Bethesda addresses novel coronavirus (COVID-19)
The health of our residents, tenants and team members is our top priority. We appreciate the trust and support they, their families and the community have placed in Bethesda. We are following strict infection control procedures to help reduce and prevent the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19).
Bethesda has independently arranged the opportunity to conduct weekly COVID-19 testing for all Bethesda team members, residents and tenants within its system of care. Bethesda began weekly testing of all of its team members on May 15, and began testing all of its residents and tenants on May 18.
Testing and cases
We will continue to update this page regarding our COVID-19 situation.
- May 21: Bethesda residents, assisted living tenants test negative for COVID-19, while 14 staff test positive. Read our announcement.
For details about COVID-19 cases in Minnesota, including a breakdown by county, visit the Minnesota Department of Health.
In previous announcements Bethesda stated that future updates would be made here on our website and on our Facebook page. However, as we have always done, if an issue arises that is connected to any specific resident their designated loved one(s) will be contacted promptly. To ensure Bethesda has updated family contact information, please connect with Bethesda through one of the two options below.
COVID-19 contact information
In response to confirmed cases, Bethesda contacts family members to share information and respond to questions. The Minnesota Department of Health takes responsibility for contact tracing and notifications outside of the Bethesda organization.
Families are encouraged to use Bethesda’s newly established COVID-19 Hotline or COVID-19 Email for any questions or concerns:
- Bethesda’s COVID-19 Hotline (320) 235-0240
- Bethesda’s COVID-19 Email: email@example.com
Our timeline and public statements
- May 21: Bethesda residents, assisted living tenants clear of COVID-19. Fourteen staff test positive. Read our announcement.
- May 13: Bethesda announces private lab partnership for COVID-19 testing. Read our announcement.
- May 4: Bethesda teams up with area healthcare providers for COVID-19 testing, with three Bethesda Grand team members testing positive. Read our announcement.
- April 28: Bethesda Grand has two positive cases of the virus, one affecting a team member and the other a former resident. Read our announcement.
- April 27: Bethesda confirms one case of COVID-19 among its resident population at Bethesda Grand. Read our announcement.
- April 25: Bethesda announces a Bethesda Grand team member tested positive for COVID-19. Read our announcement.
- April 23: As a proactive measure, Minnesota Department of Health visits Bethesda, as well as other skilled nursing settings across the state, to conduct an infection control survey looking at COVID-19 precautions, policies and other implementations. MDH surveyors positively recognized the advanced precaution efforts that Bethesda has in place, as well as staff knowledge and training on infection control.
- March 11: Bethesda begins aggressive infection control measures and screening procedures, including complete visitor restrictions, program closures, and changes in daily operations. Read our announcement.
Connecting with loved ones
We value the importance of relationships and remaining connected with loved ones. We encourage family and friends to find other ways to connect with their loved one at Bethesda, such as FaceTime, Skype or by telephone.
Family and friends can sign-up for an E-Connect call via Skype or FaceTime with their loved one at Bethesda by contacting Recreation Director Tiffany Picard at 320-214-5638 or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org. To learn more about Bethesda E-Connect, click here.
While the ability of our pastors to minister in person is limited at this time, they continue to provide pastoral care to residents and tenants through phone calls and FaceTime. They also provide ministry to them and the public through Sunday worship services, Bethesda Break devotionals, and hymn sings, all of which are recorded and can be found on our public YouTube channel. Their Sunday worship services are shared at 9:30 a.m. Sundays on our Facebook page. Learn more by visiting the Spiritual Care page on our website.
The population Bethesda serves – older adults and those with underlying medical conditions – are at greater risk for developing more serious complications from COVID-19, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Bethesda is restricting all visitors at this time, based on recommendations from the CDC and Minnesota Department of Health. Emergency situations/visits will be considered on an individual basis.
All who enter Bethesda, including staff, are screened for COVID-19 symptoms. People who are sick or do not meet screening guidelines are not allowed to enter. Current restrictions in place:
- Bethesda Grand, Club Suites, Sunrise Village, and Centennial Square in Willmar, as well as Park View Village and Fairview Place in Olivia: Under complete visitor restrictions until further notice.
- Bethesda support groups: Temporarily postponed.
- Brothers Cafe + Bistro: Temporarily closed to the public.
- Club Bethesda: Temporarily closed.
- DayBreak: Temporarily closed.
- Outpatient therapy: Therapists will begin seeing clients for medically essential appointments on June 1. Please visit our Outpatient Therapy page for more information.
- Safety – The safety of our residents and tenants is our number one priority. We continue to monitor the situation and make changes as needed. Bethesda is working with state and local public health officials, as well as emergency preparedness officials. Read an update from Bethesda’s CEO/President Michelle Haefner.
- Stress/anxiety – It’s normal to experience stress and anxiety during this pandemic, according to health experts. For tips on how you can support your mental well-being or support others, visit this section of the Minnesota Department of Health’s website.
- More information – For general information about COVID-19, please visit the following websites:
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.