News & Events

Indoor Visitation has Started!

Dear Family and Friends,

As of 10/21/2020 we have no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in our care center. We continue to routinely test staff monthly. 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 started indoor visitation on 10/19/2020. 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. To schedule your visit or for more information on our visitation policy, please contact Lori Thompson at 218-683-8106 or by email at lathompson@trcc.sfhs.com.

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 (@Thief River Care 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 Judy Bernat, Administrator, at 218-683-8101 or jbernat@trcc@sfhs.org if you have any questions or concerns.

Indoor Visitation Resuming Soon!

Dear Family and Friends,

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, window 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. As of 10/15/2020, we have no positive cases of COVID-19 in our care center and we are not currently conducting outbreak testing.

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.

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 (@Thief River Care 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 Judy Bernat, Administrator, at 218-683-8101 or jbernat@trcc@sfhs.org if you have any questions or concerns.

Weekly Update

October 8th, 2020

Last week we had no additional positive cases of COVID-19 in our care center. We are testing all residents and staff again Thursday, October 8, 2020. 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).

MDH is currently 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 (@Thief River Care 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 Judy Bernat, Administrator, at 218-683-8101 or jbernat@trcc@sfhs.org if you have any questions or concerns.

NO NEW CASES OF COVID!

October 2nd, 2020

This week we had no additional staff or residents test positive for COVID-19. Our staff and residents were tested again on Thursday, October 1st. If all results from this round of testing are returned negative, we will discontinue entire-site testing for our residents. Staff will be routinely tested monthly, following CMS guidelines and our current county positivity rate.

09/24/20 TestingTests PositiveTests NegativeTests PendingTotal Tested
Residents053053
Staff069069
09/28/20 Testing    
Residents054054
Staff077077
Results from 9/28/20 (Staff Only) and 9/24/20 (All Residents & Staff)

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.

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.

Thank you again for being partners with us in fighting the COVID-19 virus. Please follow our Facebook page (@Thief River Care Center) for all COVID updates and information on what is happening in our care center.  We appreciate all the support, prayers, and offers of help that we’ve received. If you have specific questions or concerns, please contact Judy Bernat, Administrator, at 218-683-8101 or jbernat@trcc@sfhs.org.

Positive Staff at Thief River Care Center

September 25, 2020

The results from our recent testing are shown below. We had one staff test positive on 9/21/22 and are waiting results on all tests for 9/24/20.  We will test staff again on 9/28/20 and residents and staff on 10/1/20. 

09/21/20 TestingTests PositiveTests NegativeTests PendingTotal Tested
Residents   0
Staff181082
09/24/20 Testing    
Residents  5252
Staff  7676
Results from 9/21/20 (Staff Only) and 9/24/20 (All Residents & Staff)

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).

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 (@Thief River Care Center) for all COVID updates and information on what is happening in our care center.  We appreciate all the support, prayers, and offers of help that we’ve received. If you have specific questions or concerns, please contact Judy Bernat, Administrator, at 218-683-8101 or jbernat@trcc@sfhs.org.

Weekly Update

This week we conducted 2 rounds of routine staff testing. As of 9/18/2020, we have no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in our care center. We are required to review the county positivity every two weeks. This coming week, we will review the rate and adjust the routine staff testing frequency accordingly. Any changes to this testing frequency will be communicated through our weekly updates and our Facebook page.

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 (positive case in our care center). Should a confirmed case come from any of these tests, we would promptly notify our residents, staff and their families.

The COVID Pandemic has created new employment opportunities in our care center for people wanting to help our most at-risk population combat this virus. 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.

Residents continue to enjoy one on one activities with staff as well as small group activities while socially distancing and wearing surgical face masks. Visiting with your loved one can be done virtually, open or closed window, and outdoor patio visits. We ask that you schedule your visits ahead of time due to high demand, staffing and the safety of our residents.

Please follow our Facebook page (@Thief River Care Center) for all COVID updates and information on what is happening inside our care center. If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to reach out to Judy Bernat, Administrator, at 218-683-8101.

Dates Released for Routine Staff Testing

Last week we learned about the new Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) testing requirements that include routine staff testing. Based on our current county positivity rate provided by CMS, our care center is in the high category.  CMS recalculates the county positivity rate weekly and we will keep you updated if our category changes. This category requires us to routinely test staff twice weekly. Our first round of routine testing for staff was done on September 10th. We will do our next round on 9/14/2020. We continue to test symptomatic residents and staff as symptoms arise and perform entire-site testing during an outbreak (positive case in our care center). Should a confirmed case come from any of these tests, we would promptly notify our residents, staff and their families.

The threat of this devastating and deadly virus is still with us. Minnesota is experiencing an increase in the number of positive cases in areas across our state, which can pose a greater risk of exposure to both our residents and our staff. As of 9/11/2020, we have no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in our care center. We continue to 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).

We continue to offer outdoor visits, window visits and virtual visits. As a reminder, all visitors must comply with our screening protocols and other infection control measures when they visit their loved one. Please contact our activities department to schedule your visit in advance.

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

Thank you again for being partners with us in fighting the COVID-19 virus. Please do not hesitate to reach out to me at Judy Bernat, Administrator, at 218-683-8101 if you have any questions or concerns. Updated information on our planning and preparedness for Coronavirus and our activities within our care center can be found by visiting our website (www.sfhs.org) or our Facebook page.

New CMS Testing Requirements

As of 9/4/2020, we have no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in our care center. We continue to 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).

This week, CMS and MDH released new testing requirements for our care center’s staff and residents that are effective immediately. “Facility Staff” is defined broadly, to include employees, consultants, contractors, volunteers, and caregivers who provide care and services to residents on behalf of the facility, and students in the facility’s nurse aide training programs or from affiliated academic institutions.  The requirements outline routine testing depending on our county positivity rate:

  • Low: Monthly testing in counties with less than 5% positivity
  • Medium: Weekly testing in counties with 5-10% positivity
  • High: Bi-weekly testing in counties with greater than 10% positivity

The rule also requires testing in three scenarios: (i) symptomatic individual identified; (ii) outbreak (new case arises in facility); and (iii) routine testing.  While CMS does not recommend routine testing of residents unless the resident leaves the facility regularly, it does require routine testing of staff.

As providers of senior care, we know how important family and friends are in supporting the physical and mental health of our residents. We continue to review our visitation policy on a weekly basis. In the meantime, we welcome open and closed window visits, and virtual visits. As a reminder, you can help limit exposure in our community through appropriate hand hygiene, mask use, and social distancing.

If you or someone you know is looking for ways to help, our residents and staff enjoy receiving letters and cards from the community. We also have a variety of open positions that can be found at www.jobswithus.org.

Updated information on our planning and preparedness for Coronavirus and our activities within our care center can be found by visiting our website (www.sfhs.org) or our Facebook page. If you have any questions or concerns, please call our care center.

Weekly Update

On July 14th, the Trump Administration announced that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) would be distributing diagnostic antigen testing equipment that are authorized for use at our care centers. This technology will enable our care centers to administer tests on-site as needed and receive those results quickly. We are expecting to receive this equipment soon. Watch for more information on this in the coming weeks.

As of 8/28/2020, we have no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in our care center. We continue to 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 doors are not yet open to the public but there are a number of options for meaningful social interactions between residents and their loved ones. Residents enjoy socially distanced dining and activities with each other and outdoor visits, window visits, and virtual visits with family and friends.

Outside of our care setting, we urge our community members to practice social distancing, wear a mask, and wash your hands frequently. You continue to be a key partner in limiting the spread of the virus and protecting our seniors. If you are looking for other ways you can help protect our seniors, please visit www.jobswithus.org or call our care center for more information.

Updated information on our planning and preparedness for Coronavirus and our activities within our care center can be found by visiting our website (www.sfhs.org) or our Facebook page. Please do not hesitate to reach out to our care center with any questions or concerns.

Weekly Update

As of today, we have no known cases of Coronavirus in our care center. We continue to follow the recommended guidance from the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention and Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, and the Minnesota Department of Health. We carefully monitor all residents for symptoms, screen all staff at the beginning of each shift, use PPE, and conduct audits of our infection control practices, providing further education as needed. 

COVID-19 is still being contagiously transmitted throughout our state. It’s important to keep in mind that our residents are highly vulnerable to the virus and are the most at risk if they are infected.  It is our policy to continually evaluate the presence of positive COVID-19 cases in our communities and nearby counties. We are carefully considering our options regarding visitation, evaluating our policies and protocols and will update you weekly. In the meantime, please contact the care center with any questions or concerns.

Currently, visiting with your loved one can be done through scheduled patio visits, open window visits, and closed window visits. We also encourage alternative means of communicating with residents such as phone calls, Facebook, Skype, etc.

Looking for ways to help? We have a variety of positions available with flexible scheduling and training. Please contact our care center for more information or visit www.jobswithus.org to apply.

Updated information on our planning and preparedness for Coronavirus and our activities within our care centers can be found by visiting our website (www.sfhs.org) or our Facebook page. Please do not hesitate to reach out to us with any questions or concerns.