OUR RESPONSE TO COVID-19
In light of the recent Omicron variant of the virus, it is imperative that everyone continues to be vigilant in safety precautions. We do encourage you to wear masks in public places, wash your hands frequently, and get vaccinated if you have not already.
We are aware that the CDC is updating masking recommendations, we will let you know if that will have any effect on our visitors’ policies and masking recommendations. Here is our current mask policy:
Are residents required to wear masks?
Residents should remain masked when there is an unvaccinated resident in the same room, space, or area. This means, residents should remain masked in hallways and going to/from activities or dining.
What if the residents are fully vaccinated?
If all residents participating in an activity are fully vaccinated, they do not need to socially distance and they do not need to have on a mask. If all residents in the dining area are fully vaccinated, they do not need to socially distance and they do not need to have on a mask. NOTE: In both aforementioned scenarios, if there is a resident present that is not fully vaccinated, everyone will need to have on a mask and the unvaccinated resident will need to physically distance from the other participants. If a resident is fully vaccinated and they are visiting with someone in their apartment, they can choose not to wear a mask. Staff who are fully vaccinated and in non–resident care areas such as breakrooms, conference rooms, meeting rooms, etc. are not required to wear a mask. Again, if there is an unvaccinated staff person present, all staff will need to wear and mask, and the unvaccinated staff person will need to physically distance from the rest of the staff members present. Our team members are remaining diligent inside work with masking and eye protection, physical distancing, and hand hygiene. We are asking our staff to be careful outside of work as well, and encouraging everyone who is able, to get the vaccine.
What is the mask policy for visitors?
To stop the spread, we are now asking our visitors (families) to stay in resident apartments/rooms or outdoors. Please mask while checking in and traveling to/from resident apartments/rooms. Residents may be in community spaces if they’re vaccinated and/or masked. If a fully vaccinated visitor is visiting with a fully vaccinated resident in a resident room or apartment, neither the resident nor the visitor is required to wear a mask.
Fairview is now mandating the vaccine as a condition of employment. This policy will also apply to all Ebenezer staff, including those who work at Ebenezer owned and Ebenezer-managed facilities. While we are committed to this decision, we realize we must work collaboratively with site managers, employees, and leadership to understand the policy’s implications and specific details for a plan of action. We are actively developing this plan and will communicate specific details and timelines as they are established. We have not established a firm date by which Ebenezer staff will need to be compliant but expect to define this timing soon. In the meantime, we continue to strongly encourage all employees to get vaccinated, and thus far, we have a high participation rate.
Residents and their loved ones may contact administrative staff in our communities with questions about visitation
Additional visitation guidance for long-term care and assisted living-type facilities, including flowcharts for outbreak status and exceptions
The Office of Ombudsman for Long-term Care is available if advocacy services are needed. Contact them at 651-431-2555 or 800-657-3591
While we understand that this is incredibly difficult situation for the loved ones of our seniors and our residents, we are committed to protecting the health, quality of life and well-being of our patients and residents.
Due to safety protocol, there may come a time where visitors may need to temporarily restricted to Essential Caregivers only. Residents and families will be alerted to this by your community's administration if this is the case. Click the button below for more information on the criteria for an Essential Caregiver visit.
KEEPING OUR RESIDENTS SAFE
Our Preparations and Protocols
While it looks like we are making progress with our pandemic planning and response, we are not out of the woods yet. It is precisely because of the sometimes asymptomatic, or long incubation period for this COVID-19 virus, that organizations such as Ebenezer have invested heavily in readiness, response, and communication with a spirit of transparency and evidence-based practice as key principles. We are confident in our people, our preparations and our protocols to prevent and to isolate the COVID-19 virus.
We continue our daily screenings of all staff and are following appropriate direction as it has been communicated by Occupational Health, Minnesota Department of Health and the Centers of Disease Control. Staff must enter and exit through one main door in the community. Staff will get their temperature taken and screened immediately after arriving to the building in a place where other staff members are not present.
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
Ebenezer has secured and delivered the PPE supplies needed at this time to all our communities. In the event a situation develops that indicates changes in our current protocols, we have plans in place with our supply chain, and we are working with MHealth Fairview to ensure we have a continuing supply of face masks and other protective equipment. It’s times like these we are grateful to be part of this extraordinary organization.
Cloth Face Masks
In our HUD communities, we have offered our residents a fabric mask and encouraged them to wear them while out of their apartments in the building or when they leave the building. Our HOA communities have requested that people wear a mask when entering building, and have requested that residents wear a mask when outside of their apartment.
Universal Masking & Face Shields
Ebenezer has implemented universal masking for staff members in all our communities. In addition, we will be implementing universal face shields along with universal masking for all staff members in our housing with services and skilled nursing communities as an additional “layer” of protection for our residents and staff in fighting COVID-19.
Guidance for Safe Transition between Work & Home
Infection Prevention has created guidelines for healthcare workers to safely transition between work and home, reducing the risk of potential transmission of COVID-19 by contaminated objects or contact with the work environment. It outlines actions that can be taken by these workers prior to, during, and after work shifts to prevent transmission, including handling of personal items and work supplies, clothing recommendations, and direction on cleaning contaminated items.
Ebenezer is doing surveillance testing of residents and staff at all our skilled nursing and assisted living/memory care communities. Surveillance testing allows us to identify positive COVID-19 cases among asymptomatic carriers, so we can better contain and prevent further spread. We are happy to report that all our communities in the metro area have finished their baseline testing. Those communities outside the metro are still in process. The number of positive cases continues to drop. And that’s good news!
For more than 100 years, families have put their trust in Ebenezer. As part of Fairview Health Services, we have the commitment, the resources, and the support of one of Minnesota’s leading health care providers. This relationship differentiates as well as defines us - enabling our communities to be on the very forefront of senior care and living. During these turbulent times, we thank you for your understanding and patience, and for putting your trust in us.
Your friends at Ebenezer
In-person tours are available in our communities. Please note that we follow mask recommendations and social distancing. We would love to show you around our community. If you prefer, we can also set up a virtual tour for you in place of or in addition to an in-person visit.
Thank You Ebenezer Associates!
Even before the COVID-19 outbreak, Ebenezer celebrated our many staff who carry through in our mission to serve our residents and their families every day. They are our everyday Heroes, they embody a selfless spirit, dedicated to the care of the most vulnerable population. And now, more than ever, we thank you.