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).
Essential Caregiver program
Bethesda is tailoring a new program called Essential Caregiver – in accordance with guidelines released from the Minnesota Department of Health. Essential Caregivers will be determined on an individualized basis, and their role is for the sole use of caregiving and not to be viewed as a visitation model within our settings. Please take time to read the following:
- Bethesda’s Essential Caregiver program
- MDH’s “Essential Caregiver Guidance for Long-term Care Facilities”
Bethesda is facilitating outdoor visits for residents and tenants in all residential settings with the ones they love. Each location will have a unique visit policy. We must follow the Minnesota Department of Health Outdoor Visitation Guidelines. Click here to read our visiting procedures.
Connecting with loved ones
We value the importance of relationships and remaining connected with loved ones. 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 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.
Testing and cases
Bethesda has independently arranged the opportunity to conduct weekly COVID-19 testing for all Bethesda team members, as well as all residents and tenants within its system of care. Bethesda began weekly testing of all team members on May 15, and began testing all residents and tenants on May 18. Bethesda is one of the 10 largest skilled-nursing facilities in Minnesota, with 248 skilled nursing beds. In addition, Bethesda provides 182 senior housing apartments, with 132 in Willmar, and 50 in Olivia.
The chart shows results from our weekly testing (click the chart to enlarge it). We will continue to update this chart as test results become available.
COVID-19 contact information
If an issue related to COVID-19 arises that is connected to a specific resident, their designated 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: email@example.com
In response to confirmed cases, Bethesda contacts family members to share information. 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.
Bethesda is facilitating outdoor visits for residents and tenants in all residential settings, based on MDH guidelines. Each Bethesda location has a unique visitor policy, and we request that you please carefully read the “Outdoor Visit Process” for your loved one’s area.
Emergency situations and indoor visits will continue to 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 situation regarding our buildings and programs:
- Housing residents & tenants: At Bethesda Grand, Bethesda Club Suites, Centennial Square, Fairview Place, Park View Village, and Sunrise Village. Outdoor visits, window visits, and electronic visits are allowed. We are phasing in our Essential Caregiver program.
- Club Bethesda: Open with restrictions. Please visit our Club Bethesda page for information.
- DayBreak: Alternative programming available. Please call 320-235-4891 for information.
- Outpatient therapy: Therapists are again seeing clients. Please visit our Outpatient Therapy page for information.
- Brothers Cafe + Bistro: Temporarily closed to the public.
- Support groups: Temporarily postponed.
Our two chaplains are providing pastoral care to residents and tenants in-person, as well as through phone calls and FaceTime. They share God’s Word with residents and the public through Sunday worship services, Pastor’s Corner, and hymn sings, all of which are recorded and shown on our public YouTube channel. Bethesda’s Sunday worship services also are shown on our Facebook page. Learn more by visiting the Spiritual Care page.
Our timeline and public statements
- July 24: Bethesda announces its plan for the Essential Caregiver program. Read our announcement.
- June 19: Bethesda to begin facilitating 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, 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.
- 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.
- For details about COVID-19 cases in Minnesota – Visit the Minnesota Department of Health isit
- 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.