News And Events

Covid-19 Plan

We at St. Francis Health Services of Morris take caring for your loved ones very seriously.

In response to coronavirus (COVID-19) we have aggressively implemented prevention and preparedness activities in all of our care centers (nursing homes, assisted livings, and group homes).

These interventions are intended to address the risk for our residents and employees from contracting and spreading the COVID-19.  We continue to follow guidelines provided to us by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), and our local and state health agencies.

Visitor Restrictions:

  • Restricting all visitors effective immediately, with the exception of compassionate care. Essential visits are determined and evaluated case-by-case.
  • Restricting all volunteers and non-essential health care personnel.  Some volunteers have been assigned to screening tasks and limited to entry.

Infection Control Practices

  • We are monitoring our residents for signs and symptoms of respiratory infection and will work with our providers if someone becomes symptomatic.
  • We are following the guidelines of quarantine when a resident is newly admitted, been out of the care center, or been exposed to individuals at risk.
  • We have limited essential entrance to the building to one location.
  • We are actively monitoring and screening all employees/contractors upon entry into each of the care centers.
  • We have cancelled all group activities including communal dining.
  • We are practicing social distancing within each of our care centers.
  • We ask all deliveries be left at the care center identified door exterior entrance.

Status of COVID-19 Monitoring

  • We continue to monitor for updates, changes, and recommendations on a daily basis from all legitimate sources.
  • We have a designated team that is reviewing and updating infection prevention practices and emergency preparedness activities.
  • We are in contact with our local and state health department and emergency preparedness contacts.
  • We will continue to update residents, families, and this website as new information becomes available.

Trusted Resources for Official Updates:

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC): https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html

Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS): https://www.cms.gov/newsroom/press-releases/cms-announces-new-measures-protect-nursing-home-residents-covid-19 

Minnesota Department of Health: https://www.health.state.mn.us/diseases/coronavirus/index.html

Weekly Update

In the past week, AHS has created opportunities for more meaningful connections for our residents and loved ones through open window visits and outdoor patio visits. Our entire team enjoys seeing our residents and loved ones visiting and look forward to the days when we are once again able to welcome visitors into our care center.  We ask that you schedule your virtual visits, open window visits, and patio visits ahead of time due to high demand and safety of our residents.

At the beginning of the pandemic, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) set strict guidelines for our care centers including prohibiting communal dining. We have now received revised guidelines and reviewing all of the requirements to safely implement communal dining.  Look for more information on this subject in the future.   

As of 06/26/2020, there have been no known cases of Coronavirus in our care center. We continue to follow all recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH). As the state agencies loosen restrictions, please know you are a key partner in preventing the spread of CoVid-19 in our care center. We ask that you understand the requirements and procedures we have put in place, and work with us as partners in caregiving to abide by them.

Your messages of support, prayers, and patience will not be forgotten. If you have and questions, concerns, or ideas for make visiting better, please do not hesitate to reach out to us.  Thank you again for being partners with us in fighting the COVID-19 virus.

Updated information on our planning and preparedness for Coronavirus and our activities within our care center can be found by visiting our website (www.sfhs.org) or our Facebook page.

Happy Father’s Day

CoVid-19 Weekly Update

Happy Father’s Day!

In honor of Father’s Day this weekend, (care center) would like to extend our appreciation to all Fathers for all they do and continue to do for us. Father’s Day is a time to honor the men in our lives who have influenced us and protected us when needed. This year, CoVid-19 has had an influence on how we can visit our loved ones on this special day.  However, we are thrilled to announce that the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) has distributed guidelines allowing outdoor visits. 

If you wish to participate in an outdoor visit, visitors must agree to:

  • Schedule visits with the care center. Visitation may be limited based on demand and staff availability.
  • Must not enter the care center and stay in the designated visitation location.
  • Sign in and provide contact information.
  • Allow staff to screen you for signs and symptoms of CoVid-19 and attest to CoVid-19 status, if known.
  • Use alcohol-based hand rub when entering the visitation area.
  • Wear a mask or other face covering at all times.
  • Allow staff to be present to assist with outdoor transfers of residents, wipe down visitation areas and maintain visual observation.
  • Social distance at least 6 feet between all persons at all times.
  • No items may be passed to the resident during the visitation. Any items may be left with the staff at the care center.
  • Control all children under 12 and assure their compliance with social distancing.
  • Control all pets at all times if present.
  • Reduce the risk of exposure by not having any physical contact with a resident; no holding hands, hugging, kissing or other physical contact.

Open window visits are also allowed at this time. Visitors must agree to wear a mask at all times, practice social distancing by remaining 6 feet from residents and other visitors and refrain from reaching out to touch your loved one or passing anything through an open window.

As stated you will need to schedule your outdoor visit or open window visit.  We expect high demand and ask that you please contact your care center to schedule your visit ahead of time. 

As of 06/19/2020, there have been no known cases of Coronavirus in our care center. We continue to follow all recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH). Residents are being monitored throughout all shifts. All staff continue to be screened prior to entering the building and are required to wear surgical masks and eye protection. 

Updated information on our planning and preparedness for Coronavirus and our activities within our care center can be found by visiting our website (www.sfhs.org) or our Facebook page. Please do not hesitate to reach out to us with any questions or concerns. 

SALONS ARE OPEN

GOOD NEWS – SALONS ARE OPEN!!

We appreciate the patience our residents and their families have had with us as we adapt and enhance our response to COVID-19. In the past few months, we have learned a great deal about this virus, how easily it spreads, and the tools needed to combat it. As of today, we have no known cases of Coronavirus in our care center.

We are excited to announce the first step towards relaxing restrictions in our care center. This week, the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) has issued the following guidance regarding resuming salon services inside our care centers:

  • The beautician will be screened for fever and symptoms of COVVID-19 prior to entering our building.
  • The beautician will wear a surgical face mask and eye protection.
  • Residents must wear facemasks throughout their appointment.
  • Surfaces will be disinfected between each resident. 
  • Only one resident at a time in the salon.
  • The resident will complete proper hand hygiene upon entering the salon.
  • The beautician will complete proper hand hygiene before and after contact with the resident.
  • No COVID-positive residents or residents showing symptoms will be allowed in the salon.
  • If the care center is experiencing an outbreak, the care center will suspend salon services until there are no longer residents testing positive or showing symptoms of COVID-19.

These guidelines along with our infection control practices will help ensure the safety of all who live and work here as we resume salon services inside our care centers.

Updated information on our planning and preparedness for Coronavirus and our activities within our care centers can be found by visiting our website (www.sfhs.org) or our Facebook page. Please do not hesitate to reach out to us with any questions or concerns.

Outdoor Visits

We continue to have no known cases of Coronavirus in our care centers. The health and wellness of the people we serve and our staff continue to be our top priority. You may know that our staff provide one-on-one companionship to residents and many creative hallway and door to door activities are conducted to help boost resident spirits, contributing positively to their mental health and well-being.

As the weather improves, we receive many questions regarding outdoor visits. You may have heard restrictions for socializing are beginning to ease in Minnesota and businesses have been allowed to open in outside environments or other restrictions.  However, the state and federal guidelines for us have not yet changed. The Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC), Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), and the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) continue to advise no care center visits or open window visits at this time.

As of right now, we are continuing scheduled, closed window visits with residents. We also encourage alternative means of communicating with residents such as phone calls, Facebook, Skype, etc. We have obtained additional equipment to meet the demands of these virtual visits and staff are able to assist residents as needed. We are very grateful to families for their understanding as they help us to do everything we can to put the well-being of your loved ones and others who reside with us above all else; even when compliance with the rules keeps you from personal contact. 

Directions and guidance from governmental agencies are changing daily and we are preparing for the day we are able to lift these restrictions with specific visiting guidelines in their place. St. Francis Health Services has formed a committee, made up of care center leadership, charged with developing methods in which we could safely allow person to person visits, identifying the barriers that exist and brainstorming methods in which we could mitigate risk of our residents’ exposure.

Updated information on our planning and preparedness for Coronavirus and our activities within our care centers can be found by visiting our website (www.sfhs.org) or our Facebook page. Please do not hesitate to reach out to us with any questions or concerns.

Visitor Restrictions Update

With the days becoming warmer, our residents have been able to enjoy being outside more. While outdoors, residents are accompanied by staff and follow strict social distancing protocols requesting residents wear masks.

As you may have heard many senior living communities in Minnesota are conducting entire site testing of both residents and staff. The priority for the entire site testing has been those locations where there has been an outbreak.  Throughout this pandemic, we have followed governmental guidelines and test residents that display symptoms similar to the Coronavirus-19 symptoms or have been exposed to employees who have been directly exposed in their personal lives to Covid-19. As of today, none of those tests results have been positive for Covid-19. In the event we do get a confirmed case in our care center, we are prepared to complete entire site testing. Residents and family will be consulted prior to any testing.

We continue to evaluate visiting restrictions, salon services and group worship. There is discussion at the state level regarding when these services should be allowed but we are encouraged to stay the course knowing those we care for are at higher risk for developing more serious complications.  The Minnesota Department of Health is gathering data from the implementation of expanded testing as to the level of ongoing community transmission as part of its process to potentially revise guidelines in visitation. We do know that any decision to lessen visitor restrictions will be accompanied by requirements to protect our residents and staff and prevent potential transmission of this virus. 

We will continue to provide updates to you to keep you informed of our ongoing work. Help us keep family and loved ones informed by visiting our website (www.sfhs.org) or our Facebook page. Please do not hesitate to reach out to us with any questions or concerns.

RAMP

Aitkin Health Services an affiliate of St. Francis Health Services of Morris (SFHS), is pleased to announce their Restorative Ambulation and Mobility Project (RAMP).  The RAMP Project is a result of SFHS’s long term care collaborative of 7 care centers being awarded a Minnesota Nursing Facility Performance-based Incentive Payment Program (PIPP) grant by the Minnesota Department of Human Services (DHS).  Implementation of the RAMP Project began January 1, 2020 at AHS and will continue through December 31, 2020. 

The goal of the RAMP project is to improve the quality of care and quality of life for our residents. The project will help each resident reach their highest attainable level of function in ambulation and mobility. A Walk to Dine and a Balance Exercise program will be integrated into our Restorative Program. The Walk to Dine program will assist the resident in maintaining functional ambulation abilities to support maximum level of independence for the highest quality of life. The Balance Exercise program is intended for a resident that had a recent fall. Many respond to a fear of falling by reducing activity levels, which results in loss of muscle strength and balance.   This evidence-based program would be designed and implemented to reduce fear of falling and increase activity levels.

The RAMP Project will provide us with additional resources to make positive system improvements to support good outcomes, focusing on our residents’ preferences and needs.  We want our residents to experience their highest quality of life, and feel this program promotes this by impacting their ability to achieve and/or maintain their optimal physical function.

This project is another way we are carrying out our mission of “Expressing Christ’s love by providing care that values every human life.” If you have any questions about the RAMP project or want more information, please contact our care center.

Stay Safe MN

Since the pandemic first began, our staff have been working tirelessly to prevent transmission within our care centers and prepare for the day we provide care for those who test positive. As of today, we still have no known cases of Coronavirus in our care centers. We carefully monitor all residents for symptoms, screen all staff at the beginning of each shift, use PPE, and conduct audits of our infection control practices, providing further education as needed. 

It is expected the new Stay Safe directive from Governor Walz which involves steps to re-open Minnesota, as well as the President’s desire to open our communities, will increase the spread of COVID-19 in the weeks ahead. We remain committed to taking all precautionary measures to restrict this spread of the virus in our care centers. Because those we care for are at high-risk for COVID-19 infection, federal and state guidelines restrict us from relaxing rules for visiting and other group activities at this time. 

We, like you, are anxious for a time where visitors are warmly welcomed in our settings and warm smiles and human touch are not masked or guarded.  We know this is a difficult time for all concerned and that we continue to do all that we can to connect our residents and families in a safe way.

Additional updates and information on our preparedness for COVID-19 can be found on our website (www.sfhs.org) or Facebook page.  Please do not hesitate to reach out to us with any questions or concerns.

5 Point Plan

Last week Governor Walts announced a 5 Point Plan to support residents and long-term care providers. He has addressed the need for more testing, personal protective equipment and adequate staffing in senior care settings. We are realistic about this challenge. As testing expands, more cases will be discovered. We will need to depend on this statewide collaboration to address the growing care needs. The 5 Point Plan includes:

  • Expanded testing for residents and staff.
  • Providing testing support.
  • Providing Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).
  • Ensure adequate staffing levels.
  • Leverage partnerships with local public health.

This week Governor Walts announced Minnesota will let the Stay at Home Order expire on May 18th, 2020. Minnesota will follow up with a Stay Safe MN Order. Following this order, we continue to social distance and remain closed to visitors to protect all who live and work within our communities.

As of today, there have been no known cases of Coronavirus in our care centers. We continue to follow all recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH). This week residents and staff celebrated National Skilled Nursing Care Week. The usual dress up days, treats, and festivities were held despite the pandemic. Residents and staff have embraced the change and have created new norms in our communities.

As always, updates and information on our preparedness for COVID-19 can be found on our website (www.sfhs.org) or Facebook page. Please do not hesitate to reach out to us with any questions or concerns.

5/07/2020

As of today, there have been no known cases of Coronavirus in our care centers. We continue to follow all recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH). Staff are completing full vital signs daily on our residents. Temperature checks and respiratory assessments are being done on separate shifts. All staff continue to be screened before coming into work and are required to wear masks and eye protection. In the event we do have a confirmed case in our community, we will notify our residents, family members, and our staff. We will also be reporting any COVID-19 infections to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Minnesota has successfully slowed the spread of the virus during the Governor’s stay at home mandate. This has given us time to prepare and plan for the possibility of an outbreak in our communities. We have sufficient personal protective equipment (PPE) to provide protection for your loved ones and staff. Although the idea of a loved one or staff being diagnosed with COVID-19 may be scary, we want to assure you, we are prepared.

Last week Governor Waltz extended the stay at home order through May 18th, 2020. We continue to encourage all visitors to follow the stay at home mandate. If you choose not to and are planning to make a window visit with your loved one, we ask that you call ahead so we can assist the resident during the visit. We appreciate our residents and their family members for adapting to the precautions we have set in place to ensure everyone’s safety. As always, updates and information on our preparedness for COVID-19 can be found on our website (www.sfhs.org) or Facebook page. Please do not hesitate to reach out to us with any questions or concerns.

Coronavirus Update

As of today, there have been no known cases of Coronavirus in our care centers. We continue to follow all recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH). This week we implemented another layer of defense in our care centers; our direct care staff will not only be wearing masks while on duty, but also protective eyewear. We continue to do everything we can to ensure the safety of our residents and staff.  We are continuously researching best practices to maximize our infection control protocols for the segregated COVID-19 units within our buildings in the event they are utilized.  These protocols include:

  • Using N95 respirators and PPE for all staff working with COVID-19 patients.
  • Enforcing strict donning and doffing PPE procedures.
  • Ensuring we have sufficient personal protective equipment (PPE).
  • Designating strict travel paths and entrances/exits for staff.
  • Assuring extensive communication internally and externally.
  • Ensuring we have appropriate staffing levels.

As you may be aware, the Governor has allowed some non-essential businesses in Minnesota to return to work. While restrictions are being lifted for some businesses, the Stay At Home Order is still in place and the best option.  Our care centers continue to restrict visitations.  Please be assured our activities staff continue to find creative ways to entertain and engage our residents while maintaining social distancing. Pictures and updates of your loved ones activities can be seen on our care center’s Facebook page.  In addition, all information regarding our Planning and Preparedness for Coronavirus can be found on our website (www.sfhs.org). We encourage you to reach out to us with any questions and concerns.