Bethany Retirement Living FAQs and COVID-19 Cases as of 9/21/21 9:30am:
Dear families and friends of Bethany Retirement Living:
We continue to have no new positive patient or resident Covid-19 cases at Bethany. We also have no new employee cases and have cleared all prior positive employee cases. CMS has issued new testing guidance that finally allows us to contact trace rather than performing whole house testing. This means that, in the future, if an employee tests positive for COVID-19, we will be allowed to trace where that employee has worked for the past 10 days and isolate testing to a particular unit/household/floor and/or department. This will help cut down on the number of times a resident/patient has to be swab tested.
We strongly encourage anyone visiting Bethany to get fully vaccinated 2 weeks before your visit. By doing your part, you will help us reduce the chances of the newest COVID-19 variants getting introduced to vulnerable patients and residents. We continue to test employees, patients and residents according to CMS regulations and ND Department of Health guidelines. Daily employee and visitor Covid-19 health screenings remain in effect. Please review our FAQs below for answers to questions you may have.
We have introduced new non-vaccinated visitor restrictions. Whether you are vaccinated or not, please visit the visitation section on our website for complete visitation guidelines. Bethany on 42nd Skilled Care and Bethany on University Skilled Care continue to allow compassionate care visits.
To keep residents healthy and safe, please consider getting vaccinated as soon as you are able. If you have not been vaccinated, please consider getting tested before you visit and bring proof of current COVID-19 testing results with you. The Fargo testing site is offering rapid tests, so you can have the results in 15 minutes. We prefer proof of a negative COVID-19 test that was taken within the past 5 days. If you do not get rapid tested, we recommend that you get a PCR test 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:
- Testing site for Fargo/West Fargo, 3051 25th Street S, Suite K, Fargo.
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 S, Moorhead.
This is saliva testing. Schedule Appointment with Vault Health
Thrifty White Pharmacy is providing vaccinations for new admissions, new employees and any current resident or employee who wishes to be vaccinated at a scheduled time, one time per week. Please visit Thriftywhite.com for eligibility details and to sign up for an appointment time. Please do not call the pharmacy as they cannot schedule appointments.
COVID-19 testing frequency for staff and residents may change quickly as it is dependent on CMS outbreak guidelines. Resident testing takes place in the residents’ rooms and is coordinated by the Skilled Care and Assisted Living/Basic Care nursing teams. The test is free of charge.
Bethany employees will contact all residents with positive test results. 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.
Bethany will continue to provide updates via 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.
- 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 Name||County||City||Facility Bed Size||Current Active Positive Residents||Current Active Positive Staff||Facility type|
|Bethany Towers||Cass||Fargo||133||0||0||AL/Basic Care|
|Bethany Gables||Cass||Fargo||40||0||0||Assisted (AL)|
|Bethany on 42nd||Cass||Fargo||116||0||0||Skilled|
|Bethany on University||Cass||Fargo||172||0||0||Skilled|
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. As Cass County positivity rates change, we modify our visitation restrictions. Please visit our website for visiting hours.
- All visitors are screened as they enter Bethany buildings. Visitors are also encouraged to get regular COVID testing that is offered in our community. Please practice physical distancing when participating in the screening process.
- When available, we strongly urge you to receive the COVID vaccine and present proof of vaccine during the screening process.
- 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 email 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.
- Potential admissions are screened for symptoms, fever and close contact with a current COVID-positive person. We will also ask your vaccination status.
- Most SNF admissions are initially processed through one unit (TCU) with increased monitoring of potential symptoms.
- A negative COVID test is required prior to a skilled care admission or return from hospital. Even with a negative COVID test, we still quarantine new non-vaccinated skilled care admissions.
- Bethany may admit COVID positive residents periodically if we have a COVID-positive area set up.
- Daily Screening of SNF residents follows CMS recommendations. Monitoring for 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 Assisted Living and Basic Care residents occurs daily. Symptoms monitored include temperature, pulse and O2 sats 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 group activities have resumed with the use of facemasks. Some activities are also live streamed.
- 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 many SNFs).
- Surgical or N95 facemasks are required for staff when in resident areas. N-95 mask are required for non-vaccinated staff.
- Facemask and face shield requirements may evolve as guidance changes.
- All employees are required to wear face masks when outside of their office spaces.
- 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.
- A COVID-19 Leadership team meets to discuss PPE supply and to analyze additional vendors for increased PPE supply, new guidance on COVID-19, vaccination availability etc.
- Leadership team members are on-call 24 hours per day/7 days a week to deal with employee and family questions and concerns.
- Meetings and/or conference calls/webinars/education reviews are held with the NDDoH, Centers for Disease Control, Public Health, ND Long Term Care Association, State immunization offices and American Health Care Association.
- Contact tracing if/when applicable is coordinated with the ND Department of Health.
- 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 by Cass County Public Health and directed by the ND Department of Health and is based on the Cass County COVID positivity rate.
- Non-vaccinated employees are tested according to CMS guidelines.
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 health status may be transferred to the hospital as directed by their physician. Bethany would call 911 in an emergency situation.
What is the vaccination plan for new residents, patients and staff?
- Bethany is working closely with Thrifty White Pharmacy to vaccinate new residents, patients and staff. Thrifty White has secured a weekly allocation of vaccine. At this time, Thrifty White Pharmacy has enough vaccine allocation to vaccinate new patients, new residents and new staff on a weekly basis if they choose to get vaccinated. This plan can change quickly based on availability.
Are there any risks I should know before I visit a Long Term Care Facility?
- General visitation or compassionate care visitation for a resident/patient in isolation and/or non-vaccinated should be discussed with your medical provider prior to your Bethany visit as you may be at a greater risk of exposure. We strongly prefer video visits or regular phone calls until a resident or patient isolation is done.