FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Willmar, Minn. – In its commitment to transparency for the benefit of the community, Bethesda confirms a case of coronavirus (COVID-19) among its resident population at Bethesda Grand, a skilled nursing facility in Willmar, Minn.
“Following the announcement this past weekend of a Bethesda Grand team member testing positive for coronavirus (COVID-19), we have been tirelessly pursuing further efforts to ensure the sustained health and well-being of our entire Bethesda community,” says Michelle Haefner chief executive officer at Bethesda. “It is our belief that testing of all symptomatic and asymptomatic residents and caregivers will be the only way to stop the spread of this virus within any long-term care or congregate living setting. To achieve this goal, we initiated the complete testing of all residents who reside within the neighborhood in which this team member was working, and any staff who may have been exposed. As we continue to receive information, we have been given notification of several negative results and one confirmed case for a resident who no longer resides within our setting.”
Due to HIPAA, no further information about this private individual can be shared by Bethesda. The Minnesota Department of Health will now take responsibility for contact tracing and notifications outside of the Bethesda organization.
Bethesda’s administration and leadership teams have been preparing for the potential of a coronavirus confirmation within its system of care since the virus was first identified.
“We have all been working around the clock to get ready for COVID-19, and we are ready, now that the day is here,” Haefner says. “Our intense preparations and training have prepared us for this situation. Although we wished it would have never come, we are here, and we are equipped to do everything possible to prevent the spread within our system of care.”
Bethesda has developed a comprehensive COVID-Response procedure that includes a secure location for confirmed case residents. This unit is equipped with a specialized workforce, designated decontamination areas for staff members to securely enter and exit the unit to prevent disease spread, and innovative resources such as room depressurization capabilities to assist in respiratory recovery.
Haefner believes in the importance of testing amid case confirmations within a congregate setting. “We know that the number one resource we have in this fight is knowledge. That is why we will continue to pursue proper testing for our residents and staff,” says Haefner. “The sooner we are able to know who has been affected, the sooner we can contain this virus and keep our community safe. Our residents and our team members deserve to have access to asymptomatic testing, and we are heavily pursuing that. Testing will be the strongest resource we will have in combatting this disease.”
Bethesda will continue its aggressive infection control measures and screening procedures that began in March. These included complete visitor restrictions, program closures and changes in daily operations.
In response to this confirmed case, Bethesda is contacting family members to share information and respond to questions. Families are also encouraged to use a newly established COVID-19 Hotline or email for any questions or concerns: (320) 235-0240 or [email protected]
Updates to the public will continue to be published via Bethesda’s COVID-19 page and Facebook page.
Bethesda is a not-for-profit social ministry organization dedicated to serving seniors in West Central Minnesota through residential and community-based health and wellness services. Bethesda, which has been caring for seniors for more than 100 years, provides a full continuum of care, including skilled nursing care, short-stay therapy centers, home health care, outpatient therapy, independent and assisted living, adult day services, and a wellness center. For more information call, 320-235-9532 or visit the website, www.BethesdaWillmar.org.