1.0 
Mental Illness  23.46  .75 
Client Mobility-Exercise & Ambulation—for Nursing Only  8:40  .50 
     

You must complete all courses by September 30th. You will receive 2 hours of in-service pay or 2.5 hours for Nursing staff on your October 7th paycheck.  CEU’s certificates can be printed upon request by the business office. 


BLHCC and Westview Estates

Family/Resident/Tenant/Staff COVID-19 Update

July 21, 2021

ALL Families/Residents/Tenant/staff UPDATE:                                            

We wanted to update you on the results of our outbreak testing that was completed after a positive case was identified on July 6th.  Our test results from our last round of outbreak testing was completed on Monday. All results are in and EVERYONE IS NEGATIVE! This means we are no longer considered to be in outbreak status. The current county positivity rate in Renville County is very low at 0.7%. This is great news, but we are watching the states and counties around us closely. There are various strains of the COVID-19 virus still out there and making their way into the southern counties in our state.  They are impacting people in different ways. Research is ongoing in the effectiveness of our current vaccines against the multiple strains of COVID-19. So far, vaccines have proven to be effective, protecting those who are fully vaccinated against severe illness, hospitalization and death.

We want to continue to encourage everyone to get vaccinated. Vaccination, along with social distancing, mask usage per recommendations, and hand hygiene are the best tools we have at fighting this virus. Attached at the end of this letter you will find a document we have put together with links to find out where and how you can get vaccinated.  It’s not too late!

Thank you for all your continued support!

Sincerely,

Mark Rust, Administrator

Kendra Hiles, Director of Nursing

How Can I Get My COVID Vaccine?

Call Your Local Clinic – Clinics are receiving allotments of vaccine. They receive a specific number of doses each week, vaccine brand may vary. They will schedule you or add you to a waitlist.

Go to https://mn.gov/covid19/vaccine/connector/ or google search MN vaccine connector you will fill out a form to include your location, employment category and medical information.

Visit www.vaccinefinder.org on this website, you can select a specific vaccine you are looking for (Johnson & Johnson, Moderna, Pfizer). It will give you all the pharmacies within your search area that can help you get vaccinated. You can then call that pharmacy and schedule an appointment.

Sign up on the Thrifty White website: https://www.thriftywhite.com/covid19vaccine .

Visit the MDH website https://mn.gov/covid19/vaccine/index.jsp

 

Call Shyann Topel Safety Director for the Buffalo Lake Healthcare Center – She can assist you in finding a vaccine clinic closest to you. (320)-833-5364 ext 30

 


July 6th, 2021

This morning, we were notified of a positive COVID-19 case in a staff member. COVID-19 rapid tests are being completed facility wide for all residents and staff.  At this time, we have not identified any further cases. We are open for all visitors. Per MDH and CDC guidelines, we will test all residents and staff weekly for two weeks. If no further cases are identified, we will no longer be considered to be in “outbreak” mode and will return to routine monthly testing of staff. Please feel free to contact Mark, Kendra, Shyann or Michelle if you have any questions or concerns at 320-833-5364.


 June 2021

All Staff:                                                                                    

 

The challenges of dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic have been very difficult, both in caring for our residents and in your own personal lives. Your efforts are always greatly appreciated.

We have been fortunate that the federal and state governments have helped us with additional financial support to make it through this challenge. Early in this struggle (March 2020) the Board of Directors made the decision to allocate most of this additional aid directly to the staff in the form of a $2.00/hour special pay bonus and a bonus pay of one hour for COVID Testing.  The remaining balance of the aid went to paying for additional PPE and the required staff testing that insurance didn’t cover. This financial aid ends June 30th and with that, these two staff bonuses will end.

 

The Board of Directors is always grateful and appreciative of our tremendous staff.  While our financial situation does not allow us to totally match the special pay bonus, the Board has authorized an increase of $1.00/hour for all staff and an additional $.50/hour for all staff that has have worked here two years or longer. Staff who have work less than two years will get a $.50/hour increase on your next employment anniversary (your first or second anniversary).

This wage increase is effective starting with hours worked on July 1st *

Thank you for all you do for our residents and their families,

Mark Rust

* You must be current with all Educare training modules to receive this increase. Otherwise, you will receive this increase when all your training modules are complete (if your Educare is current as of July 15th you will get the increase beginning July 1st)

______________________________________________________________________

Unvaccinated Staff Testing

May 24th and May 27th 2pm-3:15pm

(Rapid Testing)

June Testing Date for Unvaccinated Staff – June 21st 2021 as long as the county positivity rate stays below 5% and no new cases of COVID-19 are identified.

N95 Mask Fit Testing for RN/LPN, TMA, NAR on June 14th – watch schedule for your appointment time. All staff scheduled for fit testing must also fill out a medical evaluation form prior to fit testing and turn it into Kendra or Shyann by June 7th.



BLHCC and Westview Estates

Family/Resident/Tenant/Staff COVID-19 Update

May 12, 2021

ALL STAFF/FAMILIES/RESIDENTS/TENANT UPDATE:

As we reflect back on this last year we remember how hard it was when the pandemic began. There was fear, anxiety, disbelief and even anger. We are once again in a position where all of those emotions come into play. We are officially in the “recovery” mode of this pandemic and now we feel the same emotions as we move forward and try to re-build a new normal in all our lives. MDH, CDC, and CMS have laid out new guidance once again to further help our residents, staff and their families move forward. We’ve broken out the new guidance below.

Visiting Guidance Changes:

All Visitors Must:

  • Visitors must be asked if they have received their vaccine on their screening form upon entry. Those who are unvaccinated or those who do not want to disclose this information should be treated as unvaccinated people.
  • Visitors must continue to wear surgical masks upon entry and throughout the facility, in hallways and common areas.
  • BLHCC no longer needs to enforce 3 people per room or limit the number of people in the facility at any one time.
  • Visitors under Age 16 must continue to wear a mask.                    Those under the age of 2 are still prohibited from entrance because  of inability to wear a mask, you may visit outside.

Fully Vaccinated Visitors:

  •  Vaccinated visitors may visit and/or eat with their loved one in the resident’s room unmasked if the resident is also fully vaccinated.

– Unvaccinated Visitors:

  • · Must continue to wear a mask during their entire visit and may not eat or drink while in the facility.
  • · Must continue to practice 6 foot social distancing while visiting if the resident is unvaccinated.

Resident Activity and Dining Changes:

  • – Fully vaccinated Residents may sit next to each other without masks for dining and activities.
  • · If an unvaccinated resident enters the room, the unvaccinated resident must stay 6 feet from others and everyone in the room must wear their mask (unless eating).
  • – All Residents must continue to wear masks in the hallways while going to/from another part of the facility.

Staff:

  • – We are to take the visitors word for their vaccination status and we are trusting visitors to follow guidance based on their vaccination status. As visitors enter they will be reminded of the visiting (PPE) guidelines. There will be cards to give visitors at the front door related to visiting guidelines.
  • – Staff PPE requirements have NOT changed. All staff must wear surgical mask and eye protection at all times in resident care areas. Eating should continue to only take place in the break room.
  • – If a visitor or another resident asks about a resident’s vaccination status encourage them to ask the resident directly, if the resident cannot respond assume they are unvaccinated.

We continue to be extremely proud of our staff for the hard work they put in each day to keep everyone safe. We also are so thankful for the patience and grace we have received from our families, residents and friends. This past year has not been easy but we cannot emphasis enough how much you all mean to us. Thank you for your support!

Sincerely,

Mark Rust Administrator                Kendra Hiles Director of Nursing


Outbreak Staff Testing Schedule

May 13th from 2pm-3:15pm (Mayo Testing)

· Please alert your supervisor of any issues with scheduling.

  • Tested In AM Before 7am: NOC Staff who worked night before
  • 2pm: Tonya, Tim, Lori P, Janice, Melly, Angela, Joni, Pam, Sharon, Traci, Aliyah, Lacy, Wanda, Colleen, Shylah, Katie Antonson, Diane
  • 2:15pm: Caitlin, Misty, Kayloni, Lisa, Karen, Gloria, Carrie, Joy Z., Michelle, Kenny, Bo, Maria, Maleena, Denise, Vanessa E.P., Crystal, Vanessa T.
  • 2:30pm: Heidi, Jennie, Katie Andrews, Lyn, Sue Major, Marty, Kirsten, Jonna, Jasmine, Lori F., Calissa, Ranell, Gabi, Cher, Joyce, Mercedes
  • 2:45pm: Connie, Serena, Ashley, Monica, Rhonda, Krissy, Melony, Kendra, Mark, Savannah N, Presley, Megan, Alsaycia, Sue B., McKenna, Janet, Natalie
  • 3pm (After School): Cheyenne, Kayla H., Carolyn, Savannah A, Tori, Sam B., Shyann, Mariah, Morgan K., Matrik, Taelor, Ruth, Marikia, Valerie, Lucielle
  • Therapy/Hospice/Pastors: Lynette, Rebecca, Sara, Sherry V., Sherry T-N, Shelby, Dr. Shorter, Kelly, Elizabeth, Miranda, Mary, Pastor Amy, Father Joe, Ashley, Tammy Davis, Paul Lutter, Maggie, Mary, Sandy, Billie, Marie

BLHCC and Westview Estates

Staff COVID-19 Update

May 10, 2021

ALL STAFF/ FAMILIES/RESIDENTS/TENANT UPDATE:

Today we identified a positive case of COVID-19 in one of our staff. Due to this case all visits had to be temporarily suspended until testing on everyone (staff and residents was complete). All staff and residents have since been tested with rapid testing and no further cases have been identified. This means in facility visits may resume.

This one case does place us in outbreak status and we are therefore required to test everyone again every 3-7 days for 2 weeks. We will be testing this week again on Thursday. Next week we will test everyone on Monday 5/17 and Thursday 5/20. If there are no positive cases identified we will return to routine testing of the required staff per the county positivity rate.

If you have any questions, do not hesitate to contact us at 320-833-5364 or khiles@blhcc.org.

Sincerely,

Mark Rust Administrator Kendra Hiles Director of Nursing


COVID-19 Vaccine Opportunities Local Public Health

If you would like to get your COVID-19 Vaccine, here are a few opportunities for you. Beginning on Friday, May 7 at 9:00 a.m., those 18 years and older can schedule an appointment to receive a COVID-19 vaccine on Thursday, May 13 or Tuesday, May 18.

  • Clinic Schedule: Fairfax Community Center Thursday, May 13 from 9:00 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. (Return June 10 for 2nd dose)
  • Zion Lutheran Church (Buffalo Lake) Thursday, May 13 from 1:00 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. (Return June 10 for 2nd dose)
  • Sacred Heart Community Center Tuesday, May 18 from 9:00 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. (Return June 15 for 2nd dose)
  • The type of COVID-19 vaccine provided will be the Moderna brand. To schedule an appointment, visit www.renvillecountymn.com.

If you need help scheduling your appointment or have questions please see Shyann. If your appointment lands during your scheduled working hours, you will be allowed to leave for your appointment. Remember, after you receive your vaccine to bring in your vaccine card and show it to your supervisor.

Thank you and have a good weekend!


BLHCC COVID-19

Staff Message

5/3/2021

Staff update:

When this pandemic began over a year ago guidance and rules changed rapidly. The same can be said now while we move into the recovery phase of COVID-19. Within the last week MDH, CDC and CMS have all made changes in the guidelines for visiting, testing and PPE usage in regards to vaccinated and unvaccinated residents and staff. We continue to wait for MDH to allow us to implement some of these guidelines as they do not comingle with the MN Executive Masking Order. So far here is what we know. Starting Thursday, May 6th –

FULLY Vaccinated Staff/Volunteers

(FULLY Vaccinated means: 2 weeks after first dose in a single dose series or 2 weeks after last does in a two dose series)

*Are NOT required to test monthly/weekly/twice per week, as part of routine testing.

*Are STILL REQUIRED to test during an outbreak in the facility (Outbreak = One COVID-19 positive staff or resident regardless of vaccination status)

*Must get tested if symptoms of COVID-19 develop.

*Are NOT required to quarantine after a high-risk exposure. (This may vary based on exposure length and ability to quarantine away from the positive person. Please alert your supervisor if you have had a high risk exposure.)

*Must be tested immediately after a high risk exposure and 3-7 days later

*Are still welcome to be tested during regular testing hours if they desire.

Unvaccinated Staff

*Are REQUIRED to test for both routine and outbreak testing. Currently Mondays and Thursdays from 2pm-3:15pm

* Must get tested if symptoms of COVID-19 Develop.

*MUST quarantine for 14 days following a high risk exposure to someone who is positive for COVID-19.

PPE usage for fully vaccinated and unvaccinated residents, and visitors is also being reviewed. We will alert you of these changes, hopefully within the next week when MDH finalizes these changes.

If you have not received your COVID-19 vaccine and are interested in receiving it in the future, please speak with Shyann. BLHCC is in the process of setting up a vaccination clinic at the facility as soon as possible. We hope to offer the Moderna and Johnson & Johnson Vaccine.

Thank you for all that you do every day! We are truly blessed to have such a great team at BLHCC!

Mark Rust – Administrator Kendra Hiles – Director of Nursing


COVID-19 Large Scale Emergency

Nursing homes across the United States are required to complete one Large Scale Emergency Drill every year. This last year, 2020, we experienced a real emergency, the COVID-19 Pandemic. Our regulatory agencies will allow us to use the real emergency in place for a drill. Part of the documentation required is feedback from anyone involved in the emergency.

You were all part of the COVID-19 pandemic, impacted in some way. So, I am asking you to fill out this short survey. Click on the link below.

Thank you for all you have done and continue to do. Your responses to the survey will be reviewed and compiled to be included in the After Action Report. You have the option to remain anonymous.

Click Here https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/9QVMK2W

Routine Staff Testing Schedule

May 3rd from 2pm-3:15pm (Mayo Testing)

Beginning May 3rd – Staff will be required to test twice per week due to the high COVID-19 positivity rate in Renville county.

· Please alert your supervisor of any issues with scheduling.

Tested In AM Before 7am: NOC Staff who worked night before

  • 2pm: Tonya, Tim, Lori P, Janice, Melly, Angela, Joni, Pam, Sharon, Traci, Aliyah, Lacy, Wanda, Colleen, Shylah, Katie Antonsen, Diane
  • 2:15pm: Caitlin, Misty, Kayloni, Lisa, Karen, Gloria, Carrie, Joy Z., Michelle, Kenny, Bo, Maria, Maleena, Denise, Vanessa E.P., Crystal, Vanessa T.
  • 2:30pm: Heidi, Jennie, Katie Andrews, Lyn, Sue Major, Marty, Kirsten, Jonna, Jasmine, Lori F., Calissa, Ranell, Gabi, Cher, Joyce, Mercedes
  • 2:45pm: Connie, Serena, Ashley, Monica, Rhonda, Krissy, Melony, Kendra, Mark, Savannah N, Presley, Megan, Alsaycia, Sue B., McKenna, Janet
  • 3pm (After School): Cheyenne, Kayla H., Carolyn, Savannah A, Tori, Sam B., Shyann, Mariah, Morgan K., Matrik, Taelor, Ruth, Marikia
  • Therapy/Hospice/Pastors: Lynette, Rebecca, Sara, Sherry V., Sherry T-N, Shelby, Dr. Shorter, Kelly, Elizabeth, Miranda, Mary, Pastor Amy, Father Joe, Ashley, Tammy Davis, Paul Lutter, Maggie, Mary, Sandy, Billie, Mari

BLHCC and Westview Estates

Staff COVID-19 Update

April 20, 2021

All Staff:

All our test results from this week are in and again everyone is negative. With the Renville County positivity rate still above 5%, we will have to continue weekly staff testing. There are many reasons for optimism, however the pandemic is not over and we still need to maintain safe practices at work and home.

With great appreciation and respect we wish to thank all our staff for your efforts this past year to keep our residents and co-workers safe and healthy.

With the great success of the vaccines, our residents and tenants are now able to enjoy a life that is much closer to normal. Half of Americans over 18 have now received at least 1 vaccine shot. If you have not been vaccinated yet, please continue to consider this option.

Staff Parking Update

With some COVID-19 restrictions being lifted for long term care facilities; we are now able to return to our normal parking arrangements. We want Yellowstone Trail to be used primarily by families, visitors and outpatients. Church Ave. is the primary parking area for staff and therapists. This is why we added additional parking on the west end of Church Ave. We are also now asking staff to return to the parking policy that is in our Employee Handbook, specifically, Employees should NOT PARK on Seventh Street (East or West side) or the North side of Church Street. Simply put, do not park directly in front of or on the side of the homes adjacent to the back of the care center.

Mental Health and Wellness

As this pandemic continues to affect everyone in different ways please be aware there are resources that you can utilize to focus on your own mental well-being. Also be mindful that what affects co-workers can be very different from what you yourself are experiencing. Always remember it is ok to ask for help! See Resources listed below: ·

  • National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) Minnesota: Connect for help, to navigate the mental health system, and for support and for resources. Call: 1-888-NAMI-Helps / 1-888-626-4435
  • · Minnesota Association for Children’s Mental Health: Connect for help, to navigate the mental health system, and for support and for resources. o Call: 1-800-528-4511
  • · Crisis Text Line: The 24/7 emergency service is available if you or someone you know is experiencing a psychiatric or mental health crisis.
  • Text: “MN” to 741741
  • · Crisis Services: Call **CRISIS (274747) from a mobile phone to talk to your county mental health crisis team. From a landline, find your county mental health crisis phone number here:
  • Adult Mental Health Crisis Response Numbers Renville Cty:
  • 1-800-432-8781
  • McLeod Cty: 1-320-864-2713 Sibley: 1-877-399-3040
  • Children Mental Health Crisis Response Numbers
  • · Minnesota Warmline: Are you an adult needing support? Talk to a specialist who has firsthand experience living with a mental health condition.  Call: 651-288-0400
  •  Text: “Support” to 85511
  • · National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: The 24/7 lifeline provides support when in distress, has prevention and crisis resources for you or your loved ones, and resources for professionals. o Call 1-800-273-TALK (8255)
  • · Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration Disaster Distress Helpline: Offers crisis counseling and support if you or a family member is experiencing emotional distress related to a disaster.  Call: 1-800-985-5990
  • · Peer Support Connection Warmlines: Peer-to-peer telephone support that’s safe and supportive. Open 5 p.m. to 9 a.m. o Call or text: 1-844-739-6369
  • · COVID-19 Coping and Support Hotline for All Staff: Free confidential Convenient
  •  Call: 612-455-8656

Sincerely,

Mark Rust Administrator Kendra Hiles Director of Nursing


Routine Staff Testing Schedule

April 19th from 2pm-3:15pm (Rapid Testing)

· Please alert your supervisor of any issues with scheduling.

Tested In AM Before 7am: NOC Staff who worked night before

  • 2pm: Tonya, Lori S, Tim, Lori P, Janice, Melly, Angela, Joni, Pam, Sharon, Traci, Aliyah, Lacy, Wanda, Colleen, Shylah, Katie Antonson, Diane
  • 2:15pm: Caitlin, Misty, Kayloni, Lisa, Karen, Randy, Gloria, Carrie, Joy Z., Michelle, Kenny, Bo, Maria, Maleena, Denise, Vanessa E.P., Crystal
  • 2:30pm: Heidi, Jennie, Katie Andrews, Lyn, Sue Major, Marty, Kirsten, Jonna, Jasmine, Lori F., Calissa, Ranell, Gabi, Cher, Joyce, Mercedes
  • 2:45pm: Connie, Serena, Ashley, Monica, Rhonda, Krissy, Melony, Kendra, Mark, Savannah N, Presley, Megan, Alsaycia, Sue B., McKenna, Janet
  • 3pm (After School): Cheyenne, Kayla H., Carolyn, Savannah A, Tori, Sam B., Leslie, Shyann, Mariah, Morgan K., Matrik, Taelor, Ruth, Marikia
  • Therapy/Hospice/Pastors: Lynette, Rebecca, Sara, Sherry V., Sherry T-N, Shelby, Dr. Shorter, Kelly, Elizabeth, Miranda, Mary, Pastor Amy, Father Joe, Ashley, Tammy Davis, Paul Lutter, Maggie, Mary, Sandy, Billie

Buffalo Lake Healthcare Center / Educare

ON-LINE Training: All Staff

Educare: We have signed an agreement to work with Educare to provide on-line education services. This will help to ensure that all staff has the proper training to perform their job.

Educare Log in:

***No Courses are too be completed while you are punched in, you can complete while at work but are not to be “on the clock”. *** 1) Go to educaretrainingonline.westnetmlp.com **Please make sure you are only using this website**

2) Enter in your username: Your first name and the first four of your birthday. Example: Joe Smith with a birthday of 4/2/1992 username is: joe0402

3) Enter in your password: blhcc or blhcc1 if you were hired after 9/1/2018

4) Click submit

5) Click on the course you would like to start, click launch course and your course will start, you will need to advance each slide by clicking the play button. (The slides have both written information and audio presentation – you will need to have sound on your computer). There is a test-out you must pass to successfully complete a course.

6) You can stop and resume a course at anytime. The system will remember where you left off.

Pay:

We will reimburse you for completing the courses. The courses you are assigned are mandatory to complete on a quarterly basis. This quarter will be April, May and June. You will have until June 30th to complete the courses you are assigned and will get paid for the normal run time of the course on your July 7th paycheck. No overtime will be paid for educational hours. You do not need to turn in any information to be paid, we will run a report to determine who has completed the courses. If you do not complete the course by June 30th you will not be paid but will still be required to complete the courses as part of your job requirements.

Internet access: If you do not have easy access to internet services (home/library) we will provide accommodations on an individual basis.

**For employees who are not comfortable with the instructions provided or would like to learn more about this required training; Kendra provide training. See or call Kendra to arrange a training date.

Courses:

Title Runtime CEU

Dementia – Problem Solving–Overview 20.41 .75

Medicare – Fraud, Waste, and Abuse 22.56 .50

OSHA – SNF 20.37 .75

***MDS 3.0 SNF—for CNA and TMA only*** 18.34 .50

You must complete all courses by June 30th. You will receive 2 hours of in-service pay on your July 7th paycheck. **CNA and TMA will receive 3 hours of pay because of additional class.** CEU’s certificates can be printed upon request by the business office.


Outbreak Staff Testing Schedule

April 12th from 2pm-3:15pm (Rapid Testing)

· Please alert your supervisor of any issues with scheduling.

Tested In AM Before 7am: NOC Staff who worked night before

  • 2pm: Tonya, Lori S, Tim, Lori P, Janice, Melly, Angela, Joni, Pam, Sharon, Traci, Aliyah, Lacy, Wanda, Colleen, Shylah, Katie Antonson, Diane
  • 2:15pm: Caitlin, Misty, Kayloni, Lisa, Karen, Randy, Gloria, Carrie, Joy Z., Michelle, Kenny, Bo, Maria, Maleena, Denise, Vanessa E.P., Crystal, Yesenia
  • 2:30pm: Nancy, Heidi, Jennie, Katie Andrews, Lyn, Sue Major, Marty, Kirsten, Jonna, Jasmine, Lori F., Calissa, Ranell, Gabi, Cher, Joyce, Mercedes
  • 2:45pm: Connie, Serena, Ashley, Monica, Rhonda, Krissy, Melony, Kendra, Mark, Savannah N, Presley, Megan, Alsaycia, Sue B., McKenna, Janet, Camelia
  • 3pm (After School): Cheyenne, Kayla H., Carolyn, Savannah A, Tori, Sam B., Leslie, Shyann, Mariah, Morgan K.
  • Therapy/Hospice/Pastors/Volunteers: Lynette, Rebecca, Sara, Sherry V., Sherry T-N, Shelby, Dr. Shorter, Kelly, Elizabeth, Miranda, Mary, Pastor Amy, Father Joe, Ashley, Tammy Davis, Paul Lutter, Maggie, Mary, Sandy, Billie

BLHCC and Westview Estates
Staff/Family/Resident/Tenant COVID-19 Update
April 1st, 2021

ALL FAMILIES/RESIDENTS/TENANT UPDATE:

Our test results from this week Monday are in and everyone is negative. We completed outbreak testing this week which means we tested all residents/tenants and staff. We will do this again on Monday 4/5/21 and if everyone is again negative we will go back to only testing staff weekly, due to our county positivity rate being higher than 5%. Please be aware that we may need to block off visiting for sections of the building if there is a positive case of COVID identified.

We want to continue to encourage everyone to get vaccinated. COVID -19 is not going away and getting vaccinated is the best way to protect yourself, your family and our residents. Attached at the end of this letter you will find a document we have put together with links to find out where and how you can get vaccinated.

We are now allowed to have anyone visit that can follow the following guidelines:

1) Pass the screening: no signs/symptoms of COVID and no contact with someone with COVID in last 14 days

2) Wear a mask that covers the face and nose at all times – Surgical mask provided at the door (no cloth masks)

Children that cannot follow this will not be allowed to visit at this time. Unfortunately this means no babies.

3) Social distance of at least 6 feet

4) Use proper infection control guidelines and hand hygiene.

5) You are not allowed to remove your mask, so NO eating or drinking while visiting and residents/tenants and you will need to also wear a mask during the entire visit. The resident or tenant should also wear a mask for your visit, even in their room or apartment.

Visiting: We are asking that all visitors come to our front door off Yellowstone Trail. You will come in the front sliding door and before the second door ring the door bells (2 of them). This will alert staff that there is a visitor at the door. Between the hours of 2pm and 5pm there will be someone at the door and you will not have to wait to be screened. During other hours you can ring the door bell, begin to complete the screening form at the door, apply a surgical mask and wait for someone to screen you face to face to let you into the building. We cannot have more than 3 people visiting one person at a time. Just so that you are aware, we are not allowing more than 36 visitors in the building at a time. If this number is met you may have to wait to be allowed in for a visit.

If you have not done so watch this video to see the visiting plan in action: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZuBKWgY7vsA

Outings: Easter is upon us. If you are planning to take your loved one out for Easter please call ahead so that we can prepare by getting medications ready ahead of time. Those that are fully vaccinated may go out for Easter. Fully vaccinated (2 weeks post both shots if a 2 shot series, or 2 weeks post the one shot if the Johnson and Johnson shot). Remember to follow the infection control protocols- wear a mask at all times, socially distance as much as possible, wash hands. Those that are fully vaccinated do not have to quarantine upon return unless they spend 15minutes or more in a 24 hour period within 6 feet of someone who has COVID-19. For those that are fully vaccinated and wish to leave for non- medically necessary reasons it is recommended to follow these steps:

· Residents who are fully vaccinated may gather indoors or outdoors with other people who are fully vaccinated.

· Residents who are fully vaccinated can visit indoors or outdoors with unvaccinated people from a single household who are at low risk for severe COVID-19 infection.

· If the resident is fully vaccinated, they can choose to have close contact (including touch) with the persons they are visiting.

· Indoor and outdoor visits should be conducted following good infection control practices, such as wearing well-fitting masks that cover the mouth and nose, staying 6 feet from others (social distancing) when practical, and using good hand hygiene to reduce risk of infection.

· If a resident who is fully vaccinated chooses to attend a place of worship or other group event, or to shop or eat in public establishments, the resident should follow the core principles of COVID-19 infection prevention. MDH strongly encourages attending places of worship or other group events only when the 14-day county percent positivity rate is below 5%. The positivity rate is the percentage of people who test positive for COVID-19 among all the people in the county who are tested.

***Our county is currently greater than 5% so this outing is not recommended and participating in this type of outing will mean we are obligated to place this resident in quarantine upon return for the health and safety of everyone in our setting.

· If you have visited our facility or had contact with our residents/tenants and develop symptoms of COVID-19 or receive a confirmed diagnosis of COVID-19 within 24-48 hours of the visit, please call the facility so we can take precautions as necessary.

If it becomes known that a resident had a high risk exposure we are obligated to protect the health and safety of everyone here and place that resident in a 14 day quarantine. As a reminder a high risk exposure is being out with more than one family that is not vaccinated. Thank you for your understanding of the guidelines we must follow.

If you have any questions, do not hesitate to contact us at 320-833-5364 or khiles@blhcc.org.

Have a very blessed Easter!

Sincerely,

Mark Rust Administrator Kendra Hiles Director of Nursing


How Can I Get My COVID Vaccine?

Call Your Local Clinic – Clinics are receiving allotments of vaccine. They receive a specific number of doses each week, vaccine brand may vary. They will schedule you or add you to a waitlist.

Go to https://mn.gov/covid19/vaccine/connector/ or google search MN vaccine connector. Here you can get on a waitlist for anywhere in the state that has the vaccine available. You will fill out a form to include your location, employment category and medical information. When vaccine becomes available you will receive an email or phone call.

Visit www.vaccinefinder.org on this website, you can select a specific vaccine you are looking for (Johnson & Johnson, Moderna, Pfizer). It will give you all the pharmacies within your search area that can help you get vaccinated. You can then call that pharmacy and get on their list.

Sign up on the Thrifty White website: https://www.thriftywhite.com/covid19vaccine . You can sign up to get on a waitlist for a thrift white in your area. They will call you when they have an opening for you. Vaccine brand may vary.

Visit the MDH website https://mn.gov/covid19/vaccine/index.jsp

Staff once you have received your vaccine please show your vaccine card to Kendra, Michelle, Marty or Shyann. It is important for us to have this information!


Outbreak Staff Testing Schedule

March 29th from 2pm-3:15pm (Mayo Testing)

· Please alert your supervisor of any issues with scheduling.

  • Tested In AM Before 7am: NOC Staff who worked night before
  • 2pm: Tonya, Lori S, Tim, Lori P, Janice, Melly, Angela, Joni, Pam, Sharon, Traci, Aliyah, Lacy, Wanda, Colleen, Shylah, Katie Antonson, Diane
  • 2:15pm: Caitlin, Misty, Kayloni, Lisa, Karen, Randy, Gloria, Carrie, Joy Z., Michelle, Kenny, Bo, Maria, Maleena, Denise, Vanessa E.P., Crystal
  • 2:30pm: Nancy, Heidi, Jennie, Katie Andrews, Lyn, Sue Major, Marty, Kirsten, Jonna, Jasmine, Lori F., Calissa, Ranell, Gabi, Cher, Joyce, Mercedes
  • 2:45pm: Connie, Serena, Ashley, Monica, Rhonda, Krissy, Melony, Kendra, Mark, Savannah N, Presley, Megan, Alsaycia, Sue B., McKenna, Janet, Camelia
  • 3pm (After School): Cheyenne, Kayla H., Carolyn, Savannah A, Tori, Sam B., Leslie, Shyann, Mariah, Morgan K.
  • Therapy/Hospice/Pastors: Lynette, Rebecca, Sara, Sherry V., Sherry T-N, Shelby, Dr. Shorter, Kelly, Elizabeth, Miranda, Mary, Pastor Amy, Father Joe, Ashley, Tammy Davis, Paul Lutter

BLHCC and Westview Estates
Staff/Family/Resident/Tenant COVID-19 Update
March 26th, 2021

In Person Visits are able to resume effective immediately

Results from Monday, March 22nd staff testing are in: At this time we have one staff that was identified with COVID-19 on our routine testing this week, this staff is not exhibiting any symptoms and had been fully vaccinated. This is an example of the vaccine doing its job to decrease symptoms and illness related to COVID.

All staff and residents were tested again on Wednesday and Thursday March 23/24th and no new cases were identified.

Per CMS and MDH guidance visitors are allowed to come into the building as the first round of outbreak testing is complete. Please enter through Door #1 (the main entrance). If you come between the hours of 2pm and 5pm there will be someone at the door, use the door bells in the entrance at other times.

All staff and residents will be tested again on the next two Monday’s, if there are any positive tests we have to cease visiting until we can determine if we have a large scale outbreak.

Please see previous notices as to the visitation and outing guidelines at BLHCC.


BLHCC and Westview Estates
Staff/Family/Resident/Tenant COVID-19 Update
March 24th, 2021

In Person Visits are temporarily suspended, we are experiencing an outbreak of COVID-19.

“Outbreak” – one or more cases of COVID-19 in a staff or resident.

Essential caregivers and compassionate caregivers are still allowed entrance through Door #13 (Church Ave).

Outing and quarantine guidance are not affected by the outbreak.

We are still awaiting the rest of results from Monday, March 22nd staff testing and will send out a letter when all results are in. At this time we have one staff that was identified with routine testing this week.

All residents and staff will be tested today and next two Monday’s to ensure this outbreak is not wide spread. If all tests come back negative today visitors will be allowed back in the building per CMS and MDH guidance. Please watch our notices for further direction.


BLHCC and Westview Estates
Staff/Family/Resident/Tenant COVID-19 Update
March 22, 2021

All Staff;

The COVID -19 vaccines have proved to be safe and very effective. Nationwide, the number of positive cases and deaths in Care Centers and Assisted Livings has dropped by 90% over the last two months. As a result, the CDC and Health Department have revised a number of COVID-19 precautions.

Quarantine: Quarantining of fully vaccinated residents/tenants basically ends. Quarantine will no longer be required for admissions/readmissions and if a resident/tenant goes out for any reason, including overnight visits. The only exception is if a resident/tenant has a confirmed close contact with a positive individual. When a resident/tenant is out they should be encouraged to follow the same safety guidelines that all of us are encouraged to follow. Unvaccinated residents/tenants, unfortunately, need to continue with the current quarantining procedures.

Visitors: We are now allowing all visitors to visit residents any time. An exception to this policy would be if we are in “outbreak”, but even then we would only pause long enough to determine that the outbreak is not widespread.

All visitors will now enter and exit the new front door (Door #1) on Yellowstone Trail. Delivers, drop offs and contractors should continue to use Door #13.

The inside sliding doors would always be locked from entering and will need to be opened from the lobby side. We should not open the inside sliding doors until all the visitors in the entryway are properly wearing our surgical masks. If they are wearing their own N95 or KN95 mask that is also OK.

We plan to have a greeter in the lobby from 2pm to 5pm every day. We will encourage visitors to arrive during this time, however, that arrival time will not fit many of our visitor’s schedules.

In the front entryway, there is a regular doorbell and a nurse call doorbell (Door #1) for visitors to use. The large monitors will have the lobby area as a bigger screen shot. We will also have a radio connection on Channel 4 so we can let waiting visitors know someone will be there in a few minutes.

Visitor Screening: Visitors need to be actively screened. Visitors should also exit the main front door and sign out – we need to monitor how many visitors we have.

Visits are only in resident rooms or tenants apartments. No eating or drinking and they should always wear the mask. They may have the door shut for more a private visit. Outside visits are also OK. These visits no longer need to be supervised and touch/hugs are allowed if the resident chooses.

This is very exciting news with lots of changes that we will work through as concerns or questions arise. Thank you to all of you! You have done a tremendous job of adapting to changes throughout this pandemic. You make BLHCC the place our resident want to call home!

Sincerely,

Mark Rust Administrator                   Kendra Hiles Director of Nursing

Watch this video to see the visiting plan in action: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZuBKWgY7vsA


BLHCC and Westview Estates
Staff/Family/Resident/Tenant COVID-19 Update
March 22, 2021

ALL FAMILIES/RESIDENTS/TENANT UPDATE: We apologize in advance for the length of this update, there are many changes in this week. All of the updates are good for our residents!!!

We have been doing staff testing every Monday for the last 4 weeks due to our county positivity rate for COVID-19 being greater than 5%. This will continue for at least the next month due to regulations that we must follow based on the county rate. All staff have tested negative so far with the testing that has been done. We also do testing for any symptomatic staff or residents as needed and have had no positive cases of COVID since January 10, 2021. If one staff or resident were to test positive this is considered an “outbreak” and we would need to follow more stringent regulations for visiting and outings.

We are happy to share that we completed our third vaccination clinic on March 10th. We want to continue to encourage everyone to get vaccinated. COVID -19 is not going away and getting vaccinated is the best way to protect yourself, your family and our residents. We continue to work with the Minnesota Department of Health to find ways to get COVID-19 vaccines for any residents or staff that wish to receive the vaccine and have not already done so.

The COVID -19 vaccines have proved to be safe and very effective. Nationwide, the number of positive cases and deaths in Care Centers and Assisted Livings has dropped by 90% over the last two months. As a result, the CDC and Health Department have revised a number of COVID-19 precautions.

Late last week CMS released some new guidance on visiting. We are now allowed to have anyone visit that can follow the following guidelines:

1) Pass the screening: no signs/symptoms of COVID and no contact with someone with COVID in last 14 days

2) Wear a mask that covers the face and nose at all times – Surgical mask provided at the door (no cloth masks)

3) Social distance of at least 6 feet

4) Use proper infection control guidelines and hand hygiene.

We will begin to allow visits for anyone on Tuesday March 23rd. This is so exciting!!

Visiting: We are asking that all visitors come to our front door off Yellowstone Trail. You will come in the front sliding door and before the second door ring the door bells (2 of them). This will alert staff that there is a visitor at the door. Between the hours of 2pm and 5pm there will be someone at the door and you will not have to wait to be screened. During other hours you can ring the door bell, begin to complete the screening form at the door, apply a surgical mask and wait for someone to screen you face to face to let you into the building. We cannot have more than 3 people visiting one person at a time.

Please be aware that we may need to block off visiting for sections of the building if there is a positive case of COVID identified. You are not allowed to remove your mask, so NO eating or drinking while visiting and residents/tenants and you will need to also wear a mask during the entire visit. The resident or tenant should also wear a mask for your visit, even in their room or apartment.

Watch this video to see the visiting plan in action: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZuBKWgY7vsA

Outings: Several residents have voiced that they are ready to “get out of here”. Now they can! If they are fully vaccinated (2 weeks post both shots if a 2 shot series, or 2 weeks post the one shot if the Johnson and Johnson shot) they can go out, following the infection control protocols- wear a mask at all times, socially distance as much as possible, wash hands. Those that are fully vaccinated do not have to quarantine upon return unless they spend 15minutes or more in a 24 hour period within 6 feet of someone who has COVID-19. For those that are fully vaccinated and wish to leave for non- medically necessary reasons it is recommended to follow these steps:

· Residents who are fully vaccinated may gather indoors or outdoors with other people who are fully vaccinated.

· Residents who are fully vaccinated can visit indoors or outdoors with unvaccinated people from a single household who are at low risk for severe COVID-19 infection.

· If the resident is fully vaccinated, they can choose to have close contact (including touch) with the persons they are visiting.

· Indoor and outdoor visits should be conducted following good infection control practices, such as wearing well-fitting masks that cover the mouth and nose, staying 6 feet from others (social distancing) when practical, and using good hand hygiene to reduce risk of infection.

· If a resident who is fully vaccinated chooses to attend a place of worship or other group event, or to shop or eat in public establishments, the resident should follow the core principles of COVID-19 infection prevention. MDH strongly encourages attending places of worship or other group events only when the 14-day county percent positivity rate is below 5%. The positivity rate is the percentage of people who test positive for COVID-19 among all the people in the county who are tested.

***Our county is currently greater than 5% so this outing is not recommended.

· If you have visited our facility or had contact with our residents/tenants and develop symptoms of COVID-19 or receive a confirmed diagnosis of COVID-19 within 24-48 hours of the visit, please call the facility so we can take precautions as necessary.

Fully vaccinated residents should continue to:

· Take steps to prevent contact with COVID-19 in public settings. Examples include wearing a well-fitted mask over their mouth and nose, and physical distancing.

· Follow infection control practices, such as wearing masks, practicing social distancing, and perform hand hygiene to lower their risk when visiting with unvaccinated people who are at higher risk for severe COVID-19 disease or who have a household member who is at increased risk for severe COVID-19 disease and is not vaccinated.

· Wear masks, practice social distancing, and perform hand hygiene to lower their risk when visiting with people from multiple households who are not vaccinated.

· Comply with any current state mandates or restrictions on group size at the time of the outing. https://www.leg.mn.gov/archive/execorders/21-11.pdf

· Get tested if they have CDC: Symptoms of Coronavirus https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/symptoms-testing/symptoms.html

· Follow CDC and health department travel requirements and recommendations.

Residents/tenants that are not fully vaccinated are required to follow the quarantine guidelines for non-medically necessary outings.

New news: Beginning on Monday March 15, 2021 we started having residents who choose come to their main dining room for the noon meal. The Assisted Living tenant can choose to come to their dining areas at their ends of the building and the Care Center residents come to the main dining area if they choose. Residents are socially distanced at the meals and wear a mask to and from the dining area as well as complete hand hygiene. This has been going very well. We also have had group activities going on with residents. Residents are socially distanced and wearing masks for these events.

This is all very exciting news! We are excited to welcome visitors back! At the same time please be respectful of our staff and practice socially distancing from the staff. We are getting closer to more “normal” living but precautions must remain for this process to continue and be successful.

If you have any questions, do not hesitate to contact us at 320-833-5364 or khiles@blhcc.org.

Sincerely,

Mark Rust Administrator                    Kendra Hiles Director of Nursing


Routine Staff Testing Schedule

March 22nd  from 2 pm-3:15 pm ( Rapid Antigen)

Please alert your supervisor of any issues with scheduling.

  • Tested In AM Before 7am: NOC Staff who worked night before
  • 2pm: Tonya, Lori S, Tim, Lori P, Janice, Melly, Angela, Joni, Pam, Sharon, Traci, Aliyah, Lacy, Wanda, Colleen, Shylah, Katie Antonson, Diane
  • 2:15pm: Caitlin, Misty, Kayloni, Lisa, Karen, Randy, Gloria, Carrie, Joy Z., Michelle, Kenny, Bo, Maria, Maleena, Denise, Vanessa E.P., Crystal
  • 2:30pm: Nancy, Heidi, Jennie, Katie Andrews, Lyn, Sue Major, Marty, Kirsten, Jonna, Jasmine, Lori F., Calissa, Ranell, Gabi, Cher, Joyce
  • 2:45pm: Connie, Serena, Ashley, Monica, Rhonda, Krissy, Melony, Kendra, Mark, Savannah N, Presley, Megan, Alsaycia, Sue B., McKenna, Janet
  • 3pm (After School): Cheyenne, Kayla H., Carolyn, Savannah A, Tori, Sam B., Leslie, Shyann, Mariah, Morgan K.
  • Therapy/Hospice/Pastors: Lynette, Rebecca, Sara, Sherry V., Sherry T-N, Shelby, Dr. Shorter, Kelly, Elizabeth, Miranda, Mary, Pastor Amy, Father Joe, Ashley, Tammy Davis, Paul Lutter

BLHCC and Westview Estates Staff

COVID-19 Update

February 24, 2021

To All Staff,

We completed our staff testing on Monday 2/22/21. Many staff resumed testing this week since it has been 90days since their positive case of COVID. All the results are in and everyone is negative! Unfortunately the case positivity rate for our county has gone up. It is now at 6.0% and we are required to resume weekly testing for all staff if we are above 5%. Residents do not need to be tested unless we have one positive case. We would then return to outbreak testing on a weekly basis. This is hard news to swallow for all of us, this virus is far from eradicated and we will continue to see surges until as many people as possible are vaccinated.

To date we have had 94% of our residents and tenants, and 52% of our staff have chosen to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. These are good numbers but we want to continue to encourage everyone to get vaccinated. COVID19 is not going away and getting vaccinated is the best way to protect yourself, your family and our residents. To help answer staff questions and concerns about the vaccine the Minnesota Association for Geriatrics Inspired Clinicians (MAGIC) recently developed this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wXFkxUdV03Y&feature=youtu.be

Wednesday March 10th is our next vaccination day. We now know that someone who has not started the vaccination process will be allowed to start the process that day. The location of your second shot if you are starting the series on March 10th is yet to be determined. Please let Kendra, Shyann or Michelle know by March 5th if you would like to start the vaccination process on March 10th. We will help you complete the consent process. If you are receiving your second dose we will be in contact with you to let you know what time to arrive.

Staff screening change- Staff no longer have to be actively screened at the door by someone else. This means that staff can take their own temperature and answer the screening questions themselves. Nurses and other designated staff are to review the sign in sheets regularly and sign off that they have reviewed them. Any noticed concerns on the log should be followed up upon immediately. Staff should enter the building through door 11, as this is generally unlocked and the times can be adjusted for staff to access if needed. Reminder Eye Protection remains part of the required PPE and MUST BE USED ANY TIME YOU ARE IN A RESIDENT ROOM!

We are also working on making some arrangements for our residents. One thing they have requested is to return to eating together. We would like to start this process slowly. Possibly only at the noon meal or 3pm coffee and only for those residents that want to do this. Residents will need to: maintain social distancing in the dining room, wear a mask to and from the dining room, and use good hand hygiene prior to, and after the meal. If we go back to outbreak status this process would be stopped and we would return to everyone eating in their rooms. Move news to come on this…..

In facility visits have been going now for a couple of weeks and the residents are enjoying these. Remember if you screen in a visitor please make sure they are also wearing a surgical mask, not a cloth mask and their eye protection. Several residents have voiced that they are ready to “get out of here” once they are 2 weeks post their vaccination. As a reminder the vaccination is considered 95% effective and receiving the vaccination at this time does not change our regulations related to quarantine. If someone is out of the building for a non-essential appointment we have to follow quarantine criteria, this is resident situation dependent and usually means a 14 day quarantine period following the outing. MDH guidelines are: https://www.health.state.mn.us/diseases/coronavirus/hcp/ltceoguide.pdf

As many of you have noticed we have had staffing challenges in nursing. A big THANK YOU to all of those that have picked up shifts, stayed late, came in early, worked on their weekends off and adjusted their schedules to help out. Without you our residents would not be getting the great care they receive!

These days may seem long but when you are feeling exhausted and on your last reserves of energy, the voice that urges you to take that “one last step” is hope. We continue to have hope for better days, better days for everyone we care for, better days for our society, and better days for ourselves. WE HOPE…..

Sincerely,

Mark Rust Administrator Kendra Hiles Director of Nursing


Educare:  We have signed an agreement to work with Educare to provide on-line education services.   This will help to ensure that all staff has the proper training to perform their job.

Educare Log in:

***No Courses are too be completed while you are punched in, you can complete while at work but are not to be “on the clock”. ***

1) Go to educaretrainingonline.westnetmlp.com **Please make sure you are only using this website**

2) Enter in your username: Your first name and the first four of your birthday.  Example:  Joe Smith with a birthday of 4/2/1992 username is:  joe0402

3) Enter in your password:  blhcc or blhcc1 if you were hired after 9/1/2018

4) Click submit

5) Click on the course you would like to start, click launch course and your course will start, you will need to advance each slide by clicking the play button. (The slides have both written information and audio presentation – you will need to have sound on your computer).  There is a test-out you must pass to successfully complete a course.

6) You can stop and resume a course at anytime.  The system will remember where you left off.

Pay:

We will reimburse you for completing the courses.  The courses you are assigned are mandatory to complete on a quarterly basis.  This quarter will be January, February and March.  You will have until March 31st to complete the courses you are assigned and will get paid for the normal run time of the course on your April 7th paycheck. No overtime will be paid for educational hours. You do not need to turn in any information to be paid, we will run a report to determine who has completed the courses.  If you do not complete the course by March 31st you will not be paid but will still be required to complete the courses as part of your job requirements.

Internet access:  If you do not have easy access to internet services (home/library) we will provide accommodations on an individual basis.

**For employees who are not comfortable with the instructions provided or would like to learn more about this required training; Kendra provide training.  See or call Kendra to arrange a training date.

Courses:

Title Runtime CEU
Infection Prevention and Control PPE 14.58 .75
HIPPA 30.23 1.0
Vulnerable Adult – SNF MN 31.31 1.0

You must complete all courses by March 31st. You will receive 2 hours of in-service pay on your April 7th paycheck.  CEU’s certificates can be printed upon request by the business office.

Educare  All Staff 1st Quarter 2021


BLHCC and Westview Estates
Staff/Family/Resident/Tenant COVID-19 Update
January 27th, 2021

ALL STAFF/FAMILIES/RESIDENT ALERT:

We are excited to announce that we have no new positive cases at BLHCC in the last 2 weeks. This means we are moving out of outbreak testing for residents and staff. We will continue to test staff per our county positivity rates but will not need to test residents unless they are showing symptoms or we discover a positive case. This week our county positivity rate is at the lowest level in a very long time at 1.5%. The counties around us remain at 5% or greater. Our facility has decided to follow the recommendations of the Minnesota Department of Health and CMS (Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services) and move to monthly testing for staff. Our next planned testing day will be February 22, 2021.

We know that for some this testing frequency may not seem like enough. We will continue to test any symptomatic persons using our rapid testing process and monitor the county positivity rates to determine if we need to increase testing frequency. We are concerned about the new strains of COVID that have now entered Minnesota and are predicted to be easier to spread. We are happy to hear that the vaccine is also working against the new strains. COVID will be something as a society we will be dealing with for a long time yet, and future waves of outbreaks are predicted. Our only defense is to vaccinate as many as possible as quickly as possible. We highly encourage everyone to get vaccinated as they are able. This vaccination process will take time and we need to continue be very cautious with our community activity.

With that being said we are welcoming back indoor visits on a scheduled basis. You can sign up for an indoor visit on our website at www.blhcc.org or contact the activity department at 320-833-5364 ext 36 for assistance. These visits are for anyone, you do not have to be family to visit someone at our facility. When you arrive for a visit come in through our new main entrance on Yellowstone Trail. You should arrive no more than 5 minutes before your assigned time and you will be screened prior to your visit. You will need to wear a proper mask and must maintain social distancing for the visit. The visit will then take place in our new community room with indirect supervision to ensure proper mask wearing and social distancing. Thank you for complying with the requirements to make these visits possible for our residents!

We are preparing for our next COVID-19 vaccine clinic on February 10th. You will be notified of what time to come that day for your vaccine. This will be the second shot in the series for many of our staff and residents. Any staff or residents that have not started the series are welcomed to do so on Feb 10th. Staff, it is essential that we know by February 1st if you planning to start the vaccination process. At this time you will not be able begin the vaccine series on March 10th, this date will only be for those needing the second shot. Please let Kendra, Michelle or Shyann know if you plan to receive the vaccine and fill out the consent form as soon as possible.

The end is at last in sight, but we will all need to work together to get there. Our society as a whole needs everyone possible to receive this vaccine and achieve herd immunity to return to any kind of “normal”.

Sincerely,

Mark Rust Administrator Kendra Hiles Director of Nursing

1 27 2020 BLHCC Postive COVID Letter To Families Residents



BLHCC and Westview Estates

Staff COVID-19 Update

January 20, 2021

To All Staff:

We all desperately want the COVID-19 pandemic to be over, unfortunately, the reality is it is going to be with us for many years. The only way we will get control of COVID-19 is through vaccinations. There is a long list of devastating diseases that have been brought under control by vaccinations including small pox, polio, measles, hepatitis, whooping cough and many more. And like COVID-19, many people were, at first, hesitant to get the vaccine.

We are fortunate to have a good start on vaccinations, with 125 people getting their first dose of vaccine last Wednesday. Our next vaccination day is February 10th. It is another opportunity to begin the vaccination process. We also will have a vaccination day on March 10th, but as it stands now, those vaccinations will only be for the people who received their first dose on February 10th. March 10th will not be an opportunity to start the vaccination process.

Getting a vaccination is your decision, but we are strongly encouraging everyone to join in. If you have questions or concerns, we invite you to talk to Kendra or Shyann or a trusted co-worker that has had the vaccine. Find out their reason for receiving the vaccine and discuss with them their side effects. Here is one of the many testimonials about getting the vaccine https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=13923609 by Dr. Tyler Helland from Glencoe Regional Health. Recently we have also had several staff that are suffering some of the long term effects of COVID-19 please talk to them related to their personal story, we are confident that several would tell you that getting the vaccine is a “no brainer” per Calissa Weispennig, CNA.

We ask that any employee that is wanting the first vaccine to turn in a consent form by February 1st. It is imperative that we know by this date to secure enough vaccine for those wanting to start the series.

We also had the opportunity last Wednesday to give the vaccine to a few essential care visitors, volunteers and employee family members. At this time, it does not sound like we will be able to add anyone beyond additional staff for the next vaccine clinic.

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on Friday warned that a far more contagious variant of the Coronavirus first identified in Britain could become the dominant source of infection in the United States in our area by March. While cases in Minnesota have recently been falling, more waves are inevitable.

Please give strong consideration to joining in on the vaccination process.

Sincerely,

Mark Rust Administrator                              Kendra Hiles Director of Nursing


Buffalo Lake Healthcare Center

Infection Control/Hand Hygiene

Training 1/19/2021

Mandatory All Staff Training

We have received our final results from our most recent infection control survey, December 21st 2020. Thank you for all your hard work, the surveyor had many good things to say about our staff. However, we did receive one deficiency related to infection control, in specific, hand hygiene. In order to correct our actions and instill better hand hygiene habits, ALL staff are required to take part in a mandatory,

“Infection Control and Hand Hygiene Training”.

Sign up by the time clock for the date and time of your choice.

January 25th 2pm or 2:30pm

OR

January 28th 2pm or 2:30pm

The training will take place in the activity room and last ½ hour.


Routine Staff Testing Schedule

January 18th from 2pm-3pm (Mayo testing)

  • Please alert your supervisor of any issues with scheduling.

Tested In AM Before 7am: NOC Staff who worked night before

Red Group 2pm: Tonya, Lori S, Tim, Lori P, Janice, Melly, Angela, Joni, Pam, Sharon, Traci, Aliyah, Lacy, Wanda, Colleen

Green Group 2:15pm: Caitlin, Misty, Racheal, Kayloni, Lisa, Karen, Randy, Gloria, Morgan B., Tori, Carrie, Courtney W.

Blue Group 2:30pm: Nancy, Carolyn, Heidi, Jennie, Katie Andrews, Lyn, Sue Major, Cheyenne, Marty, Kirsten, Jonna, Jasmine, Savannah

Purple Group 2:45pm: Connie, Serena, Ashley, Monica, Rhonda, Krissy, Leslie, Melony, Kendra, Mark, Savannah, Presley, Megan, Diane, Cassandra, Alsaycia

Therapy/Hospice/Pastors: Lynette, Rebecca, Sara, Sherry, Shelby, Dr. Shorter, Kelly, Elizabeth, Miranda, Mary, Pastor Amy, Father Joe, Ashley, Tammy Davis, Paul Lutter

*Next COVID Vaccine Clinic is February 10th. Everyone is Welcome and Encouraged to get Vaccinated J


BLHCC and Westview Estates
Staff/Family/Resident/Tenant COVID-19 Update
January 9th, 2020

ALL STAFF/Families/Resident ALERT:

We are delighted to notify everyone that no new cases of COVID-19 were identified with this week’s testing.  We will test all staff/residents/tenants again on Monday.   We currently have one resident on COVID precautions and those precautions will be lifted on Monday.  We will only be testing weekly this week as we have seen a drop in our county rates.  Weekly testing will only take place on Monday and as needed based on symptoms.

We are thrilled to announce that our first COVID-19 vaccine clinic will be on Wednesday January 13, 2021 from 11am-5pm.  We will use the main entrance that day and vaccination will take place in the new Community Room/Activity Room.  Please watch for a text with your assigned time and get your consents turned in by Monday January 11th.   Our second vaccine day will be February 10th and a third date has been set for March 10th.  If you miss the 13th for some reason you can begin your series on February 10th.  The vaccine clinic day will be a joyous day, but you may have questions about what to expect. We encourage you to review the CDC’s resource What to Expect at Your Appointment to Get Vaccinated for COVID-19.

We are pleased that those most at-risk of COVID-19, vulnerable seniors and professional caregivers, have been prioritized to receive the vaccine. Getting vaccinated against COVID-19 is the best ways to protect long-term care residents and caregivers from COVID-19. This vaccine gives us hope for the next chapter in our fight against COVID-19. We want everyone in our communities who wants a vaccine to get it as soon as possible. However, we cannot mandate that staff/residents or tenants accept the COVID-19 vaccine. Therefore, it will continue to be important for senior living communities to follow safety protocols to protect seniors who we know are most at risk for serious consequences of COVID-19.

The COVID-19 vaccine is a ray of hope for many older adults who have been so cut off from their family and friends over these past months. A successful vaccination program is a huge step forward in beating COVID.  While this is a momentous occasion that marks the next chapter in our fight against the virus, it is just the beginning of a conversation about reopening long-term care settings. We have not received word of any updated guidance from the State about visitation in our settings. As soon as we start to successfully administer the vaccine throughout Minnesota and positivity rates begin fall, we hope we can begin to discuss what’s next for our community and for long-term care communities across our state.  Long term care facilities will not be able to return to normal visitation routines until a vaccine is administered to most residents and staff. Even then, experts are saying that most of the population will have to be vaccinated before we can return to normal.

Please be patient about changes in safety protocols as vaccinations roll out across Minnesota. Even though the vaccine is here, the virus is still being transmitted throughout our state and we need to continue to be cautious to protect the health and well-being of residents and staff.   Until we receive updated guidance from the State, we ask that everyone, even those not connected directly with long-term care settings, continue infection prevention and control practices—Wear a mask, wash your hands, don’t touch your face when you’re out, stay home if you’re feeling sick— These measures will help keep the positivity rate low and allow long-term care settings to employ safe and socially distanced visitation for residents.

Consent form preview:

https://info.omnicare.com/rs/095-VIX-581/images/COVID%2019%20Vaccine%20Intake%20Consent%20Form.pdf

Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine Fact Sheet:

https://www.modernatx.com/covid19vaccine-eua/eua-fact-sheet-recipients.pdf

COVID 19 Vaccination Frequently Asked Questions:

https://info.omnicare.com/rs/095-VIX-581/images/COVID-19%20Vaccination%20FAQs_V2.pdf

CDC’s Questions about New COVID-19 Vaccines:

https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/covid-19/downloads/hcp-employees-general-faqs.pdf

Sincerely,

Mark Rust Administrator                                              Kendra Hiles Director of Nursing

BLHCC Postive COVID Letter To Families Residents 1 9 2021


*If your insurance information has changed, please fill out a new registration form and bring it with you to testing.*

https://www.health.state.mn.us/diseases/coronavirus/hcp/ltctestform.pdf

Paper copies are available in the room by Door #11.

Routine Staff Testing Schedule

January 11th from 2pm-3pm (Mayo testing)

  • Please alert your supervisor of any issues with scheduling.

Tested In AM Before 7am: NOC Staff who worked night before

Red Group 2pm: Tonya, Lori S, Tim, Lori P, Janice, Melly, Angela, Joni, Pam, Sharon, Traci, Aliyah, Lacy, Wanda, Colleen

Green Group 2:15pm: Caitlin, Misty, Racheal, Kayloni, Lisa, Karen, Randy, Gloria, Morgan B., Tori, Carrie, Courtney W.

Blue Group 2:30pm: Nancy, Carolyn, Heidi, Jennie, Katie Andrews, Lyn, Sue Major, Cheyenne, Marty, Kirsten, Jonna

Purple Group 2:45pm: Connie, Serena, Ashley, Monica, Rhonda, Vanessa T, Krissy, Leslie, Melony, Kendra, Mark, Savannah, Presley, Megan, Diane, Cassandra, Alsaycia

Therapy/Hospice/Pastors: Lynette, Rebecca, Sara, Sherry, Shelby, Dr. Shorter, Kelly, Elizabeth, Miranda, Mary, Pastor Amy, Father Joe, Ashley, Tammy Davis, Paul Lutter

Please bring your COVID-19 Vaccine consent forms to testing on Monday

COVID-19 vaccine schedule to be sent out via text on Tuesday


BLHCC and Westview Estates
Staff/Family/Resident/Tenant COVID-19 Update
January 3rd, 2020

ALL STAFF/FAMILIES/RESIDENT ALERT:

This notice is to let everyone know that we have received the results of testing that was done on Thursday 12/31/20. We tested all staff and residents that day and have identified 1 new positive resident. No new staff cases were identified. We will test all staff again tomorrow, and all residents and staff on Thursday this week. As we continue to fight this virus we will welcome the vaccine that is coming our way on January 13th. The rest of this notice is unchanged. Please be aware we will be calling this week to obtain verbal consent for those that cannot provide their own consent.

The COVID-19 vaccine has been approved and the vaccination is coming!

At this time we have been given the date of January 13th from 11am-5pm. We have confirmation from CVS pharmacy. What we know at this time is that CVS will come out to vaccinate all of our staff and residents. They will receive the Moderna vaccine, a series of 2 shots, 28 days apart. We are including a couple of documents for your reference to educate yourself related to the vaccine. Also attached is the 2 page consent that will need to be completed for each person to be vaccinated. It will be essential that we get everyone’s new insurance cards. We will need their pharmacy/prescription cards as well as new insurance cards ASAP, there will be no cost of the vaccine to anyone but insurance will be billed by the pharmacy for the cost of administration.

What we will need:

· A completed consent form, these will be available the day of testing: We will be contacting resident representatives as needed to obtain consents. Please review the consent form at the link below.

· Copies of everyone insurance cards: Most people have gotten or will be getting new cards at the 1st of the year. WE WILL NEED A COPY OF THE NEW CARD, FRONT and BACK

Consent form preview: https://info.omnicare.com/rs/095-VIX-581/images/COVID%2019%20Vaccine%20Intake%20Consent%20Form.pdf

Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine Fact Sheet: https://www.modernatx.com/covid19vaccine-eua/eua-fact-sheet-recipients.pdf

COVID 19 Vaccination Frequently Asked Questions: https://info.omnicare.com/rs/095-VIX-581/images/COVID-19%20Vaccination%20FAQs_V2.pdf

CDC’s Questions about New COVID-19 Vaccines: https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/covid-19/downloads/hcp-employees-general-faqs.pdf

We know that we have people on both sides of the fence for receiving the vaccine. We cannot make anyone receive the vaccine but it will be essential to our community to have everyone receive the vaccine. We need to protect each other, our residents/tenants and our families. It is our hope that if everyone were to receive the vaccine by the spring we will have created a safe environment for our residents to return to a more “normal” way of living, maybe even mask free in our building. If you have questions related to the vaccine, please do not hesitate to ask. I am including my personal e-mail and will do my best to provide you with the best resource possible to find your answers to any questions or concerns. khiles@blhcc.org

As we look forward to 2021 we do so with HOPE. Everyone is ready for this year to be over, turning the page on the calendar won’t magically erase all the hardship 2020 has brought, but it will provide us with HOPE that the days ahead will be brighter, better, and provide us with options to move ahead. For our residents/tenants and staff the vaccine is our best option.

Sincerely,

Mark Rust Administrator                                                              Kendra Hiles Director of Nursing


Routine Staff Testing Schedule

New Years Eve Day – December 31st from 9am-10am

· Please alert Shyann Topel or your supervisor of any issues with scheduling. If you have requested the date of testing off or have taken PPL you will need to visit with Kendra Hiles DON to get tested before or after your day off. All staff must be tested. Refusing to test will result in being excluded from work until tested.

· PM Shift will be tested upon arriving to work on New Year’s Eve Day.

Tested In AM Before 7am: NOC Staff who worked night before

Red Group 9am: Tonya, Lori S, Tim, Lori P, Janice, Melly, Angela, Joni, Pam, Sharon, Traci, Aliyah, Lacy, Wanda, Colleen

Green Group 9:15am: Caitlin, Misty, Racheal, Kayloni, Lisa, Karen, Randy, Gloria, Morgan B., Tori, Carrie

Blue Group 9:30am: Nancy, Carolyn, Heidi, Jennie, Katie Andrews, Lyn, Sue Major, Cheyenne, Marty, Kirsten, Jonna

Purple Group 9:45am: Connie, Serena, Ashley, Monica, Rhonda, Vanessa T, Krissy, Leslie, Melony, Kendra, Mark, Savannah, Presley, Megan, Diane, Cassandra, Alsaycia

Therapy/Hospice/Pastors: Lynette, Rebecca, Sara, Sherry, Shelby, Dr. Shorter, Kelly, Elizabeth, Miranda, Mary, Pastor Amy, Father Joe, Ashley, Tammy Davis


BLHCC and Westview Estates
Staff/Family/Resident/Tenant COVID-19 Update
December 29th, 2020

ALL STAFF/FAMILIES/RESIDENT ALERT:

This notice is to let everyone know that we have received the results of testing that was done on Thursday 12/24/20. We are proud to announce NO NEW CASES with this round of testing. Staff were all tested last Monday and staff and resident/tenants on Wednesday/Thursday. Yesterday (12/28/2020) we tested all of the staff again with no new cases of COVID-19 identified. This means that currently we have no positive residents, no one that remains in precautions, and all staff have returned to work. This news is the best Christmas present ever!

The COVID-19 vaccine has been approved and the vaccination is coming!

At this time we have been given a tentative vaccination date of January 13th from 11am-5pm. We are awaiting confirmation of this date from CVS pharmacy. What we know at this time is that CVS will come out to vaccinate all of our staff and residents. They will receive the Moderna vaccine, a series of 2 shots, 28 days apart. We are including a couple of documents for your reference to educate yourself related to the vaccine. Also attached is the 2 page consent that will need to be completed for each person to be vaccinated. It will be essential that we get everyone’s new insurance cards. We will need their pharmacy/prescription cards as well as new insurance cards ASAP, there will be no cost of the vaccine to anyone but insurance will be billed by the pharmacy for the cost of administration.

What we will need:

· A completed consent form, these will be available the day of testing: We will be contacting resident representatives as needed to obtain consents. Please review the consent form at the link below.

· Copies of everyone insurance cards: Most people have gotten or will be getting new cards at the 1st of the year. WE WILL NEED A COPY OF THE NEW CARD, FRONT and BACK

Consent form preview:

https://info.omnicare.com/rs/095-VIX-581/images/COVID%2019%20Vaccine%20Intake%20Consent%20Form.pdf

Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine Fact Sheet:

https://www.modernatx.com/covid19vaccine-eua/eua-fact-sheet-recipients.pdf

COVID 19 Vaccination Frequently Asked Questions:

https://info.omnicare.com/rs/095-VIX-581/images/COVID-19%20Vaccination%20FAQs_V2.pdf

CDC’s Questions about New COVID-19 Vaccines:

https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/covid-19/downloads/hcp-employees-general-faqs.pdf

We know that we have people on both sides of the fence for receiving the vaccine. We cannot make anyone receive the vaccine but it will be essential to our community to have everyone receive the vaccine. We need to protect each other, our residents/tenants and our families. It is our hope that if everyone were to receive the vaccine by the spring we will have created a safe environment for our residents to return to a more “normal” way of living, maybe even mask free in our building. If you have questions related to the vaccine, please do not hesitate to ask. I am including my personal e-mail and will do my best to provide you with the best resource possible to find your answers to any questions or concerns. khiles@blhcc.org

As we look forward to 2021 we do so with HOPE. Everyone is ready for this year to be over, turning the page on the calendar won’t magically erase all the hardship 2020 has brought, but it will provide us with HOPE that the days ahead will be brighter, better, and provide us with options to move ahead. For our residents/tenants and staff the vaccine is our best option.

Sincerely,

Mark Rust Administrator                    Kendra Hiles Director of Nursing

12 24 2020 BLHCC Postive COVID Letter To Families Residents


Routine Staff Testing Schedule

December 28th from 2pm-3pm

  • Please alert Shyann Topel or your supervisor of any issues with scheduling. If you have requested the date of testing off or have taken PPL you will need to visit with Kendra Hiles DON to get tested before or after your day off. All staff must be tested. Refusing to test will result in being excluded from work until tested.
  • PM Shift will be tested upon arriving to work on New Year’s Eve Day.

Tested In AM Before 7am: NOC Staff who worked night before

Red Group 2pm: Tonya, Lori S, Tim, Lori P, Janice, Melly, Angela, Joni, Pam, Sharon, Traci, Aliyah, Lacy, Wanda, Colleen

Green Group 2:15pm: Caitlin, Misty, Racheal, Kayloni, Lisa, Karen, Randy, Gloria, Morgan B., Tori, Carrie

Blue Group 2:30pm: Nancy, Carolyn, Heidi, Jennie, Katie Andrews, Lyn, Sue Major, Cheyenne, Marty, Kirsten, Jonna

Purple Group 2:45pm: Connie, Serena, Ashley, Crystal, Monica, Rhonda, Vanessa T, Krissy, Leslie, Melony, Kendra, Mark, Savannah, Presley, Megan, Diane, Cassandra, Alsaycia

Therapy/Hospice/Pastors: Lynette, Rebecca, Sara, Sherry, Shelby, Dr. Shorter, Kelly, Elizabeth, Justin, Miranda, Mary, Pastor Amy, Father Joe, Ashley, Tammy Davis

  • Testing Dec 31st New Years Eve Day 9am-10:30am. If you have conflicts please let Kendra or Shyann know.

BLHCC and Westview Estates
Staff/Family/Resident/Tenant COVID-19 Update
December 23rd, 2020

COVID-19 Testing – Tomorrow

Thursday, December 24th 2020 from 9:30am-10am

· Afternoon shift will be tested upon arriving to work Dec 24th.

· If you are not scheduled to work December 24th and the roads/visibility is a hazard, we encourage you to be tested before your next scheduled shift instead of braving the weather. Please let the nurse know you need to be tested upon arriving for your next shift.

Stay safe this Christmas. Wear your mask, practice social distancing, and drive carefully. We need each and every one of you and so does your family and friends! We are looking forward to the New Year and the promises a COVID-19 vaccine may bring.

Merry Christmas,

Mark Rust Kendra Hiles

Administrator Director of Nursing

12 24 2020Testing Reminder


BLHCC and Westview Estates
Staff/Family/Resident/Tenant COVID-19 Update
December 19th, 2020

ALL STAFF/FAMILIES/RESIDENT ALERT:

This notice is to let everyone know that we have received the results of our testing that was done on Thursday 12/17/20. We are proud to announce there are no new resident cases with this round of testing. We did identify one new staff case of COVID-19. We will test all staff again on Monday 12/21/20 and all staff and residents on 12/24/20.

This means that currently we have 5 positive residents and 6 positive staff. All of the residents and staff are doing well. We would consider the symptoms we are seeing as mild at this time. 3 of the residents will come off of precautions in the next 2 days as long as there is no change in their symptoms. 3 of the staff will also be allowed to come back to work as long as their symptom status does not change. As per guidelines from the CDC and Minnesota Department of Health each case is evaluated case by case and their precautions continue based on their symptoms if needed.

This notice is short and to the point today. We hope each and everyone of you are staying safe! We head into our week ahead with HOPE for a vaccine to soon be heading our way.

Sincerely,

Mark Rust Administrator Kendra Hiles Director of Nursing


BLHCC and Westview Estates
Staff/Family/Resident/Tenant COVID-19 Update
December 18th, 2020

ALL STAFF/FAMILIES/RESIDENT ALERT:

We would like to let you know that we have identified one new positive case of COVID-19 in a staff yesterday. At this time we have 5 residents that remain in isolation and 5 staff that are out of work due to COVID-19. We have 2 more staff that are out due to high risk exposures. This week we removed all other residents from isolation precautions. We will get the results of our Thursday testing over the weekend and will update you as we know more of what this round of testing shows.

We’re excited to announce that we’re gearing up to distribute the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine very soon. We expect to start residents and staff vaccinations shortly, hopefully in the next couple of weeks, no date is set at this time.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Minnesota Department of Health have decided that residents in long-term care are in the highest priority group and they will get the vaccine first—along with all of our staff. From what we know today, resident families and other people in the general community will have to wait for vaccinations until later in the year, when the supply of vaccines is larger.

Here are the details of our Vaccination Plan:

· There will be no cost to you for the shots.

· You’ll need two shots with 4 weeks (28 days) in between for it to be effective.

· If you’ve had COVID-19, you should still get the shots.

· Some people have had a sore arm, mild aches and fever after getting the shot, but you cannot be infected with COVID-19 through the shot. These types of side-effects are more common with the first injection but not as common with the second injection. It’s important you receive both shots.

We have prepared a Frequently Asked Questions to help you understand more about why the vaccine is so important in defeating COVID-19. If you have other concerns, please contact Kendra or place them in the box by the time clock.

Getting vaccinated against COVID-19 is one of the best ways to protect yourself and everyone around you, particularly those who are at increased risk for severe illness. Wearing masks and social distancing help reduce your chance of being exposed to the virus or spreading it to others, but these measures are not enough. Vaccines will work with your immune system, so it is ready to fight the virus if you are exposed. Getting these shots will not only protect you from being infected; it will help us take a big step towards ending this pandemic.

The news of a vaccine gives us hope for a new chapter to our fight against this virus. We are so appreciative of the support and cooperation that all have given during these past nine tough months. Together, we’re moving toward a COVID-free future.

Sincerely,

Mark Rust, Administrator

Kendra Hiles, Director of Nursing

Why should I get vaccinated?

Getting vaccinated against COVID-19 is one of the best ways to protect yourself and everyone around you, particularly those who are at increased risk for severe illness. Wearing masks and social distancing help reduce your chance of being exposed to the virus or spreading it to others, but these measures are not enough. Vaccines will work with your immune system, so it is ready to fight the virus if you are exposed. Getting these shots will not only protect you from being infected; it will help us take a big step towards ending this pandemic.

When will the COVID-19 vaccination be available? Soon, hopefully in the next couple of weeks.

Why is it important for long-term care staff and residents to receive the vaccination first?

The average age of residents in long term care facilities is 85 and almost every one of them has an underlying health condition, and some have multiple chronic conditions. According to CDC data, the risk of mortality in this age group is 630 times higher than those 18-29 years old. While many industries can stay open or partially open with safety measures, long term care communities will not be able to return to normal until there is a vaccine.

How will we receive the vaccine?

We have partnered with CVS Pharmacy to come out and administer to Moderna vaccine. The Moderna vaccine is given in two steps, 28 days apart. CVS Pharmacy will require an informed consent to administer the vaccine. We have not received this form yet.

Is there are risk that I can get COVID-19 from the vaccination?

No, there is no risk of getting COVID-19 from the vaccination. This vaccination contains no actual COVID-19 virus. You may experience some side effects from the vaccine such as a sore arm, mild aches, or fever. This is your immune system responding to the vaccine and is expected. This does not mean you are getting sick with COVID-19. We need the vaccine to trigger this immune response to produce the immunity you need against COVID-19.

How do we know it’s safe since it was developed so quickly?

Scientists have worked on coronavirus research for decades starting with the original SARS outbreak and influenza. Scientists only needed to isolate certain things about COVID-19 to begin creating a vaccine because we already know so much about the type of virus. Due to the public health crisis created by the pandemic, many private, government and independent groups came together and cooperated on a vaccine. This scale of cooperation is not typical, and the partnership created resources and information sharing to develop the vaccine faster.

What are the side effects of the vaccine? Are there long-term effects?

There may be side-effects from the COVID-19 vaccination such as a sore arm, mild, generalized aches, headache, and fever. These side effects are more common after the first injection and not as common after the second injection. This vaccine will not make you sick with COVID-19; the side-effects are a result of your body’s immune system working to understand and create a response to the virus which is needed for your immunity. The long-term effects are still being studied. The first two months show no severe side effects. As with all vaccinations, long-term effects are monitored for up to 10 years.

Should / can I still get a flu shot?

It is important you still receive a flu shot. However, it is not recommended to have a flu shot within one month of the COVID-19 vaccine. If you have not already received your flu shot, speak with your supervisor or your doctor about the best plan for receiving flu vaccine and COVID-19 vaccine.

Will I have to pay for it?

No, there will be no cost to you for the vaccine.

How many shots will I need and when?

The vaccine includes two injections. The second injection will 28-days after the first injection.

How long is the vaccine effective?

We don’t know. Because the vaccine is new, the length of immunity is unknown. There are some vaccines that do not require additional shots and there are other vaccines, such as the tetanus vaccine, that require periodic boosters. The vaccine will continue to be studied over time and if additional boosters are needed that information will be released when it is known.

Is it better to get natural immunity for COVID by getting the virus instead of the vaccine?

In many cases, the way to develop natural immunity to a pathogen is to become sick, have our immune systems respond, and then our immune system “remembers” the pathogen to keep us from getting sick again. However, our immune systems cannot always “remember” the pathogen; or, it cannot always fight off the virus. Right now, we don’t know if becoming sick with COVID-19 actually causes you to be immune to re-infection with the virus or not. We believe the vaccination does provide immunity to the disease. Additionally, there is no way to predict whether or not someone with COVID-19 will develop severe disease and suffer significant health complications or not; becoming sick is a risk and there is no way to predict the outcome of illness. You will not become sick from the COVID-19 vaccine.

Will I be able to work after getting the shot?

Yes, you will be able to work after receiving the vaccination. You will still need to follow infection prevention and control practices such as wearing a mask, social distancing, and good hand hygiene.

What happens when long-term care residents are vaccinated? Can we begin to reopen our community?

Long term care facilities will not be able to return to normal until a vaccine is administered to most residents and staff. As soon as we start to successfully administer the vaccine in our communities, we hope can begin to discuss what’s next for our community and for long-term care communities across our state. Until that time, please continue your infection prevention and control practices and follow the most current visitation guidance, even after you start vaccinations.

Vaccination Letter 12 18 20


BLHCC and Westview Estates
Staff/Family/Resident/Tenant COVID-19 Update
December 15th, 2020

ALL STAFF/FAMILIES/RESIDENT ALERT:

On Monday, December 14, 2020, we completed rapid testing on all of our residents/tenants/staff. This testing round identified 2 residents, 1 staff member and 1 contract staff person as positive for COVID-19. At this time, we have 7 residents of long term care in isolation precautions. 2 residents from previous reporting came off of precautions yesterday.

We currently have a total of 6 staff out of work due to testing COVID positive and 2 staff out due to high risk exposures. All staff are doing well and recovering at home.

Although these results are difficult to hear, we are so very grateful for all of our amazing staff who come to work every day with a caring and compassionate attitude to brighten the days of our residents. Each department at BLHCC has stepped up to the challenge of caring for residents during a pandemic and although this is new territory for everyone, they have done a fantastic job in the face of adversity! Even though there are days that we leave feeling defeated, especially with residents and staff continuing to test positive, we are also feeling blessed with residents and families who support us and a great team at BLHCC who care for one another, our residents, and tenants.

We can also feel the support and prayers from our communities. We are grateful for those who sent Christmas cards, donated presents and treats for both the residents and staff and let us know they are thinking of us. Thank you!

News of a vaccine gives us hope. In Minnesota, the Moderna vaccine is to be used for residents and staff in long term care. The Moderna vaccine is being reviewed this week by the FDA. Hopefully this process will be completed this week so distribution can begin shortly. The Moderna vaccine is given in two steps, 28 days apart. CVS Pharmacy will be coming out and administering the vaccine. We will be providing more information about the vaccine process as we get further instructions.

BLHCC Activity Department has been extra busy getting our home ready for the holidays! There are trees up in many of the common areas and our Activity Staff has been decorating individual rooms as well! Our new Activity Room is a flurry of gifts, decorations and plans to make Christmas 2020 at BLHCC the best that it can be. The thought of residents and families missing each other during this special season weighs heavily on all of us.

If you would like to call, Facetime or Zoom with your loved one, please use Sign Up Genius on our website, www.blhcc.org or contact the Activity Department to set up a time. We have hired an additional Activity Staff just for helping with keeping residents and families connected in this manner and have a full day of calls planned for Christmas day, please sign up now to reserve your time.

We have also been so grateful for the ability to have live entertainment and worship services in our home with the ability to broadcast the event live over our BLHCC In House channel. If you have a special talent you would like to share, please let us know and we will get you on the schedule.

In closing, we would like to add that while this holiday season may look different than previous ones, there will still be many blessings, especially if you are looking for them. You can choose to find new blessings amongst the restrictions, rather than focusing on the negative. Some blessings will be expected, and others unanticipated. Please know that we consider each of you reading this a blessing!

Sincerely,

Mark Rust, Administrator

12 15 2020 BLHCC Postive COVID Letter To Families Residents 12 15 2020


Routine Staff Testing Schedule

December 14th and 17th 2020 from 2pm-3pm

!!!TIME CHANGE!!!

· Please alert Shyann Topel or your supervisor of any issues with scheduling. If you have requested the date of testing off or have taken PPL you will need to visit with Kendra Hiles DON to get tested before or after your day off. All staff must be tested. Refusing to test will result in being excluded from work until tested.

· Staff who’s shift ends before 2pm should talk to Kendra to be tested earlier in the shift.

Tested In AM Before 7am: NOC Staff who worked night before

Red Group 2pm: Tonya, Lori S, Tim, Lori P, Janice, Melly, Angela, Joni, Pam, Sharon, Traci, Aliyah, Lacy, Wanda, Colleen

Green Group 2:15pm: Caitlin, Misty, Denise, Racheal, Kayloni, Vanessa E-P, Lisa, Karen, Randy, Gloria, Morgan B., Tori, Carrie

Blue Group 2:30pm: Emma, Nancy, Carolyn, Heidi, Jennie, Janet, Katie Andrews, Lyn, Sue Major, Cheyenne, Marty, Kirsten, Jonna

Purple Group 2:45pm: Connie, Serena, Ashley, Crystal, Monica, Rhonda, Vanessa T, Krissy, Leslie, Melony, Kendra, Mark, Savannah, Presley, Megan, Diane

Therapy/Hospice/Pastors: Lynette, Rebecca, Sara, Sherry, Shelby, Dr. Shorter, Kelly, Elizabeth, Justin, Miranda, Mary, Kim, Pastor Amy, Father Joe, Ashley, Kim W.

· All Staff will be tested twice per week per CMS guidelines. BLHCC will complete testing on Mondays and Thursdays from 2pm-3pm.

· Please note a time change for Dec 24th and Dec 31st 9am-10:30am. If you have conflicts please let Kendra or Shyann know.


BLHCC and Westview Estates
Staff/Family/Resident/Tenant COVID-19 Update
December 13th, 2020

ALL STAFF/FAMILIES/RESIDENT ALERT:

We have received all of the testing result from Thursday 12/10/2020. There were 2 new cases of COVID-19 identified in residents. At this time we have 7 residents of long term care in isolation precautions. The COVID Care Team has been implemented to work with only these residents and is doing an amazing job doing what they have trained to do.

We also have one new positive staff case of COVID-19. This means we have 5 staff that are out of work due to testing positive for COVID-19.

All residents/tenants and staff will be tested again on Monday. We are currently conducting testing twice per week.

This is a challenging time for everyone. Our staff have been pulling together and your putting your best efforts forward to contain the spread of this virus.

Please see our previous updates earlier this week for more details of what is happening at BLHCC.

Sincerely,

Mark Rust Administrator Kendra Hiles Director of Nursing


BLHCC and Westview Estates
Staff/Family/Resident/Tenant COVID-19 Update
December 10th, 2020

ALL STAFF/Families/Resident ALERT:

We want to make everyone aware that we have identified two additional staff cases of COVID-19.  Both staff were tested with the rapid antigen testing due to the symptoms they were experiencing.  We are very proud of the staff for monitoring for any changes in their health and protecting the health of others around them by getting tested.  We have also identified another positive resident case of COVID-19.

This means that currently we have 5 positive residents and 4 positive staff.  All of the residents and staff are doing well.  We would consider the symptoms we are seeing as mild at this time, and pray that is how things continue.  We have completed contact tracing related to our positive cases and have identified two high risk exposures of a staff.  STAFF anytime you are outside of work or near anyone outside of your direct living situation you need to wear a mask.  We need all of you all!  At this time all of the positive resident cases being cared for by specific “COVID Care Staff”.  These staff do not have contact with other staff or residents.  Thank you to our COVID Care Team for your dedication to these residents!

At this time the Buffalo Lake Healthcare Center is allowing essential caregivers to visit residents/tenants.  PLEASE call ahead if you do not have an established visit time.  We ask that you please use extreme caution and careful thought before coming for a visit.  Even if you are feeling “congested” do not come.  For many COVID-19 positive cases they have felt like they have, or are getting a “head cold” as their first symptoms.  Residents and tenants are being asked to wear a mask for any visits from staff, family or essential caregivers.  Staff, please assist residents to apply masks if they are receiving a visitor for any reason.

As we look ahead, Activities has set up live entertainment that will come into our new entry and broadcast over the TV channels to resident/tenant rooms.  The residents/tenants really enjoy this.  We will also be having our resident Christmas Party Day on December 21st.  Activity staff will go room to room with gifts, entertainment and community Christmas Cards that have been sent.

Our Activity Department has also set up a Sign Up Genius to sign up for video calls.  To sign up go to our website www.blhcc.org or, contact Lyn, or Activities, at 320-833-5364 ext. 36.  There are specific staff set up to assist residents/tenants with this process.  Many of the residents/tenants are enjoying these visits.  If there is a special event that you would like to do a video visit with a resident/tenant you may contact Activities and they will set this up with you.  With the Holidays quickly approaching we are not expecting there to be a change in status compared to Thanksgiving.  We will once again be asking that residents do not leave the building.  Anyone who does go out is putting everyone else at increased risk and will need to be placed in a 14 day quarantine upon return.  Please sign up now to get your desired time for a video visit on Christmas.

A safe and effective vaccine is on the way.  We know that we will be working with CVS Pharmacy to vaccinate all of our residents/tenants and staff.  This will be a two-step injection.  The vaccine is 95% effective against COVID-19 with 4-10% of those receiving the vaccine having mild reactions (muscle soreness and fatigue are the most common).  The vaccine is our only chance to fight this awful virus and we will need at least 80% of the population to receive the vaccine to be effective.  If you are researching information about the vaccine please be sure you are looking at credible sources.  Do not depend on social media for your information.  The Minnesota Department of Health and the CDC are recommended credible sites for information.   In the weeks ahead we will be reaching out to obtain consent for administering the vaccine.  Please do your research.  We are all in this together!

“Nothing in life is to be feared; it is only to be understood.  Now is the time to understand more, so that we may fear less.”- Marie Curie

Sincerely,

Mark Rust Administrator                                              Kendra Hiles Director of Nursing

12 10 2020 BLHCC Postive COVID Letter To Families Residents


BLHCC and Westview Estates
Staff/Family/Resident/Tenant COVID-19 Update
December 7th, 2020

ALL STAFF/Families/Resident ALERT:

How fast things can change in this world of COVID-19.  Yesterday we received our results from our facility wide testing done on 12/3/2020.  With that came the news that we had 3 positive residents on one wing of long term care.  We also identified a fourth resident with symptoms.  That resident was tested with our rapid testing ability and results were positive.  No new positive staff identified on the 12/3/20 testing.  On 12/6/20 one staff reported symptoms prior to coming to work, they were tested with the rapid testing process, and determined to be positive.  Today we also identified another staff that has not been in the building for 1 month with symptoms and is also positive.  This means that currently we have 4 positive residents and 2 positive staff.  We have completed contact tracing and have not identified any high risk exposures.  At this time all of the positive cases are in one wing of the building and are all being cared for by specific “COVID Care Staff”.  These staff do not have contact with other staff or residents.

Yesterday we tested all residents on the wing with the positive residents and did not identify any unknown cases of COVID-19.  Today we have tested all residents/tenants and staff with the rapid testing process and have 1 staff case of COVID-19.  We continue to monitor all staff and residents closely and cannot emphasize enough to everyone the importance of using proper infection control practices to contain the spread of this virus.  No staff should be eating anywhere in the building except in the employee breakroom.  If you are outside in your cars you should be by yourself.  Masks must stay in place during your shift and residents should also be wearing a mask when you are in their room, the only exception to this is during cares where a mask would not allow proper care to be completed, i.e. Washing up, feeding, brushing teeth, shaving, etc.  All of you are essential and we need you, please follow these guidelines.

At this time the Buffalo Lake Healthcare Center is allowing essential caregivers to visit residents/tenants.  PLEASE call ahead if you do not have an established visit time.  We ask that you please use extreme caution and careful thought before coming for a visit.  Even if you are feeling “congested” do not come.  For many COVID-19 positive cases they have felt like they have, or are getting a “head cold” as their first symptoms.  Residents and tenants are being asked to wear a mask for any visits from staff, family or essential caregivers.  Staff, please assist residents to apply masks if they are receiving a visitor for any reason.

We have prepared for this……our plan has been put into place.  We pray that symptoms remain mild for the COVID positive cases and a higher level of care is not needed for anyone.

Sincerely,

Mark Rust Administrator                                Kendra Hiles Director of Nursing

12 7 2020 BLHCC Positive COVID Letter To Families Residents


ALL STAFF/Families/Resident ALERT: Please scroll down to see 12-4-2020 Covid Update

Routine Staff Testing Schedule

December 7th and 10th 2020 from 1:30pm-3pm

  • The time your group gets tested may change. We will do our best to keep the groups in this order for all dates of testing. Please alert Shyann Topel or your supervisor of any issues with scheduling. If you have requested the date of testing off or have taken PPL you will need to visit with Kendra Hiles DON to get tested before or after your day off. All staff must be tested. Refusing to test will result in being excluded from work until tested.
  • Wear your PPE and practice 6 ft. social distancing. If there is a line of staff waiting to be tested, wait in your car.
  • For testing day only – park outside of the East Asst. living entrance on Yellowstone Trail. Enter at Door #19. Testing will take place in the East Asst. Living Dining area.
  • Therapists and Hospice personnel should arrive between the hours of 1:30pm and 3pm. Any BLHCC staff currently working on the day of testing will be first priority.
  • All staff will be compensated with one hour of pay if tested on the date and time scheduled.
  • If you work a PM Shift this day you may come closer to your shift so you don’t end up waiting to punch in.

Tested In AM Before 7am: NOC Staff who worked night before

Red Group 1:30pm: Tonya, Lori S, Tim, Lori P, Janice, Melly, Angela, Joni, Pam, Sharon, Traci, Aliyah, Lacy

Green Group 1:45pm: Caitlin, Cher, Misty, Denise, Maleena, Racheal, Kayloni, Vanessa E-P, Lisa, Karen

Blue Group 2pm: Wanda, Colleen, Emma, Nancy, Carolyn, Heidi, Jennie, Janet, Katie Andrews, Lyn, Morgan

Purple Group 2:15pm: Connie, Serena, Carrie, Mariah, Ashley, Crystal, Joyce, Monica, Rhonda, Vanessa T, Krissy

Pink Group 2:30pm: Sue Major, Cheyenne, Marty, Kirsten, Jonna, Randy, Gloria

Yellow Group 2:45pm: Leslie, Melony, Kendra, Mark, Savannah, Presley, Megan, Diane, Ali, Morgan B., Tori

Therapy/Hospice/Pastors: Lynette, Rebecca, Sara, Sherry, Shelby, Dr. Shorter, Kelly, Dawn, Elizabeth, Justin, Tyler, Miranda, Mary, Kim, Pastor Amy, Father Joe, Ashley, Kim W.

12 7 And 10 2020 Testing Schedule


BLHCC and Westview Estates
Staff/Family/Resident/Tenant COVID-19 Update
December 4th, 2020

ALL STAFF/Families/Resident ALERT:

This week at the Buffalo Lake Healthcare Center began our new testing plan.  We completed our first week of twice per week testing for all staff.  On Monday November 30th we tested all staff with the rapid testing process and had no new cases of COVID-19 identified.  Yesterday, December 3rd we tested all staff and residents with the PCR tests that get sent to Mayo Clinic Labs.  We will not have those results for a couple of days.  At this time, we have one staff out due to a positive COVID-19 case, and 2 staff that remain on a 14 day quarantine due to high risk exposures.

We celebrate the no new cases of COVID-19 this week with caution.  The community transmission levels of COVID-19 hit new records every day.  Our current county positivity rate is the highest it has ever been, at 15.5%, making us a “red county”.  This means we continue to test staff twice per week and residents on the weekly testing schedule.

This week our staff took time to prepare BLHCC for Christmas.  They have set up trees in common areas, decorated nursing stations, decorated individual resident/tenant rooms and helped to create a positive atmosphere.  We enjoyed hearing the Christmas carols being played on our in house channel while being broadcast from our entry way of the building.  Residents/tenants continue to enjoy a variety of ways to play Bingo, relax with a manicure, participate in Religious Services, and spend 1:1 time doing Zoom calls with family members, coloring, crosswords, work searches, letters and cards.  If you would like to send a card or message to any of our residents/tenants please send to:

Buffalo Lake Healthcare Center Attention: Christmas       PO BOX 368       Buffalo Lake, MN 55314

Our staff also enjoyed their version of Human Bingo by getting to know co-workers better to complete their Bingo card for prizes and indulged in meat and cheese trays from the Employee Council.

There were also new guidelines put out by the Minnesota Department of Health related to travel.  The State of Minnesota Emergency Executive Order 20-99 states that Minnesotans should refrain from non-essential travel out of state unless they meet certain exemptions.  If non-essential travel does occur, they should enter a 14-day quarantine upon their return.  This recommendation does not apply to individuals who must cross state or country borders for work, study, medical care, or personal safety and security.  This means that any staff that travel out of the state for non-essential reasons will be required to enter a 14 day quarantine.  This will not fall under the COVID pay policy for illness as this was travel for a non-essential reasons.   This order went into effect on November 20th and remains in place until December 18, 2020.

At this time the Buffalo Lake Healthcare Center is allowing essential caregivers to visit residents/tenants.  PLEASE call ahead if you do not have an established visit time.  We ask that you please use extreme caution and careful thought before coming for a visit.  Even if you are feeling “congested” do not come.  For many COVID-19 positive cases they have felt like they have, or are getting a “head cold” as their first symptoms.  We are trying to limit the number of people in our building to keep our residents as safe and healthy as possible.  Residents and tenants are being asked to wear a mask for any visits from staff, family or essential caregivers.  Staff, please assist residents to apply masks if they are receiving a visitor for any reason.

We want to take this as an opportunity to thank everyone!! From our resident/tenant families that have sacrificed time and physical connections, to our residents/tenants for your unending resilience and desire to protect each other, your families, and the staff.   A special thank you to our staff for the countless hours and dedication you have shown to our residents/tenants and your co-workers.  Most of all we thank our own families that have allowed us to do what we were put here to do:  to Care….. Please take a moment enjoy this video.  (You may have to skip an ad to see the video).      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NkDNp4ATCso

Thank you!!

Sincerely,Mark Rust Administrator                                              Kendra Hiles Director of Nursing

12 4 2020 BLHCC Postive COVID Letter To Families Residents


Benefit Eligible Employee Information

To: Benefit Eligible employees of Buffalo Lake Healthcare 

From: Mark and Ranell 

 Here is the link to your benefits open enrollment WebEx presentation at 1:30 on December 1.  

https://meetusi.webex.com/meetusi/j.php?MTID=m78ff3bf30f5db82ef300533237e62c45 

Meeting number (access code): 173 755 6170 
Meeting password: Pavc73aZd3$   

 
Or you can join by phone
+1 3148881153 United States Toll  
Access code 173 755 6170 

Here is the link for the benefits open enrollment WebEx presentation at 3:00 on December 1, 2020. 

https://meetusi.webex.com/meetusi/j.php?MTID=maacd641dac0a3d1385ae428ff1d19d50 

Meeting number: 173 553 0688
Password: xvYaDJP*643 

 

Or you can join by phone

+1 3148881153
Access code 173 553 0688 

This meeting will be recorded and you will receive a link and password on December 2, 2020


Routine Staff Testing Schedule

November 30th from 1:30pm-3pm

  • The time your group gets tested may change. We will do our best to keep the groups in this order for all dates of testing. Please alert Shyann Topel or your supervisor of any issues with scheduling. If you have requested the date of testing off or have taken PPL you will need to visit with Kendra Hiles DON to get tested before or after your day off. All staff must be tested. Refusing to test will result in being excluded from work until tested.
  • Wear your PPE and practice 6 ft. social distancing. If there is a line of staff waiting to be tested, wait in your car.
  • For testing day only – park outside of the East Asst. living entrance on Yellowstone Trail. Enter at Door #19. Testing will take place in the East Asst. Living Dining area.
  • Therapists and Hospice personnel should arrive between the hours of 1:30pm and 3pm. Any BLHCC staff currently working on the day of testing will be first priority.
  • All staff will be compensated with one hour of pay if tested on the date and time scheduled.
  • If you work a PM Shift this day you may come closer to your shift so you don’t end up waiting to punch in.

Tested In AM Before 7am: NOC Staff who worked night before

Red Group 1:30pm: Tonya, Lori S, Tim, Lori P, Janice, Melly, Angela, Joni, Pam, Sharon, Traci, Aliyah

Green Group 1:45pm: Caitlin, Cher, Misty, Denise, Maleena, Racheal, Kayloni, Vanessa E-P, Lisa, Karen K.

Blue Group 2pm: Wanda, Colleen, Hailey, Emma, Nancy, Carolyn, Heidi, Jennie, Janet, Katie Andrews, Lyn, Morgan K., Tori

Purple Group 2:15pm: Connie, Serena, Carrie, Mariah, Ashley, Crystal, Joyce, Monica, Rhonda, Vanessa T, Krissy

Pink Group 2:30pm: Sue Major, Cheyenne, Marty, Kirsten, Jonna, Randy, Gloria

Yellow Group 2:45pm: Leslie, Melony, Kendra, Mark, Savannah, Presley, Megan, Diane, Ali, Morgan B.

Therapy/Hospice/Pastors: Lynette, Rebecca, Sara, Sherry, Shelby, Dr. Shorter, Kelly, Dawn, Elizabeth, Justin, Tyler, Miranda, Mary, Kim, Pastor Amy, Father Joe, Ashley, Kim W.

*Due to the current COVID-19 county positivity rate ALL staff are required to be tested twice per week. Nov 30th, Dec. 3rd, Dec 7th, Dec 10th

11 30 2020 Testing Schedule

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BLHCC and Westview Estates
Staff/Family/Resident/Tenant COVID-19 Update
November 27, 2020

ALL STAFF/Families/Resident ALERT:

We are blessed and we are feeling Thankful!  We have received all of our resident/tenant testing results for this week and have no new positive cases of COVID-19!  The two assisted living tenants that were in quarantine due to previous positive test results have been taken off precautions today.  What a glorious day!  We continue to monitor all of our residents/tenants and test individuals with our rapid testing abilities as any symptoms arise.  We will test all residents and tenants this coming week on Thursday.

We have had 1 new positive staff since our last update.  We feel blessed that the majority of our staff were able to return to work today and are doing well.  At this time we have 3 staff out due to positive test results, one staff out due to a high risk exposure, two staff remain out past their quarantine period due to ongoing COVID-19 symptoms, and two staff with symptoms are awaiting test results.  As you can see there is a lot to keep track of.  At this time, staff will be testing twice per week on Monday’s and Thursday’s.

The numbers in our area continue to soar and our hospitals are at or near capacity.  Please, please, please do your part:  mask up, socially distance, do not attend gatherings, and stay home.  Stay safe everyone!!

Sincerely,

Mark Rust Administrator                                              Kendra Hiles Director of Nursing

BLHCC Postive COVID Letter To Families Residents 11 27 2020


BLHCC and Westview Estates
Staff/Family/Resident/Tenant COVID-19 Update
November 23, 2020

ALL STAFF/Families/Resident ALERT:

Today we are sending an update for the staff testing done yesterday.  We identified 2 cases of COVID-19 with the rapid testing we did on staff.  One of these staff had no symptoms and the other came to be tested in their car as they were experiencing minor symptoms.  These tests were followed up with the PCR tests that go to Mayo and we do not have those results at this time.  We are also waiting on the results from all of the resident/tenant tests completed yesterday.

At this time we have a total of 12 staff out of work.  Of those 12, 10 are COVID positive.  Others have either a high risk exposure or symptoms and are awaiting results.

We have 2 assisted living tenants that remain in isolation due to positive results last week.  We are very happy to say they are not experiencing any symptoms or have mild symptoms at this time.  Next week we will begin twice per week testing for staff.  Staff will be testing on Monday’s and Thursday’s.  Residents/tenants will be tested one time per week on Thursday’s.

While essential care visits are allowed to continue per CMS guidelines, we are asking you to refrain from visiting.  If you feel you need to visit at this time please call ahead to arrange a visit.  Community transmission rates are higher than they have ever been and we ask that you find other ways to connect with your loved one.  As we move through the weeks ahead we all need to do our part to slow the progression of this virus.

We do not want anyone leaving this facility unless it is an absolute must.  “This virus does not care that it is a holiday”.  We do not take this lightly and want to protect everyone we care for.  Eating and drinking around others without a face covering is a high risk activity.  We also recommend staff do not get together with members outside of their immediate family setting.  As per direction of the Minnesota Department of Health, if a resident or tenant goes out to a social gathering we will be placing them on a 14 day quarantine upon return.  This means staff will need to wear full PPE to enter that room, the resident/tenant is not to leave their room/apartment for 14 days.  We will then monitor them for any symptoms of COVID-19.  This is a burden to our staff that is already stretched thin and causes increased social isolation for the resident/tenant.   We go through a very large amount of PPE for anyone in a quarantine or isolation situation.  It also places our whole facility at increased risk.  With the potential for a safe and effective vaccine on the horizon, extra precautions are essential to protect our nursing home residents until a vaccine becomes available.

Although many of us will not be celebrating as we traditionally would, we can still spend this holiday being thankful for the blessings that have helped us through this year.  It is through these difficult times that is most important to give thanks for things in life we often take for granted.  This year we give thanks for friends and family that we hold so dear, for the tireless dedication of healthcare heroes that have persevered throughout the pandemic, for those around us that have given us strength, and for the resilience that will get us through this challenging time and make us stronger than we were before.  We wish you a safe, happy and memorable Thanksgiving.

We will send out a notice as we get the resident/tenant results this week and we ask that you all say a special prayer for favorable results.

Sincerely,

Mark Rust Administrator                                              Kendra Hiles Director of Nursing

BLHCC Postive COVID Letter To Families Residents 11 23 20201



Routine Staff Testing Schedule
November 23rd 2020 from 1:30pm-3pm
 The time your group gets tested may change. We will do our best to keep the groups in this
order for all dates of testing. Please alert Shyann Topel or your supervisor of any issues with
scheduling. If you have requested the date of testing off or have taken PPL you will need to visit
with Kendra Hiles DON to get tested before or after your day off. All staff must be tested.
Refusing to test will result in being excluded from work until tested.
 Wear your PPE and practice 6 ft. social distancing. If there is a line of staff waiting to be tested,
wait in your car.
 For testing day only – park outside of the East Asst. living entrance on Yellowstone Trail. Enter at
Door #19. Testing will take place in the East Asst. Living Dining area.
 Therapists and Hospice personnel should arrive between the hours of 1:30pm and 3pm. Any
BLHCC staff currently working on the day of testing will be first priority.
 All staff will be compensated with one hour of pay if tested on the date and time scheduled.
 If you work a PM Shift this day you may come closer to your shift so you don’t end up waiting to
punch in.
Tested In AM Before 7am: NOC Staff who worked night before
Red Group 1:30pm: Tonya, Lori S, Maria, Tim, Lori P, Janice, Melly, Angela, Joni,
Pam, Sharon, Traci, Aliyah
Green Group 1:45pm: Gabrielle, Caitlin, Cher, Misty, Denise, Maleena, Racheal,
Kayloni, Vanessa E-P, Lisa
Blue Group 2pm: Wanda, Colleen, Hailey, Emma, Nancy, Carolyn, Heidi, Jennie,
Janet, Katie Andrews, Lyn, Morgan, Tori
Purple Group 2:15pm: Connie, Serena, Carrie, Mariah, Ashley, Crystal, Joyce,
Monica, Rhonda, Vanessa T
Pink Group 2:30pm: Sue Major, Cheyenne, Marty, Kirsten, Jonna, Bo, Randy,
Gloria
Yellow Group 2:45pm: Leslie, Shyann, Melony, Kendra, Mark, Savannah, Presley,
Megan, Diane
Therapy/Hospice/Pastors: Lynette, Rebecca, Sara, Sherry, Shelby, Dr. Shorter,
Kelly, Dawn, Elizabeth, Justin, Tyler, Miranda, Mary, Kim, Pastor Amy, Father Joe

11 23 2020 Testing Schedule



BLHCC and Westview Estates
Staff/Family/Resident/Tenant COVID-19 Update
November 19, 2020

ALL STAFF/FAMILIES/RESIDENT ALERT: 

This week we send out our update with very heavy hearts.  We have received the final results of our facility wide testing from Monday 11/16/20.   We tested 126 residents/tenants and staff and have a total of eight positive staff this week, this number includes the staff that we have reported earlier this week.  They are staff from almost every department and for this we are thankful.  This means no staff is having to step into a role they are not familiar with.  Our staff are jumping in to help each other and the teamwork we are witnessing is amazing, thank you for this!  Most of the positive staff are asymptomatic (showing no symptoms or very mild symptoms) although, we are seeing staff develop symptoms after they are notified of their test results, yet they have been mild.  We also have two positive assisted living tenants. At this time our assisted living tenants are showing no symptoms.  We are monitoring them in house very closely and keeping them quarantined to their rooms.  We pray for full recovery of our staff, the impacted tenants, and the numerous community members that are positive.  May everyone find strength to fight this awful virus!

We will continue to test all staff/residents and tenants.  Today we did rapid tests on all the negative assisted living tenants and have no new positive tests.  This week our county prevalence rate has jumped to 14.2%.  This means we will begin twice a week testing on 11/30/2020.  Our plan is once a week we will do a lab test on everyone.  The staff will get tested a second time with the rapid antigen test.  Testing of staff will be Monday’s and Thursday’s.  Residents will be tested on Thursday’s.        

As we look ahead to the holidays please keep in mind that social gatherings are not recommended.  We do not want anyone leaving this facility unless it is an absolute must.  “This virus does not care that it is a holiday”.  We do not take this lightly and want to protect everyone we care for.  Eating and drinking around others without a face covering is a high risk activity.  We also recommend staff do not get together with members outside of their immediate family setting.  As per direction of the Minnesota Department of Health, if a resident or tenant goes out to a social gathering we will be placing them on a 14 day quarantine upon return.  This means staff will need to wear full PPE to enter that room, the resident/tenant is not to leave their room/apartment for 14 days.  We will then monitor them for any symptoms of COVID-19.  This is a burden to our staff that is already stretched thin and causes increased social isolation for the resident/tenant.   We go through a very large amount of PPE for anyone in a quarantine or isolation situation.  It also places our whole facility at increased risk.  With the potential for a safe and effective vaccine on the horizon, extra precautions are essential to protect our nursing home residents until a vaccine becomes available.  

The Activity staff is hard at work to come up with ideas of how you can still make your loved ones holidays a special time even if you are unable to be together physically.  At this time if you could email a picture or video to Lyn at atotenhagen@blhcc.org saying “Happy Thanksgiving” by 11/23/20, she will work on putting them into a special collection to broadcast on our in house TV channel.  You can also send cards/letters, make phone calls, or drop off a “care package”.  

While essential care visits are allowed to continue per CMS guidelines, we are asking you to refrain from visiting.  If you feel you need to visit at this time please call ahead to arrange a visit.  Community transmission rates are higher than they have ever been and we ask that you find other ways to connect with your loved one.  As we move through the weeks ahead we all need to do our part to slow the progression of this virus.  

Window visits continue to be encouraged but we know the weather is against us again for these.  If you wish to schedule a video visit we have set up a Sign Up Genius on our website www.blhcc.org for Zoom calls.  The activity department will assist residents/tenants with these calls.  This is a great way to connect with those you cannot see.  If you have any questions about this process or need assistance, please contact Activities at 320-833-5364 ext. 36.  We also encourage everyone to “Like” us on Facebook.  

This is a time of Thanksgiving.  We are so very appreciative of all of our residents/tenants/staff/and families.   Our team at BLHCC is committed to keeping you connected during this holiday season.    

Sincerely,

Mark Rust Administrator             Kendra Hiles Director of Nursing

November 19th Covid-19 Update


BLHCC and Westview Estates
Staff/Family/Resident/Tenant COVID-19 Update
November 18, 2020

ALL STAFF/FAMILIES/RESIDENT ALERT:

We have another staff member that has tested positive with COVID-19.  This staff tested positive with the rapid test yesterday and is awaiting lab confirmation of the result.   To summarize all the recent notices;  at this time we have a total of 3 staff that are out of work due to testing positive, to date we have had a total of nine positive staff, one positive nursing home resident and three positive assisted living tenants.  All of the assisted living cases as well as the nursing home case have made a great recovery, we have had no deaths related to COVID-19.  All of our staff have also been able to recover from this virus.   All of the cases, except for one, we feel are related to community spread, not facility spread.  So what does this mean…it means everyone has to do their part to protect themselves while out in the community.  The numbers in our area continue to soar and our hospitals are at or near capacity.  Please, please, please do your part:  mask up, socially distance, do not attend gatherings, stay home if you are sick.  We will send out another update later in the week with the results of our facility wide testing from Monday 11/16/20.  Stay safe everyone!!

Sincerely,

Mark Rust Administrator             Kendra Hiles Director of Nursing

Covid 19 Update November 18

________________________________________________________________________________________________

BLHCC and Westview Estates
Staff/Family/Resident/Tenant COVID-19 Update
November 17, 2020

ALL STAFF/Families/Resident ALERT:

We have received notice that another staff member has been confirmed positive with COVID-19.  This staff last worked at the facility 11/12/20 and began to exhibit symptoms that day, they left work immediately.  They were tested on 11/13/20 and the results are confirmed positive.  They are home with symptoms and continuing to self-monitor through the quarantine period.  We will be doing contact tracing throughout the day to identify if we have any high risk exposures.  Thank you for your responsiveness to the calls for the contact tracing!  This really helps us in the fight against this virus.   We will send out another update later in the week with the results of our facility wide testing from Monday 11/16/20.  Stay safe everyone!!

Sincerely,

Mark Rust Administrator                                              Kendra Hiles Director of Nursing

BLHCC Postive COVID Letter To Families Residents 11 17 2020

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BLHCC and Westview Estates

Staff/Family/Resident/Tenant COVID-19 Update

November 14, 2020

ALL STAFF/FAMILIES/RESIDENT ALERT: 

We have received the final results of our facility wide testing from Monday 11/9/20.   We tested 130 residents/tenants and staff and have one positive staff this week.  That staff is asymptotic (showing no symptoms or very mild symptoms).  As our county numbers soar, our state numbers skyrocket and we feel the direct impact of loved ones in our community that are struggling with positive results we are so very humbled by this news.  We pray for full recovery of our staff and community members, may they find the strength to fight this awful virus.

We will continue to test all staff/residents and tenants on weekly basis as we are still in outbreak testing.  We need to all be negative for 2 weeks and then we will transition to staff only testing.  This week our county prevalence is at 9.6%, if this number goes above 10% we will begin twice per week testing.  Predications do not look good.  

As we look ahead to the holidays please keep in mind that social gatherings are not recommended.  “This virus does not care it is a holiday”.  Especially, gatherings of friends and loved ones that live in different households.  Eating and drinking around others without a face covering is a high risk activity.  We also recommend staff do not get together with members outside of their immediate family setting.  As per direction of the Minnesota Department of Health, if a resident or tenant goes out to a social gathering we will be placing them on a 14 day quarantine upon return.  This means staff will need to wear full PPE to enter that room, the resident/tenant is not to leave their room for 14 days, and we will monitor for any symptoms of COVID-19.  Many of our staff have said they are willing to do this if it means residents/tenants can see their family for the holiday.  We caution this thought process….not only is there undue burden placed on staff that are stretched thin, there is also a depletion of our precious PPE resources.  We go through a very large amount of PPE for anyone in a quarantine or isolation situation.  It also places our whole facility at increased risk of a large scale COVID-19 outbreak.  At this time we have been able to contain the spread within our facility and hold on to hope that a vaccine is soon to come.    

The Activity staff is hard at work to come up with ideas of how you can still make your loved ones holidays a special time even if you are unable to be together physically.  At this time if you could email a picture or video to Lyn at atotenhagen@blhcc.org saying “Happy Thanksgiving” by 11/23/20, she will work on putting them into a special collection to broadcast on our in house TV channel.  If you are an essential caregiver and come for a visit over the holidays you can bring a meal for your loved one, but please refrain from eating with them.  We also encourage you to set up virtual visits now for popular days like Thanksgiving.  You can also send cards/letters, make phone calls, or drop off a “care package”.  More ideas to follow.  

Essential care visits continue.  We love to see you and so do the residents!  If you have been approved as an essential caregiver in the past you are welcome to call and set up a time to return to visit your loved one.  If you have not been approved and are wondering if you can visit please contact Michelle or Kendra at 320-833-5364.  In order to be able to maintain these visits it is extremely important that everyone follow the safety guidelines. These include:  scheduling the visit in advance, wearing the appropriate PPE at all times, entering door #13 and being screened, traveling straight to the resident’s room/apartment and exiting straight out door #13.  Also be sure to sign out when you leave and have the resident/tenant you are visiting wear a mask during your visit.  No eating during your visit please.  

Window visits continue to be encouraged but we know the weather is against us again for these.  If you wish to schedule a video visit we have set up a Sign Up Genius on our website www.blhcc.org for Zoom calls.  The activity department will assist residents/tenants with these calls.  This is a great way to connect with those you cannot see.  If you have any questions about this process or need assistance, please contact Lyn in Activities at 320-833-5364 ext. 36.  

We encourage everyone to “Like” us on Facebook.  You will see on Facebook that life does go on at BLHCC.  We are always trying to engage residents/tenants and promote quality of life to best extent possible.  This past week the Veterans Meal was a huge success.  We want to thank those that donated at The Broaster Cafe in Bird Island.  100% of Veterans meals were paid for, this was not expected, it was very heartwarming and appreciated.   

To our heroes, our warriors and our defenders we thank you for continuing to pull together and provide the best possible care to our residents.  We need you! You are invaluable!  To our residents/tenants there is no way to say how much we care about you and feel responsible for you.  To our families….we miss you, we think of you and we thank you for entrusting us to care for your loved ones though this pandemic.  The fight goes on……

Sincerely,

Mark Rust Administrator                                                  Kendra Hiles Director of Nursing

Weekly Update 11 14 20

__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Routine Staff Testing Schedule
November 16th 2020 from 1:30pm-3pm

 The time your group gets tested may change. We will do our best to keep the groups in this order for all dates of testing. Please alert Shyann Topel or your supervisor of any issues with scheduling. If you have requested the date of testing off or have taken PPL you will need to visit with Kendra Hiles DON to get tested before or after your day off. All staff must be tested. Refusing to test will result in being excluded from work until tested.
 Wear your PPE and practice 6 ft. social distancing. If there is a line of staff waiting to be tested, wait in your car.
 For testing day only – park outside of the East Asst. living entrance on Yellowstone Trail. Enter at Door #19. Testing will take place in the East Asst. Living Dining area.
 Therapists and Hospice personnel should arrive between the hours of 1:30pm and 3pm. Any BLHCC staff currently working on the day of testing will be first priority.
 All staff will be compensated with one hour of pay if tested on the date and time scheduled.
 If you work a PM Shift this day you may come closer to your shift so you don’t end up waiting to punch in.

Tested In AM Before 7am: NOC Staff who worked night before

Red Group 1:30pm: Tonya, Lori S, Maria, Tim, Lori P, Janice, Melly, Angela, Joni, Pam, Katie Antonsen, Sharon, Traci, Aliyah

Green Group 1:45pm: Gabrielle, Caitlin, Cher, Misty, Denise, Maleena, Racheal, Kayloni, Vanessa E-P, Lisa

Blue Group 2pm: Wanda, Colleen, Hailey, Emma, Nancy, Shylah, Carolyn, Heidi, Jennie, Janet, Katie Andrews, Lyn, Morgan, Tori

Purple Group 2:15pm: Connie, Serena, Carrie, Mariah, Ashley, Crystal, Joyce, Calissa, Monica, Rhonda, Vanessa T, Marissa

Pink Group 2:30pm: Sue Major, Cheyenne, Marty, Kirsten, Jonna, Bo, Michelle, Randy, Ranell, Kenny, Gloria

Yellow Group 2:45pm: Leslie, Shyann, Melony, Kendra, Mark, Savannah, Presley, Megan, Natalie, Diane

Therapy/Hospice/Pastors: Lynette, Rebecca, Sara, Sherry, Shelby, Dr. Shorter, Kelly, Dawn, Sherry, Elizabeth, Justin, Tyler, Miranda, Mary, Kim, Pastor Amy, Father Joe

11 16 2020 Testing Schedule

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BLHCC and Westview Estates

Staff/Family/Resident/Tenant COVID-19 Update

November 4, 2020

Routine Staff Testing Schedule

NOTE TIME CHANGE

November 9th 2020 from 1:30pm-3pm

  • The time your group gets tested may change. We will do our best to keep the groups in this order for all dates of testing. Please alert Shyann Topel or your supervisor of any issues with scheduling. If you have requested the date of testing off or have taken PPL you will need to visit with Kendra Hiles DON to get tested before or after your day off. All staff must be tested. Refusing to test will result in being excluded from work until tested.
  • Wear your PPE and practice 6 ft. social distancing. If there is a line of staff waiting to be tested, wait in your car.
  • For testing day only – park outside of the East Asst. living entrance on Yellowstone Trail. Enter at Door #19. Testing will take place in the East Asst. Living Dining area.
  • Therapists and Hospice personnel should arrive between the hours of 1:30pm and 3pm. Any BLHCC staff currently working on the day of testing will be first priority.
  • All staff will be compensated with one hour of pay if tested on the date and time scheduled.
  • If you work a PM Shift this day you may come closer to your shift so you don’t end up waiting to punch in.

Tested In AM Before 7am: NOC Staff who worked night before

Red Group 1:30pm: Tonya, Lori S, Maria, Tim, Lori P, Janice, Melly, Angela, Joni, Pam, Katie Antonsen, Sharon, Traci, Aliyah

Green Group 1:45pm: Gabrielle, Caitlin, Cher, Misty, Denise, Maleena, Racheal, Kayloni, Vanessa E-P, Lisa

Blue Group 2pm: Wanda, Colleen, Hailey, Emma, Nancy, Shylah, Carolyn, Heidi, Jennie, Janet, Katie Andrews, Lyn, Morgan

Purple Group 2:15pm: Connie, Serena, Carrie, Mariah, Ashley, Crystal, Joyce, Calissa, Monica, Rhonda, Vanessa T, Marissa

Pink Group 2:30pm: Sue Major, Cheyenne, Kayla, Marty, Kirsten, Jonna, Bo, Michelle, Randy, Ranell, Kenny

Yellow Group 2:45pm: Leslie, Shyann, Melony, Kendra, Mark, Savannah, Presley, Megan, Natalie, Diane

Therapy/Hospice: Lynette, Rebecca, Sara, Sherry, Shelby, Dr. Shorter, Kelly, Dawn, Sherry, Elizabeth, Justin, Tyler, Miranda, Mary, Kim, Amy

11 9 2020 Testing Schedule

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BLHCC and Westview Estates

Staff/Family/Resident/Tenant COVID-19 Update

November 5, 2020

ALL STAFF/Families/Resident ALERT:

We have received the final results of our facility wide testing from Monday 11/2/20.  We have confirmed one positive staff person this week with our routine testing.  That staff is having mild symptoms and home on quarantine.  We are awaiting confirmation on the other staff that tested positive with the rapid test.  At this time we treat them as a presumed positive case.  That staff is asymptomatic (no symptoms) and is home monitoring for symptoms.  The one staff that tested positive last week with no symptoms has not developed any symptoms and continues to remain home during the quarantine period.  We have one staff from earlier testing that continues to seek treatment from the effects of COVID-19 including the cough, shortness of breath and fatigue.  Prayers continue for a full recovery.

The truly amazing news in all of this is that we have no positive resident/tenant cases again this week! Great job with PPE everyone!!  We have been fighting this virus for eight months now and everyone is very tired, last week we described it as the snow storm that just does not end.  Yet, staff continue to put every effort forward to pick up extra hours and provide the best possible care to our residents.  Staff you are amazing!  We cannot give up!  We cannot let our guard down!  We cannot think, “Our staff have recovered well, residents have recovered, we’re ok.”  WE ARE NOT OK…..10 deaths have occurred in Renville County from COVID-19.  Most COVID-19 transmission has been linked to the community and the activities we do outside of work.  Please keep up with the best practices to fight this virus.  We are blessed to have such a caring and dedicated team!  Stay Safe……Mask up and social distance.

We will continue to test all staff/residents and tenants on weekly basis as we are still in outbreak testing.  We continue to be in contact with our health department and weekly updates on changes are ongoing.  We train our staff continually, even fire drills now contain additional training on PPE use.  We have also joined a collaborative called Project ECHO to meet with other facilities and share best practices in the management of COVID-19, we are excited to see what this has to offer.

Essential care visits continue.  We love to see you and so do the residents!  If you have been approved as an essential caregiver in the past you are welcome to call and set up a time to return to visit your loved one.  If you have not been approved and are wondering if you can visit please contact Michelle or Kendra at 320-833-5364.  In order to be able to maintain these visits it is extremely important that everyone follow the safety guidelines. These include:  scheduling the visit in advance, wearing the appropriate PPE at all times, entering door #13 and being screened, traveling straight to the resident’s room/apartment and exiting straight out door #13.  Also be sure to sign out when you leave and have the resident/tenant you are visiting wear a mask during your visit.  No eating during your visit please.

Indoor visits remain on hold.  We have a plan to begin these visits once we are all COVID-19 negative for 2 consecutive weeks.  Window visits continue to be encouraged but we know the weather will be against us again.  If you wish to schedule a video visit we are setting up a Sign Up Genius on our website www.blhcc.org for Zoom calls where the activity department can assist residents/tenants with these calls.  This is a great way to connect with those you cannot see.  If you have any questions about this process, please contact Lyn in Activities at 320-833-5364 ext. 36.

We encourage everyone to “Like” us on Facebook.  You will see on Facebook that life does go on at BLHCC.  We are always trying to engage residents/tenants and promote quality of life to best extent possible.  With Veteran’s Day next week our Veterans will enjoy a special meal being catered in from a local restaurant.  We encourage you to post your pictures thanking our Veterans for us to share with them.  They will receive a special Veterans mask and have a special thank you surprise entertainment….

The days are sometimes frustrating and the nights may be filled with worry or concern but as long as we all continue to work together we will make it!  We are blessed to have the most amazing staff and residents at BLHCC!! Thank you!

Sincerely,

Mark Rust Administrator                                              Kendra Hiles Director of Nursing

Weekly Update 11 5 20

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BLHCC and Westview Estates

Staff/Family/Resident/Tenant COVID-19 Update

November 4, 2020

ALL STAFF/Families/Resident ALERT:

We have not received the final results of our facility wide testing from Monday 11/2/2020.  However we have identified one positive staff person this week with our rapid test, we are awaiting confirmation of this test.  Confirmation is obtained by doing a PCR lab test that can take up to 3-5 days to get the results.  This staff is asymptomatic (no symptoms) and is now home monitoring for symptoms and off of work during the quarantine period.  A more detailed letter will follow this week with the final results of our testing.

It is a requirement that we update you within 24 hours that we are aware of a positive test and at this time all other staff and residents continue to be monitored with no symptoms identified.

Sincerely,

Mark Rust Administrator                                              Kendra Hiles Director of Nursing

Weekly Update (short Version) 11 4 20

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Routine Staff Testing Schedule
NOTE TIME CHANGE
November 2nd 2020 from 1:30pm-3pm

 The time your group gets tested may change. We will do our best to keep the groups in this order for all dates of testing. Please alert Shyann Topel or your supervisor of any issues with scheduling. If you have requested the date of testing off or have taken PPL you will need to visit with Kendra Hiles DON to get tested before or after your day off. All staff must be tested. Refusing to test will result in being excluded from work until tested.
Wear your PPE and practice 6 ft. social distancing. If there is a line of staff waiting to be tested, wait in your car.
 For testing day only – park outside of the East Asst. living entrance on Yellowstone Trail. Enter at Door #19. Testing will take place in the East Asst. Living Dining area.
 Therapists and Hospice personnel should arrive between the hours of 1pm and 3pm. Any BLHCC staff currently working on the day of testing will be first priority.
 All staff will be compensated with one hour of pay if tested on the date and time scheduled.
 If you work a PM Shift this day you may come closer to your shift so you don’t end up waiting to punch in.

Tested In AM Before 7am: NOC Staff who worked night before

Red Group 1:30pm: Tonya, Lori S, Maria, Tim, Lori P, Janice, Melly, Angela, Joni, Pam, Katie Antonsen, Sharon, Traci, Aliyah

Green Group 1:45pm: Gabrielle, Caitlin, Cher, Misty, Denise, Maleena, Racheal, Kayloni, Vanessa E-P, Lisa

Blue Group 2pm: Wanda, Colleen, Hailey, Emma, Nancy, Shylah, Carolyn, Heidi, Jennie, Janet, Katie Andrews, Lyn, Morgan

Purple Group 2:15pm: Connie, Serena, Carrie, Mariah, Ashley, Crystal, Joyce, Calissa, Monica, Rhonda, Vanessa T, Marissa

Pink Group 2:30pm: Sue Major, Cheyenne, Kayla, Marty, Kirsten, Jonna, Bo, Michelle, Randy, Ranell, Kenny, Vanessa B.

Yellow Group 2:45pm: Leslie, Shyann, Melony, Kendra, Mark, Savannah, Presley, Megan, Natalie, Diane, Samantha

Therapy/Hospice: Lynette, Rebecca, Sara, Sherry, Shelby, Dr. Shorter, Kelly, Dawn, Sherry, Elizabeth, Justin, Tyler, Miranda, Mary, Kim, Amy

11 2 2020 Testing Schedule.docx

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Buffalo Lake Healthcare Center / Educare

ON-LINE Training:  All Staff

Educare:  We have signed an agreement to work with Educare to provide on-line education services.   This will help to ensure that all staff has the proper training to perform their job.

Educare Log in:

***No Courses are too be completed while you are punched in, you can complete while at work but are not to be “on the clock”. ***

1) Go to educaretrainingonline.westnetmlp.com **Please make sure you are only using this website**

2) Enter in your username: Your first name and the first four of your birthday.  Example:  Joe Smith with a birthday of 4/2/1992 username is:  joe0402

3) Enter in your password:  blhcc or blhcc1 if you were hired after 9/1/2018

4) Click submit

5) Click on the course you would like to start, click launch course and your course will start, you will need to advance each slide by clicking the play button. (The slides have both written information and audio presentation – you will need to have sound on your computer).  There is a test-out you must pass to successfully complete a course.

6) You can stop and resume a course at anytime.  The system will remember where you left off.

Pay:

We will reimburse you for completing the courses.  The courses you are assigned are mandatory to complete on a quarterly basis.  This quarter will be October, November and December.  You will have until December 31st to complete the courses you are assigned and will get paid for the normal run time of the course on your January 7th paycheck. No overtime will be paid for educational hours. You do not need to turn in any information to be paid, we will run a report to determine who has completed the courses.  If you do not complete the course by December 31st you will not be paid but will still be required to complete the courses as part of your job requirements.

Internet access:  If you do not have easy access to internet services (home/library) we will provide accommodations on an individual basis.

**For employees who are not comfortable with the instructions provided or would like to learn more about this required training; Kendra provide training.  See or call Kendra to arrange a training date.

Courses:

Title Runtime CEU
Dementia-A refresher 47.21 1.0
Resident Rights–SNF 21.22 0.75
     

You must complete all courses by December 31st. You will receive 2 hours of in-service pay on your January 7th paycheck.  CEU’s certificates can be printed upon request by the business office.

Educare Payroll Stuffer All Staff 4th Quarter 2020

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BLHCC and Westview Estates

Staff/Family/Resident/Tenant COVID-19 Update

October 29, 2020

ALL STAFF/Families/Resident ALERT:

We have received the final results of our facility wide testing from Monday 10/26/20.  We have confirmed one positive staff person this week.  That staff is asymptomatic (no symptoms) and is now home monitoring for symptoms and off of work during the quarantine period.  The two staff that were positive last week are doing well.  One has returned to work already and one remains at home with mild symptoms and will be returning to work if all goes well next week.  We are beyond happy to report no positive resident/tenant cases this week.  We are following the Minnesota Health Department Guidelines for return to work criteria, if you are interested this is the link to those guidelines https://www.health.state.mn.us/diseases/coronavirus/hcp/hcwrecs.pdf

Staff that are out of work during a COVID-19 illness or have symptoms of COVID-19 and are waiting test results are paid for the time they are out of work without having to use their vacation/sick time.  We have had countless staff that have stepped up to fill in hours and make sure our residents receive the best care possible, thank you to all of you!!!  We are blessed to have such a caring and dedicated team!

We will continue to test all staff/residents and tenants on weekly basis as we are still in outbreak testing (even one case of COVID-19 is considered to be an outbreak) and need to have two consecutive weeks of all negative tests before we can stop testing residents weekly.  Staff testing will depend on our county prevalence rate of COVID-19 cases.  We also continue to require testing for any staff who show two or more symptoms of COVID-19, and place any residents that show symptoms are placed under transmission based precautions pending the determination of a diagnosis for their symptoms.

We are excited to announce that we have resumed essential care visits and many residents have had visits this week.   This means if you have been approved as an essential caregiver in the past you are welcome to call and set up a time to return to visit your loved one.  If you have not been approved and are wondering if you can visit please contact Michelle or Kendra at 320-833-5364.  In order to be able to maintain these visits it is extremely important that everyone follow the safety guidelines. These include:  scheduling the visit in advance, wearing the appropriate PPE at all times, entering door #13 and being screened, traveling straight to the resident’s room/apartment and exiting straight out door #13.  Also be sure to sign out when you leave and have the resident/tenant you are visiting wear a mask during your visit.  No eating during your visit please.

Indoor visits are on hold at this time.  We have a plan to begin these visits once we are all COVID-19 negative for 2 consecutive weeks.  These visits will be for anyone wishing to see a resident or tenant and will be set up though our website at www.blhcc.org.  These visits will take place in our new community room.  This room will have additional safety precautions, including added exhaust ventilation.  These visits will be supervised from a distance to maintain infection control precautions.  Window visits continue to be encouraged, at this time, the window should remain closed.  If you wish to schedule a video visit, please contact Lyn in Activities at 320-833-5364 ext. 36.

Just a reminder that we will be having a Scavenger Hunt outside of the building for kids on Halloween.  This is a way that even though the kids cannot come into the building, the residents will still be able to see the little ones in their costumes.  We will have individually packaged candy for the kids to pick up after they do the Scavenger Hunt on Saturday October 31st from 5pm-6pm.  Hopefully our weather cooperates.  Watch our Facebook page for more details.

This week we wished our longest employee of the Buffalo Lake Healthcare Center the best in her retirement.  Paula Jakobitz retired after 43years at BLHCC.  We thank everyone who came out to the Parade on 10/25/2020 in honor of Paula’s last day, sent her a card, greeting or wished her well from afar.  She was overwhelmed to say the least.  We will miss her in so many way:  her dedication, the countless lives she has touched, her sense of humor and ability to inspire others will not be forgotten.  Thank you Paula!  Enjoy retirement!!

Sincerely,

Mark Rust Administrator                                              Kendra Hiles Director of Nursing

NEW Weekly Update 10 29 20

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Archived Updates

Vaccine CLinic BLHCC Staff Info

Weekly Update 10 23 20 (final Sent Out)

Weekly Update 10 14 20

BLHCC Presumptive Positive COVID Staff Letter 10 2 2020 

Click HERE for a pdf copy Routine Testing

Click HERE for a PDF copy of 9/24/20 notice

Click HERE for a PDF copy of testing schedule

Click HERE for a PDF copy of the consent form

Click HERE for a PDF copy of the registration/insurance form

Covid-19 9-10-2020 Staff Letter 

Hotline PDF Copy


Educare PDF

July 24th PDF copy

Click HERE for a PDF copy July 13

Click HERE for SignUpGenius step by step instruction

June 25th Update

Download a pdf of our June 10, 2020 update

Download a pdf of our May 29, 2020 update

Download a pdf of our May 18, 2020 update

5/15/2020: Download the pdf of this update.

Staff Screening Instructions 5/5/2020

Home Made Masks For Staff At Home 5/5/2020

Eye Protection For All Staff 5/5/2020

COVID Testing Site Information 5/5/2020

Download a pdf of our May 4, 2020 update

Download a pdf of our April 10, 2020 update

Click Here for April 6th PDF

Click here  March 29th PDF