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 follow strict infection control procedures to help reduce and prevent the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19).
Bethesda is one of 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 follow state and federal guidelines for Bethesda Grand, our skilled nursing facility, as well as for our other housing facilities.
We are facilitating outdoor visits for residents and tenants in all residential settings with the ones they love. Each location has its own unique visit policy. We must follow the Minnesota Department of Health Outdoor Visitation Guidelines. Click here to read our visiting procedures.
- Bethesda Grand skilled nursing facility: Online scheduling available for outdoor visits with only Bethesda Grand residents CLICK HERE
- Bethesda housing communities: To schedule an outdoor visit at other Bethesda housing facilities such as Sunrise Village, call 320-235-7925 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Bethesda Grand and Bethesda Club Suites are unable to have visitors inside the buildings at this time. This is based on Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services and Minnesota Department of Health guidance, an assessment of Bethesda’s current COVID-19 status, Bethesda’s COVID-19 response plans, and our commitment to protecting our residents, tenants and staff. Click here to read our announcement.
Our housing communities: Sunrise Village Assisted Living, Sunrise Village Independent Living, Centennial Square and Park View Village are unable to have visitors inside the buildings at this time, due to the high positivity test rate within the county. For more information, please call 320-235-7925 or email email@example.com.
Essential Caregiver program
Bethesda offers a program called Essential Caregiver, in accordance with the Minnesota Department of Health. Essential Caregivers are determined on an individualized basis. Their role is for the purpose of caregiving and 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”
Virtual visits: Using technology
We value the importance of relationships and remaining connected. We encourage family and friends to connect with their loved one at Bethesda using 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 calling 320-214-5638. To learn more about Bethesda E-Connect, 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 it 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 among Bethesda staff, residents and tenants, as a result of our onsite testing (click the chart to enlarge it). We update this chart weekly.
- For 2020 data, please click here to see the positive test results for April-December 2020.
Bethesda, in partnership with Thrifty White Pharmacy, administered more than 200 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine to residents and some staff of its skilled nursing facility on Dec. 29, 2020. Bethesda has received additional vaccine each week and continues to administer first doses. Bethesda will begin administering second doses at the end of January. Read more about our vaccinations and 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 one(s) 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: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Minnesota Department of Health takes responsibility for contact tracing and notifications outside of the Bethesda organization.
Restrictions & visitors
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 Minnesota Department of Health regulations regarding visitors, infection control and procedures.
Emergency situations and indoor visits are 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 situation regarding our buildings and programs:
- Housing residents & tenants: Outdoor visits, window visits, electronic visits and Essential Caregiver program visits are allowed at Bethesda Grand, Bethesda Club Suites, Centennial Square, Fairview Place, Park View Village, and Sunrise Village. Please read the related information below:
- Club Bethesda: Open with restrictions. Visit our Club Bethesda page for information.
- DayBreak: Open with restrictions. Visit our DayBreak page for information.
- Outpatient therapy: Open, with therapists seeing clients. Visit our Outpatient Therapy page for information.
- Brothers Cafe: Temporarily closed to the public.
- Support groups: Postponed. If you have concerns, please contact Bethesda’s social services director at 320-214-5612.
Our two chaplains provide pastoral care to residents, tenants and staff. The chaplains share God’s Word through Sunday virtual worship services, Pastor’s Corner, and hymn sings, which are recorded and available to watch on our public YouTube channel. In addition, Bethesda’s Sunday worship service is shown on our Facebook page. Learn more by visiting our Spiritual Care page.
Timeline and public statements
- Dec. 29: Bethesda administers first doses of COVID-19 vaccine. Read our announcement.
- Nov. 24: Bethesda responds to growing rate of positive COVID-19 cases. Read our announcement.
- Oct. 13: Bethesda Grand, Club Suites currently unable to allow visitors. Read our announcement.
- Sept. 21: Bethesda lifts 48-hour hold on items delivered to residents, tenants. Read our announcement.
- Aug. 26: Bethesda currently unable to allow indoor visitors. Read our announcement.
- July 24: Bethesda announces its plan for the Essential Caregiver program. Read our announcement.
- June 19: Bethesda to facilitate outdoor visits between residents, tenants and their loved ones. Read our announcement.
- 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; three staff test positive. Read our announcement.
- April 28: Bethesda Grand has two positive cases of the virus, one team member and one 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.
- 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.
- Safety – The safety of our residents, tenants, and staff is our number one priority. We continue to monitor the situation and make changes as needed. Read a message 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 to cope and find resources for support, visit the Minnesota Department of Health’s page Supporting Mental Well-being During COVID-19.
- For a daily situation update on COVID-19 in Minnesota – Visit the Minnesota Department of Health website.
- For 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.