Dear St. William’s Living Center and McCornell Court Residents, Friends, and Families:
I am writing today regarding two new positive resident cases and one new positive staff case of COVID-19 at St. William’s Living Center. In today’s letter I will try to answer some additional questions that have come up recently.
- St. William’s Living Center: five active staff cases, seven active resident cases
- McCornell Court Assisted Living: No active cases
Condition of Residents
It is difficult to provide details of our resident’s conditions in a letter like this due to privacy and HIPPA laws. What I can say is that we immediately notify families if a resident tests positive. We also regularly communicate with families when there is a change in condition, and we encourage families to reach out to a charge nurse if there are questions. If you ever feel that your questions have not been answered, please call me at 218-338-1001; leave a message if I do not answer because I am frequently away from my desk.
We are hopeful that there will be a vaccine for residents and/or staff within weeks. We have been planning with Otter Tail County and local pharmacies so that we are ready for the vaccine when it is available.
We currently are not open for visitation, due the outbreak within our facility and county positivity rate. We are allowing visitation for compassionate care and some limited essential care visits. We encourage loved ones to communicate with our residents by a window visit, phone, or video chat, if possible. You may call our activity department at 218-338-1010 to set up a time to schedule a video meeting or window visit with a resident.
With the high community spread of COVID-19, we are very fortunate to not be in a crisis staffing mode. SWLC had very high staffing levels prior to the pandemic and we increased our staffing levels by about 10% to 15% after the pandemic began to prepare for an outbreak. I am thankful for our staff that have cross trained to work in multiple departments and for those who have picked up open shifts for their co-workers who are out ill.
We have been testing direct care staff twice per week with PCR saliva testing through Vault Health. PCR testing is the most accurate testing available and saliva testing has the quickest turnaround time of two to three days for results.
Non-direct care staff and residents are tested weekly with PCR testing through Mayo Clinic. Saliva testing does not work well for our residents, because most residents are not able to produce enough saliva for an accurate test. The turnaround time for testing results from Mayo Clinic has slowed over the past month as cases have dramatically increased throughout Minnesota and the US.
The third testing strategy that we are conducting is point of care antigen testing for residents. The antigen tests return results in approximately 15 minutes. Residents that have symptoms or have been exposed to staff with COVID-19 will be tested more frequently. Antigen tests are generally less sensitive than PCR tests, which means that there is a higher chance of a false negative test. More information from the CDC about antigen testing can be found at: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/lab/resources/antigen-tests-guidelines.html.
The Minnesota Department of Health has set up a free hotline for anyone who has questions about Coronavirus (COVID-19). Call the MDH hotline at: 1-651-201-3920. We will continue to provide updates to you to keep you informed of our ongoing work.
Should you have any questions, please feel free to contact us at: Tim Kelly, Administrator at 218-338-1001; Lori Roers, Director of Nursing at 218-338-1009.
Sincerely, Tim Kelly, Administrator