News and Events

Thanksgiving

Dear Family and Friends,

We recently learned that the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) and the federal Medicare agency (CMS) are advising against residents leaving their care center for holiday visits. As we continue to fight against COVID-19, we ask that you not take your loved ones out this Thanksgiving.

By not taking your loved one out for a holiday visit, you will help us in protecting the health of everyone who lives and works here. One of the best things that you can do for your family this holiday season is to not gather in groups and keep everyone safe by wearing a facemask when you do.

We know just how special the holiday season can be and spending time with family is what adds meaning to our celebrations. However, we need your help to protect our residents, our staff, and yourself during this pandemic’s risky time by limiting our contact with the broader community. As Governor Walz told us the other night, the COVID-19 surge is at a dangerous level in Minnesota.

This past year has been a challenge like no other and we deeply appreciate the sacrifices that you and your family have already made during these past months. The hope of a COVID-19 vaccine is promising, but until that time we all need to use extra caution to slow the spread of this highly contagious disease.

If a resident does choose to go to a holiday gathering outside of our care center, the resident will need to quarantine in his or her room for 14-days after returning as a necessary precaution. Even when being very careful and following all of the guidelines, the risk of being infected when being out in the general public is high.

Our staff is committed to keeping you connected during the holiday seasons. We have a variety of activities planned that will engage our residents and are doing all we can to facilitate alternative means of communication between you and your loved one. If you have any gifts or cards you would like to give to your loved one or wish to schedule a virtual visit, please contact Kim Lautizi, Activity Director at 218-274-7715.

We know that this news may cause concern or that you may have questions about what we are doing to keep everyone safe and healthy. Please do not hesitate to reach out to me at 218-274-7711 or cfishel@sfhs.org.

Sincerely,

Chester Fishel, Administrator

COVID Update

Dear Family and Friends,

We conducted entire-site testing on 11/17/2020. We have a few results pending, however, as of today, we have 8 additional residents and 15 staff members test positive for COVID-19. We follow all recommendations from the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH), the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).

Our county positivity rate has risen above 10% putting our care center in the “red zone.” According to CMS calculations, all Minnesota counties, but four, are now in the “red zone.” Being in the “red zone” requires our care center to routinely test our staff twice weekly. We are testing all staff again today, November 20th. We are also required to suspend all indoor visits at this time. We encourage you to use alternate ways to connect with your loved ones such as Zoom, Facebook Portal, Phone, and Facetiming. To schedule your visit or for more information on our visitation policy, please contact Kim Lautizi in Activities at 218-274-7715.

With hospital beds nearing capacity and healthcare staffing shortages, Governor Walz issued even more COVID restrictions this week. Restaurants, breweries, bowling alleys, movie theaters, and bars will be take-out only. Gyms will close and organized indoor sports will be suspended. We need your help to control the spread of the virus in our community. We encourage you to use masks, social distance and abide by the Governor’s Orders.

Looking for ways to help? We have a variety of positions available with flexible scheduling and on the job training. For more information or to apply, visit www.jobswithus.org.

Please follow our Facebook page (@Heritage Manor Health Center) or our website (www.sfhs.org) for all COVID updates and information on what is happening inside our care center. Please do not hesitate to reach out to Chester Fishel, Administrator, at cfishel@hmhc.sfhs.org, or by phone at 218-274-7711 if you have any questions or concerns.

COVID Update

Dear Family and Friends,

We conducted entire-site testing on 11/10/2020. This week we had 3 residents and 1 staff members test positive for COVID-19. We have opened our segregated COVID unit. We will be testing residents and staff again on 11/17/2020. We follow all recommendations from the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH), the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).

The COVID unit is segregated from the rest of our community. The designated staff that care for residents in this unit remain within the area and do not have physical contact with other non-segregated residents. The staff who test positive will be self-quarantined at home and will not be allowed to return to work until they recover from the virus; 10 days following positive test and 72 hours from last fever without using medication. Our staff are equipped with specific training and PPE to continue to provide safe, quality care, services and support to the residents of our community.

Due to these results, we will continue precautions for our residents that had exposure to reduce any further potential risk within our care center. Unfortunately, this means we have to continue to suspend all indoor visits and patio visits at this time.

This week Governor Walz announced new COVID-19 restrictions. These include earlier bar and restaurant closing times and 10 person limits on all indoor and outdoor gatherings. We encourage everyone in their efforts to control the spread of the virus including wearing masks, social distancing and the recent turning back of the dial by the State.

Looking for ways to help? We have a variety of positions available with flexible scheduling and on the job training. For more information or to apply, visit www.jobswithus.org.

Please follow our Facebook page (@Heritage Manor Health Center) or our website (www.sfhs.org) for all COVID updates and information on what is happening inside our care center. Please do not hesitate to reach out to Chester Fishel, Administrator, at cfishel@hmhc.sfhs.org, or by phone at 218-274-7711 if you have any questions or concerns.

1 Staff Member Tests Positive for COVID this Week

Dear Family and Friends,

On 11/3/2020, we tested all residents and all staff and 1 staff member tested positive. We will be testing residents and staff again on 11/10/2020. We follow all recommendations from the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH), the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).

As a result of potential exposure from 10/27/2020, we will continue precautions for our residents that had exposure to reduce any further potential exposure within the building until November 10th. Unfortunately, this means we have to continue to suspend all indoor visits and patio visits at this time.

Our top priority is to support and protect our residents and dedicated caregivers. We have equipped our staff with the training and supplies needed to provide safe, quality care, services and support to our residents. We continue to urge everyone to practice proper hand hygiene and safe physical distancing.

We are committed to ensuring that physical distancing does not mean isolation. We are working to have a variety of small group activities that engage our residents such as bingo, various trivia games, exercise, current events and mobile Happy Hour on Fridays. We know that you too are making sacrifices and we appreciate your patience as we continue to navigate through this Pandemic. To schedule a visit with your loved one, please contact Kim Lautizi in Activities at 218-274-7715 or klautiz@hmhc.sfhs.org.

Looking for ways to help? We have a variety of positions available with flexible scheduling and on the job training. For more information or to apply, visit www.jobswithus.org.

Please follow our Facebook page (@Heritage Manor Health Center) or our website (www.sfhs.org) for all COVID updates and information on what is happening inside our care center. Please do not hesitate to reach out to Chester Fishel, Administrator, at cfishel@hmhc.sfhs.org, or by phone at 218-274-7711 if you have any questions or concerns.

Staff Member Tests Positive for COVID-19

Dear Family and Friends,

From our testing on 10/27/2020, we had one staff member test positive, all other staff were negative.  Due to the limited exposure we tested all residents that had exposure and will update you should any positive cases arise. The positive case prompts us to initiate weekly point prevalence testing (PPT) for all residents and staff.  Testing will take place on 11/03/2020.  We follow all recommendations from the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH), the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).

In the event we have any residents test positive, we would activate our COVID unit. The unit is segregated from the rest of our community. The designated staff that care for residents in this unit remain within the area and do not have physical contact with other non-segregated residents. Any staff who test positive will be self-quarantined at home and will not be allowed to return to work until they recover from the virus; 10 days following positive test and 72 hours from last fever without using medication. Our staff are equipped with specific training and PPE to continue to provide safe, quality care, services and support to the residents of our community.

As a result of potential exposure, we are initiating precautions for our residents that had exposure to reduce any further potential exposure within the building. Unfortunately, this means we will need to suspend all indoor visits and patio visits at this time.

Looking for ways to help? We have a variety of positions available with flexible scheduling and on the job training. For more information or to apply, visit www.jobswithus.org.

Don’t forget to get your flu shot this season to help protect our community. Please follow our Facebook page (@Heritage Manor Health Center) or our website (www.sfhs.org) for all COVID updates and information on what is happening inside our care center. Please do not hesitate to reach out to Chester Fishel, Administrator, at cfishel@hmhc.sfhs.org, or by phone at 218-274-7711 if you have any questions or concerns.

NO NEW POSITIVE CASES OF COVID-19!

Dear Family and Friends,

We conducted our 2nd round of entire-site testing on 10/20/2020. We are excited to announce we have received all negative results for the second week in a row. Two weeks of negative tests allow us to discontinue outbreak testing. We will routinely test staff only weekly. We follow all recommendations from the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH), the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).

Our care center has plans to start indoor visitation on Thursday October 29th. As a reminder, we will follow state and federal guidance for visitation, which includes following the core infection control protocols, including screening of all visitors for signs & symptoms of COVID, proper hand hygiene, face coverings, and social distancing. Please recognize that this virus is still spreading throughout our state and that we may need to restrict visitation if we experience positive cases of COVID-19 in our setting, identify a broader risk of exposure both in our setting and/or the broader community, or encounter other factors that affect the safety of visitation.

Due to high demand and the safety of our residents, all visits must be scheduled 24 hours in advance. As a reminder only two people may visit at one time.   All visits will be in the back side of our dining room.  All visitors will have to enter the building on the back side of the dining room from the back patio on the East side.  There is a sidewalk from 6th street to the back patio.  All visitors will have to be screened prior to coming into the building.  If you are planning on visiting you will have to get tested before you can come inside.  If you plan on visiting routinely, then you will have to get tested weekly with Heritage Manor staff.  Activities will coordinate getting your information for testing.  To schedule your visit or for more information on our visitation policy, please contact Kim Lautizi in Activities at 218-274-7715.

Looking for ways to help? We have a variety of positions available with flexible scheduling and on the job training. For more information or to apply, visit www.jobswithus.org.

Please follow our Facebook page (@Heritage Manor Health Center) or our website (www.sfhs.org) for all COVID updates and information on what is happening inside our care center. Please do not hesitate to reach out to Chester Fishel, Administrator, at cfishel@hmhc.sfhs.org, or by phone at 218-274-7711 if you have any questions or concerns.

Planning Ahead for Indoor Visitation

Dear Family and Friends,

Last week we learned that a staff member tested positive for COVID-19. We conducted entire-site testing (outbreak testing) on October 13th. We are awaiting results. We will be testing again on October 20th.

We are very excited to share the news that we will soon be able to resume indoor visits, and warmly welcome you back into our care center. The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) has issued guidance on how we can safely re-open to visitors while continuing to protect the health of our residents and staff. This guidance takes effect on October 17th.  In the meantime, we remind you to take advantage of outdoor visits and virtual visits.

Even though we are excited to open up our care center for indoor visits, it is tempered by the fact that rural communities are seeing more outbreak in recent weeks which has the potential to impact our care center’s ability to offer visitation. There can be no new onset of COVID-19 cases in the last 14 days and facility cannot currently be conducting outbreak testing.  COVID-19 county positivity rates will determine how our care center will facilitate indoor visits.

For your planning purposes, please know we expect to accommodate indoor visitation very soon, following these strict guidelines:

  • All indoor visits MUST be scheduled in advance.
  • Visitors must be screened prior to entering the care center for signs and symptoms of COVID-19.
  • All visits must be conducted using social distancing.
  • Visitors must wear a mask covering both nose and mouth while in the care center. Residents must wear a surgical mask during the visit.
  • Proper hand hygiene must occur (use of alcohol-based hand rub) throughout visit.
  • Visits may be restricted to a designated area within the building.
  • Physical contact (hugs, kisses, handshakes, etc.) continues to be restricted to protect everyone from potential virus transmission.
  • Visitors will be limited to two visitors per resident; the total number of visitors in the building will be limited; and the duration of visits will be limited.
  • Visitors must adhere to all infection control policies (ICP) and staff should provide monitoring for those who may have difficulty adhering to ICP
  • Cleaning/disinfecting high frequency touched surfaces and designated visitation areas must occur after each visit.
  • All items brought to the visit must be left with staff for disinfection and not passed to the resident during the visit.

Our ability to resume visitation would not have been possible without the incredible commitment and dedication of our staff, who have worked tirelessly to manage the risks of COVID-19 and providing compassionate care and support to our residents at a time when they are physically separated by their loved ones. We know that you too, have made sacrifices during this incredibly difficult time and we thank you for your patience and understanding.

We would like to clear up some confusion from recent articles that have been published in our local papers.  We have had 5 staff members test positive since our first case on August 31, 2020.  To date we have had no residents test positive.  Fortunately, the 5 staff had very little resident contact, if any, before they were quarantined after testing positive.

Looking for ways to help? We have a variety of positions available with flexible scheduling and on the job training. For more information or to apply, visit www.jobswithus.org.

Please follow our Facebook page (@Heritage Manor Health Center) or our website (www.sfhs.org) for all COVID updates and information on what is happening inside our care center. Please do not hesitate to reach out to Chester Fishel, Administrator, at cfishel@hmhc.sfhs.org, or by phone at 218-274-7711 if you have any questions or concerns.

Weekly Update

October 9, 2020

As of October 7th, we have no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in our care center. We continue to routinely test staff weekly. We follow all recommendations from the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH), the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).

MDH is developing guidelines based on the recently issued CMS guidance on how we our can safety re-open our setting to visitors and continue to protect the health of our residents and staff. We plan to revise our current visitation policies to accommodate the MDH and CMS changes as soon as possible and distribute to residents and families.

We appreciate your patience as we take time to evaluate and implement the guidance so that we can safely resume indoor visitation. These requirements not only apply to our ability to resume indoor visitation but also identify triggers for when we may need to restrict visitation. Restricting visitation may happen if we experience a positive case of COVID-19 among our residents and staff or if our broader community falls into a higher risk category.

We deeply appreciate the sacrifices you made to limit the impact of COVID-19 on our community and your patience as we prepare our setting to host safe indoor visitation. Our entire team looks forward to seeing you again. Families, friends and volunteers are a core fabric of what makes our community so special. In the meantime, we remind you to take advantage of outdoor visits, window visits, and the ability to connect residents and their loved ones through alternative communication, such as FaceTime, Zoom and Skype.

Looking for ways to help? We have a variety of positions available with flexible scheduling and on the job training. For more information or to apply, visit www.jobswithus.org.

Thank you again for being partners with us in fighting the COVID-19 virus. Your messages of support, prayers, and caring is important to those working to keep our residents healthy and safe. Without a doubt, there will be more challenges ahead, and we continue to ask for your patience as we make adjustments and implement this next phase in our visitation. Please follow our Facebook page (@Heritage Manor Health Center) or our website (www.sfhs.org) for all COVID updates and information on what is happening inside our care center. Please do not hesitate to reach out to Chester Fishel, Administrator, at cfishel@hmhc.sfhs.org, or by phone at 218-274-7711 if you have any questions or concerns.

4th Round of Testing Results: NO NEW CASES!

SFHS UPDATE:

• October 2nd, 2020 •

Our 4th round of entire-site testing was performed on 9/29/20. We had no new cases of COVID-19 with either residents or staff. This allows our care center to stop weekly testing of residents. Patio visits will be resuming on Monday October 5th following strict guidelines.

We continue to follow the recommended guidance from the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) and Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), and the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH), and take all appropriate measures possible to protect the health and wellness of all who live and work here. Our staff will be routinely tested weekly according to CMS guidelines. Our next round of testing will take place on Tuesday October 6th.

The coming cooler months will continue to challenge us in limiting the impact of COVID-19 on our community. It is important for each of us to think about how our actions affect others we come in contact with. We must protect one another. You are a key partner in the safe reopening of our care center, please remember to social distance, wear a mask, and practice proper hand hygiene. Remember to stay home if you have symptoms of COVID-19 or have had close contact with someone who has been diagnosed with COVID-19.

If you or someone you know may be interested in working side by side with us as we truly make a difference in the lives of our residents, please contact our care center or visit www.jobswithus.org for more information.

We truly appreciate your patience as we navigate through these uncharted times and prepare to expand visits and other activities. We all look forward to the days ahead when we’re able to enjoy the simple pleasures of hugs, handshakes, and warm in-person greetings again.

Please follow our Facebook page (@Heritage Manor Health Center) for all COVID updates and information on what is happening inside our care center. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact Chester Fishel, Administrator, at cfishel@hmhc.sfhs.org, or by phone at 218-274-7711.

3rd Round of Entire-Site Testing Results

September 25, 2020

Our 3rd round of entire-site testing was performed on 9/22/20.  We had no new cases of COVID-19 with either residents or staff.  We will be testing again on 9/29/20.  We are required to do entire house testing until we have gone 2 consecutive weeks with no additional cases.

 Tests PositiveTests NegativeTests PendingTotal Tested
Residents062062
Staff090090
9/22/2020 Results

We continue to follow the recommended guidance from the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) and Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), and the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH), and take all appropriate measures possible to protect the health and wellness of all who live and work here. We test symptomatic residents and staff as symptoms arise and perform entire-site testing during an outbreak (1 or more positive cases of either a resident or staff in our care center). Should a confirmed case come from any of these tests, we would promptly notify our residents, their families and staff.

On September 17, 2020, the Center for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) released Memorandum QSO-20-39-NH Nursing Home Visitation – COVID 19 which provides updated visitation guidelines for skilled nursing facilities; https://www.cms.gov/files/document/qso-20-39-nh.pdf. We are currently waiting for the MN Department of Health direction on this Memo before we begin working on a policy & implementation plan.

Please follow our Facebook page (@Heritage Manor Health Center) for all COVID updates and information on what is happening inside our care center. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact Chester Fishel, Administrator, at cfishel@hmhc.sfhs.org, or by phone at 218-274-7711.