Last updated: October 20, 2021 at 7:11 p.m.
Areas Open or Closed to Indoor Visitation
- All of Bethesda Grand and Club Suites are CLOSED:
- East (Halls E, F, G, H) – Closed
- West (Halls: A, D, Rooms: 301-356) – Closed
- Memory Care (Halls: B, C) – Closed
- First Floor (Rooms: 101-140) – Closed
- Second Floor (Rooms: 201-240) – Closed
- Club Suites (Rooms: 501-536) – Closed
- Sunrise Village Independent Living: Open
- Centennial Square: Open
- Park View Village Assisted Living (Olivia): Closed
- Sunrise Village Assisted Living: Open
- Bethesda North Pointe (New London): Closed
Bethesda addresses novel coronavirus (COVID-19)
This page contains all relevant COVID-19 information including visitation options, current COVID-19 status of all communities, and all communication updates. Please scroll for more information and details under provided headings.
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 follow strict infection control procedures to help reduce and prevent the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19).
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. As a licensed skilled nursing and assisted-living facility, we must follow state and federal regulations regarding visitors, infection control, and procedures.
Bethesda is among the 10 largest skilled nursing facilities in Minnesota, with 248 skilled nursing beds. In addition, Bethesda provides 152 senior housing apartments, with 132 in Willmar and 20 in Olivia. Bethesda employs approximately 470 people at its facilities in Willmar and approximately 20 at its facility in Olivia.
We continue to monitor all COVID-19 guidance, which determines whether visitors can be allowed inside our buildings. We must follow directives from both Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services and the Minnesota Department of Health, as well as consider Bethesda’s current COVID-19 status. Each area of information is evaluated to best determine our ability to maintain our commitment to protecting our residents, tenants, and staff while balancing the desires to remain connected with those we love. Read more about the visitation and outing guidance here.
Emergency situations/visits are considered on an individual basis. All who enter Bethesda, including staff, are screened for COVID-19 symptoms.
Essential Caregiver program
Bethesda offers the Essential Caregiver program, in accordance with the Minnesota Department of Health. An essential caregiver for a resident is determined on an individual basis. The purpose of the essential caregiver is for caregiving, and this role is not to be viewed as a visitation opportunity. Please read the following:
- Bethesda’s Essential Caregiver program
- MDH’s “Essential Caregiver Guidance for Long-term Care Facilities”
E-Connect: Virtual visits using technology
We value the importance of relationships and remaining connected. Bethesda has iPads ready for residents and tenants to borrow and use as a way to connect with family and friends through FaceTime, Skype, Zoom, or another program. We encourage family and friends to connect with their loved one at Bethesda through this type of virtual visit. Family and friends can schedule an E-Connect call with their loved one at Bethesda by calling Rebecca at 320-214-5638. Then, prior to the designated E-Connect time that’s been scheduled, a Bethesda team member will bring an iPad (if needed) to the resident or tenant, help them get it set up and ready to use. The team members can help as much or as little as needed. To learn more, click here.
COVID-19 testing, cases, and vaccinations
Bethesda tests all staff weekly for COVID-19 and screens all employees daily prior to their shift. Bethesda has been conducting COVID-19 testing since May 2020, when we independently arranged weekly testing for all staff, as well as ongoing testing of residents and tenants.
The adjacent chart shows the number of positive COVID-19 cases in 2021, as a result of our onsite testing (click the chart to enlarge it). Last updated: August 30, 2021.
- For 2020 data, please click here to see test results for April-December 2020.
- For early 2021 data, please click here to see test results for January 1 – June 30, 2021.
- Bethesda had no active COVID-19 cases from the week of May 24 to August 16, 2021.
Bethesda, in partnership with Thrifty White Pharmacy, began administering the first doses of the COVID-19 vaccine to more than 200 residents and staff on Dec. 29, 2020. Bethesda received more vaccines in subsequent weeks and administered additional first doses. Bethesda began administering second doses on Jan. 26, 2021. Read more about our bold approach to dealing with COVID-19 by clicking here.
COVID-19 contact information
If an issue related to COVID-19 arises that is connected to a specific resident, their designated family/loved ones will be contacted promptly. To ensure Bethesda has updated family contact information, family members are encouraged to connect with Bethesda through one of the two options below:
- Bethesda’s COVID-19 Hotline (320) 235-0240
- Bethesda’s COVID-19 Email: [email protected]
The Minnesota Department of Health takes responsibility for contact tracing and notifications outside of the Bethesda organization.
As a licensed skilled nursing and assisted living facility, we must follow state and federal regulations regarding our operations. During the pandemic, the situation is fluid and can change momentarily. The current situation regarding our buildings and programs:
- Club Bethesda: Open! Visit our Club Bethesda page for information.
- DayBreak: Open! Visit our DayBreak page for information.
- Outpatient therapy: Open! Visit our Outpatient Therapy page for information.
- Skilled nursing & housing: The indoor visit status is continually changing (see “Indoor visits” information above). However, outdoor visits, window visits, electronic/virtual visits and essential caregivers are allowed at Bethesda Grand, Bethesda Club Suites, Centennial Square, Park View Village, and Sunrise Village. Please read the related information:
- Brothers Cafe: Open on a limited basis for staff, residents, and visitors.
- Support groups: Temporarily postponed. Please call Bethesda’s social services director at 320-214-5612 with concerns.
Our two chaplains provide daily pastoral care to residents and tenants. Each week, the chaplains record a Sunday worship service and Pastor’s Corner (Bible study), which are available to the public to watch on our YouTube channel. Bethesda’s Sunday worship service also is shown on our Facebook page. Learn more by visiting our Spiritual Care page.
Timeline and public statements
- March 18, 2021: MDH releases new guidance for visitation and outings. Read more.
- Dec. 29, 2020: Bethesda administers first doses of COVID-19 vaccine. Read more.
- Nov. 24, 2020: Bethesda responds to growing rate of positive COVID-19 cases. Read more.
- Oct. 13, 2020: Bethesda Grand, Club Suites currently unable to allow visitors. Read more.
- Sept. 21, 2020: Bethesda lifts 48-hour hold on items delivered to residents. Read more.
- Aug. 26, 2020: Bethesda currently unable to allow indoor visitors. Read more.
- July 24, 2020: Bethesda announces plan for Essential Caregiver program. Read more.
- June 19, 2020: Bethesda to facilitate outdoor visits. Read more.
- May 21, 2020: Bethesda residents, AL tenants clear of COVID-19, 14 staff test positive. Read more.
- May 13, 2020: Bethesda announces private lab partnership for COVID-19 testing. Read more.
- May 4, 2020: Bethesda teams up with area healthcare providers for testing. Read more.
- April 28, 2020: Bethesda Grand has two positive cases. Read more.
- April 27, 2020: Bethesda confirms one case of COVID-19. Read more.
- April 25, 2020: Bethesda announces team member tested positive for COVID-19. Read more.
- April 10, 2020: Safety of residents, tenants and staff is Bethesda’s main priority. Read more.
- March 11, 2020: Bethesda begins aggressive infection control measures and screening procedures. Read more.
- For a daily update on COVID-19 in Minnesota – Visit the Minnesota Department of Health website.
- For more information – For general information about COVID-19, 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.