Bethany Retirement Living FAQs and COVID-19 Cases as of 12/23/20 1:00pm:
Dear families and friends of Bethany Retirement Living:
As you all know, Bethany residents, patients and staff have been battling the COVID-19 virus every day since March, 2020. Many of our staff and residents have been swab tested over 50 times. We are happy to announce that all Skilled Care Residents and Bethany staff will be vaccinated on Tuesday (12/29) and Wednesday 12/30). We are extremely excited that this day is finally here and we hope this will lead to reduced regulations on visitation restrictions in the near future as more people get vaccinated. As soon as Thrifty White Pharmacy has enough vaccine allocation we will schedule a testing event for all Assisted Living, Basic Care and Grace Pointe residents. We anticipate this may be around the middle of January, but hopefully sooner. Vaccination priority is determined by the North Dakota Department of Health.
Bethany conducted standard surveillance Covid-19 testing on Thursday (12/17), Monday (12/21) and today, Wednesday (12/23). During these three testing events 2,456 swab tests were conducted for residents and staff at both Bethany on 42nd and Bethany on University. We had no new positive resident cases. We had 10 new staff positive cases broken down as follows: 3 at Bethany on 42nd Skilled Care, 1 at Bethany Towers and 7 at Bethany on University Skilled Care. There were no new positive staff cases at Bethany Gables. We are still waiting for a few staff results from the State lab for Monday (12/21) and I will reflect any new cases in my next update. Please review our FAQs below for answers to questions you may have.
Bethany Towers I & II and Bethany Gables are allowing limited visitation. Bethany on 42nd Skilled Care and Bethany on University Skilled Care are allowing limited compassionate care visits. Please see visitation section on our website.
To keep residents safe, you must have proof of current testing results with you. To visit you will need to provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test that was taken within the past 7 days. To get on a regular visitation pattern, we recommend that you get tested on the same day every week so you get an idea of when you will be receiving the test results from the Department of Health in either ND or MN. Free testing is available at the following locations:
- Faith Journey Lutheran Church, 650 40th Avenue SE, West Fargo. (some map programs list it as East-not SE) The church is directly West of Sheyenne High School.
This site is open from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm Monday through Friday, and no appointment is necessary.
- Former Thomas Edison Elementary School, 1110 14th Street South, Moorhead.
This is saliva testing and the site is open Monday/Tuesday/Friday from 12:00 pm to 7:00 pm and Saturday/Sunday from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm. Schedule Appointment with Vault Health
We also encourage virtual visits (Facetime, etc.) for residents. For Bethany on University Skilled Care, please contact Ann, Director of Community Life, at 701-239-3246. For Bethany on 42nd Skilled Care, please contact Laurie, Director of Community Life, at 701-478-8904. For Bethany Gables please call 478-8970 and for Towers please call 239-3424.
We will are conducting twice-a-week COVID-19 surveillance swab testing on skilled care, basic care, and assisted living residents and staff. Resident testing is conducted each Monday and Thursday. Resident testing will take place in the residents’ rooms and will be coordinated by the Skilled Care and Assisted Living/Basic Care nursing teams. The test is free of charge.
Test results are usually returned within 48-72 hours. Bethany staff will contact all residents with positive test calls. If you have any questions or concerns about the test, please contact the social worker or unit manager in Skilled Care or the Nurse in Assisted Living/Basic Care.
At Bethany, if an employee tests positive for COVID-19, they are immediately removed from the schedule and told to quarantine at home. A positive resident is moved to a confined COVID-19 skilled care area with designated staff.
Bethany will continue to provide updates via e-mail and our website as our COVID-19 cases change. You are also able to call us with any questions. We are providing this link to the North Dakota Department of Health (NDDoH) COVID19 website for your convenience https://www.health.nd.gov/diseases-conditions/coronavirus/north-dakota-coronavirus-cases . As we update our information, here are a few guidelines we will be following.
- We are following recommendations and guidance from the Centers for Disease Control, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and the North Dakota Department of Health.
- We will not be identifying employees, residents or patients who test positive due to confidentiality.
- All employees who are ill are not allowed to work for 14 days and will need two negative COVID-19 tests prior to return to work.
- We will not give information on resident deaths due to confidentiality.
Here are the latest COVID-19 numbers. We may add or subtract cases as new test results arrive or as cases are resolved. Due to the timing of the results, they may not be reflected on the State website at the time of this posting.
||Facility Bed Size
||Current Active Positive Residents
||Current Active Positive Staff
|Bethany on 42nd
|Bethany on University
Sincerely, Shawn Stuhaug, CEO
Frequently Asked Questions:
What have you done to decrease the risk of COVID-19 for residents and educate family members?
- We are following recommendations and guidance from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), American Health Care Association (AHCA) and the North Dakota Department of Health (NDDoH).
- Among the first acts undertaken to limit potential exposure was to restrict visitors and lock the entrances to Bethany buildings. Only limited visitation is allowed. Please visit our website for visiting hours.
- All visitors are screened as they enter the buildings. Visitors are also encouraged to get regular COVID testing that is offered in our community. Please wait in your car until your scheduled visiting times to help reduce the number of people in the lobby area.
- The Bethany website has been enhanced by adding a “Coronavirus Information” tab to share up-to-date information about the pandemic in general and at Bethany Retirement Living.
- Numerous emails have been sent to families from our Social Services team. Please contact a member of the social service team if you would like to be added to the e-mail list.
- Everbridge (Mass Communication System) messages have been distributed by the CEO for education to family member primary contact.
- Letters have been mailed to primary Skilled Nursing Facility (SNF) resident contacts, SNF residents without dementia/memory issues, and residents of Towers, Gables and Grace Pointe.
- All potential admissions are screened for symptoms and fever.
- All SNF admissions are initially processed through one unit (TCU) with increased monitoring of potential symptoms.
- A negative COVID test is required within 24 hours prior to a skilled care admission or return from hospital. Even with a negative COVID test, we still quarantine all new admissions and hospital/ER returns for 14 days.
- Bethany may admit COVID positive residents periodically if we have a COVID-positive area set up.
- Screening of all SNF residents occurs daily and at times two or three times/day. Symptoms monitored include a full set of vital signs along with the observation of any of the following: coughing, shortness of breath, weakness, fatigue, sore throat, chills, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, headache, muscle aches and loss of taste/smell.
- Screening of all Assisted Living and Basic Care residents occurs daily and, at times, two times/day. Symptoms to monitor include temperature, pulse and O2 stats along with observation of any of the following: coughing, shortness of breath, weakness, fatigue, sore throat, chills, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, headache, muscle aches and loss of taste/smell.
- Resident Activities of Daily Living (ADL) sheets are updated to include prompts for hand sanitizing of resident hands and resident mask placement.
- Non-emergent resident appointments are being decreased, if able.
- Limiting resident group activities to no more than 10 people while also practicing social distancing and use of facemasks. Activities are also live streamed.
- Residents are encouraged to remain in their room when not attending an activity, therapy or exercise.
- Physical, Occupational and Speech Therapy is being conducted in both the resident rooms and in the therapy/wellness center as long as the resident/patient is not in isolation.
- No communal dining for SNF residents unless the resident eating in their room is a safety risk. This is a National Best Practice for limiting the spread of COVID within LTC Facilities.
- No communal dining for Towers or Gables assisted living/basic care residents. This is a National Best Practice for limiting the spread of COVID within LTC Facilities.
- Use of hand sanitizer is encouraged for each resident interaction.
- Use of masks is encouraged for all residents.
- Each Bethany campus has a designated Infection Preventionist to provide surveillance and oversight.
- Visual alerts such as signage and posters have been added throughout the facility to encourage hand sanitizing for both residents and staff.
What have you done to educate staff and decrease the risk of COVID-19?
- See questions above as some information applies to both questions.
- Everbridge (Mass Communication System) messages to staff related to education.
- Many YouTube Videos have been produced and sent to ALL staff cell phones.
- Educational videos and verbal education are reviewed at shift change/daily huddles etc.
- Mandatory Healthcare Academy Education on Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), Hand Hygiene, COVID-19 and infection prevention have been assigned and made mandatory for all employees.
- Surveillance and auditing of employees is being conducted to ensure proper use of PPE and handwashing is occurring.
- Hand sanitizer is required for all nursing staff to have on the person (this is not new, but an uncommon practice for most SNFs).
- Surgical or N95 Facemasks and face shields are required for staff when in resident areas.
- Facemask and face shield requirements have been enhanced as guidance has evolved.
- All employees are required to wear face masks when outside of their office spaces. Staff may wear a cloth, surgical or N95 mask when outside of resident areas.
- High touch surfaces are sanitized multiple times per day in office spaces, common areas, etc.
- Educational resources from the North Dakota Department of Health (NDDoH) that pertain to COVID-19 have been provided to employees.
- Employees are monitored for Covid-19 symptoms at the start of each shift, as well as with staff that call in ill prior to their shift. A detailed spreadsheet enables close tracking of all employees with symptoms and tracks adherence to the Return-to-Work guidance from the North Dakota Department of Health (NDDoH).
- Employees that have been taken off the schedule due to COVID-19 Symptoms, close contact, or having received a positive COVID-19 test result are contacted frequently to monitor symptoms and to determine a safe timeline for return.
- ALL employees are requested to limit employment to “Bethany Only” unless the additional job is approved after review, and considered low risk for exposure to COVID-19 by the COVID-19 leadership team members. This was a difficult decision for both Bethany and our staff, but the risk of infection when working many different jobs and coming in contact with many different people works against the concept of social distancing to limit the spread.
- A COVID-19 Leadership team meets regularly to discuss PPE supply and to analyze additional vendors for increased PPE supply, new guidance on COVID-19, etc.
- Meetings are held 2 days a week to discuss employees who are furloughed and their plans for return to work.
- Leadership team members are on-call 24 hours per day/7 days a week to deal with employee and family questions and concerns.
- Weekly meetings and/or conference calls/webinars/education reviews are held with the NDDoH, Centers for Disease Control, Public Health, ND Long Term Care Association, and American Health Care Association.
- Contact tracing if/when applicable is coordinated with the ND Department of Health.
- Excess chairs have been removed in break room areas to limit tables to two staff members at a table only. Additional space has been opened up for employee breaks to allow for social distancing.
- Visual alerts such as signs and posters have been added throughout all buildings that encourage staff hand hygiene, resident hand hygiene and proper use of PPE.
- Increased hand hygiene stations have been installed throughout all buildings.
- Staff competencies are routinely completed to establish/verify adherence to infection prevention.
We have received notification that a resident at Bethany has tested positive for COVID-19 and we have the following questions.
Will all residents now be tested?
- Resident testing (mass surveillance testing of all residents) is coordinated and directed by the ND Department of Health. A resident that is symptomatic is tested at the direction of the resident’s physician.
Will all staff be tested?
- Bethany employees complete a health screening at the start of their shift. If an employee triggers a concern on the health screening, they are immediately removed from the schedule. A Bethany staff member then works with the employee on symptom monitoring, communication with their physician and return to work protocol.
- Staff testing (mass surveillance testing of all staff) is coordinated and directed by the ND Department of Health. Staff testing occurs weekly.
Will COVID-19 positive residents be taken to the hospital?
- A transfer to the hospital is coordinated by the resident’s physician and Bethany staff. Residents who are in a declining in health status may be transferred to the hospital as directed by their physician. Bethany would call 911 in an emergency situation.