The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) recently issued guidance that outlines criteria and makes recommendations on how we our can safely re-open our facilities to visitors, while continuing to protect the health of our residents and staff. The MDH guidance has specific criteria that we must evaluate to determine when Bethesda’s communities can safely begin to re-invite visitors within our settings. This guidance also states that future visitor restrictions may be necessary due to the local status and heightened risk of exposure to COVID-19 for our residents and staff.
We are eager to once again welcome the loved ones of our residents and tenants within our walls. Your presence is a key thread in the fabric that makes Bethesda so special. This is why the resumption of indoor visits poses unique challenges. We must be mindful that re-opening to visitors could result in a greater risk of COVID-19 exposure to our residents and tenants, all whom are the most vulnerable to this disease. Yet, we are also deeply aware of the impacts that on-going separation from family and friends can place on one’s emotional wellbeing. It is this balance that we must keep in mind as we continue to make decisions for what life at Bethesda looks like day-by-day.
Based on CMS and MDH guidance, an assessment of Bethesda’s current COVID-19 status, our COVID-19 response plans, and our commitment to protecting our residents, tenants and staff, we must share with you that Bethesda Grand and Bethesda Club Suites are unable to resume having visitors inside our building at this time.
However, due to variation of setting classification, available guidance for assisted livings, and the settings’ current COVID-19 status, Bethesda’s housing communities: Sunrise Village Assisted Living, Sunrise Village Independent Living, and Centennial Square in Willmar, as well as Park View Village Assisted Living in Olivia, will issue further guidance on indoor visitation later this week.
At Bethesda, we are committed to constant re-evaluation of our visitation decisions. We profoundly want to be able to extend a warm Bethesda welcome to our families and friends. Therefore, we will continue to base our decisions on clinical and safety factors that may directly relate to those we serve and remain focused on keeping you informed of our visitation status. Please visit our COVID-19 page on our website each Tuesday for a weekly update regarding the current status of major determining factors that play a role into re-opening to indoor visitation. These factors include the current cases among staff, residents, and/or tenants within our designated settings, as MDH and CMS guidance requires a setting restrict visits if they have had a positive COVID-19 case within the past 14 days, and the level of transmission of COVID-19 in our broader community.
Please know that although indoor visitation determinations may vary by location and individual factors, we will continue to offer outdoor visitation, window visits, virtual visits through Bethesda E-Connect, as well as support compassionate care visits and Essential Caregivers for designated residents and tenants throughout all of our settings.
We deeply appreciate the sacrifices you made to limit the impact of COVID-19 on our community and your patience as we prepare to host safe visits and other activities. Our entire team looks forward to welcoming you back to Bethesda, when guidance allows.