News and Events

Vaccine Mandate

08-19-21

Dear Family and Friends,

Our care center continues to routinely test non-vaccinated staff monthly and when an employee or resident show signs or symptoms of COVID-19 or has had exposure to a confirmed case of COVID-19. As of today, we have no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in our care center. We are following recommendations from the MDH, the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS).

On Wednesday of this week, President Biden announced that he has directed the CMS to develop emergency regulations requiring Nursing homes to mandate COVID-19 Vaccinations for staff members.  This new requirement is a key component of increasing vaccinations rates and protecting the health and safety of nursing home residents and staff. These vaccines have shown to help prevent COVID-19 and have proven to be effective against the Delta variant.

CMS is expected to release the new regulations in September. At this time we are uncertain of when the vaccine mandate will go into effect or details related to enforcement of the vaccination mandate.  We will honor exemptions for medical and religious reasons, required by law.

We are required to follow all CMS guidelines, but ask for your patience as we wait for more information regarding the key issues needed to move forward. In the meantime, if you have any questions or concerns, please reach out to Shane Roche, Administrator at 218-231-8106.

COVID Update

Dear Family and Friends,

Our care center continues to routinely test non-vaccinated staff monthly and when an employee or resident show signs or symptoms of COVID-19 or has had exposure to a confirmed case of COVID-19. As of today, we have no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in our care center. We are following recommendations from the MDH, the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS).

Unfortunately, COVID-19 case numbers have recently spiked, bringing Minnesota’s positivity rate up to 3%.  Health officials are warning that the highly contagious Delta variant of the Coronavirus now accounts for more than 75% of the state’s new COVID-19 cases. The Delta variant is highly transmissible and is causing significant, quickly spreading increases in infections in some areas.

Our residents are the most at risk for severe and fatal symptoms. Becoming vaccinated is the best way to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus and it’s variants and we have strongly encouraged everyone in our communities to get a vaccine as soon as possible, however, we do not mandate that our staff get the COVID-19 vaccine at this time. Continued infection prevention and control strategies remain essential in our efforts to keep COVID-19 out of our settings. These include the continued screening of staff, visitors, and residents, good hand hygiene, appropriate and consistent use of PPE, efforts to increase vaccination percentages, and testing for early identification of COVID-19.

We are thankful for all those who stepped forward to receive the vaccine, helping to lower positivity rates in our communities and allowing visitors back into our care centers. We continue to educate those in our community about the COVID-19 vaccine to ensure the safety of our residents and our staff.

COVID Update

4-23-21

Dear Family and Friends,

Our care center continues to routinely tests staff weekly and when an employee or resident show signs or symptoms of COVID-19 or has had exposure to a confirmed case of COVID-19. As of today, we have no cases of COVID-19 in our care center. Our care center is continuing point prevalence testing (PPT). Due to being in PPT, we are testing staff and residents weekly and are closed to general indoor visitation.  Essential Caregivers and Compassionate care visitors are still able to continue with visitation. 

It was reported that a hospice nurse that entered our center last week has externally tested positive and we are taking appropriate measures to monitor and assess any possible exposure. Although we are not currently testing visitors, we are strongly encouraging all visitors to be tested routinely for Covid-19 as the county positivity rate is on the rise.

We are following recommendations from the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH), the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS).  We will be conducting entire-site testing of staff and residents again on Tuesday, April 27th. Once we have two full weeks of all negative tests for staff and residents, we will be able to open the doors to general visitation.

We continue to work on vaccinating our residents and staff. To date we have 95% of our residents and 73% of our staff fully vaccinated. You are a key partner in keeping our care center open for visiting and ending this pandemic. We encourage you to connect with your primary health care provider or use the Vaccine Locator map (Vaccine Locations / COVID-19 Updates and Information – State of Minnesota (mn.gov)) to find a vaccine appointment near you.

Looking for ways to help? We have a variety of positions available with flexible scheduling and on the job. For more information or to apply, visit www.jobswithus.org.

Staff Member Tests Positive for COVID-19

04-15-21

Dear Friends and Family,

We have an additional staff member who has tested positive for COVID-19 during our routine testing on Tuesday April 13th. Our care center is now in point prevalence testing (PPT). Due to being in PPT, we are testing staff and residents weekly and are closed to general indoor visitation. We have also implemented a precautionary quarantine of some area of the facility while we continue to test weekly. Essential Caregivers and Compassionate care visitors are still able to continue with visitation.  We are following recommendations from the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH), the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS).  We will be conducting entire-site testing of staff and residents again on Tuesday, April 20th. Once we have two full weeks of all negative tests for staff and residents, we will be able to open the doors to general visitation and remove quarantine measures due to the positive case.

Please follow our Facebook page (@Guardian Angels Health and Rehabilitation Center) or our website (www.sfhs.org) for all COVID updates and information on what is happening inside our care center. Please do not hesitate to reach out to Shane P. Roche, Administrator, at 218-231-8106 if you have any questions or concerns.

COVID Update

Dear Friends and Family.

Weekly Update 4-2-2021

Our care center continues to routinely test staff monthly and when an employee or resident show signs or symptoms of COVID-19 or has had exposure to a confirmed case of COVID-19. As of today, we have no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in our care center. We are following recommendations from the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH), the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS).

As of this week, 80 percent of seniors in MN have gotten at least one dose of coronavirus vaccine as well as 38 percent of residents aged 50 to 64. More than 1 million Minnesotans are now fully vaccinated and 1.66 million, or 38 percent have gotten at least one shot. On Tuesday, March 30th, Minnesota expanded vaccine eligibility to all Minnesotans ages 16 and up. Although vaccinations are ramping up, Minnesota’s seven-day rolling average positivity rate has been increasing, and as of the latest data, it is at 5.3%, putting the state in the “caution” status.

We encourage you to do your part in stopping the spread of COVID-19 by connecting with your primary health care provider or using the Vaccine Locator map (Vaccine Locations / COVID-19 Updates and Information – State of Minnesota (mn.gov)) to find a vaccine appointment near you. Please continue to wear face masks, social distancing, wash your hands often and get tested if you have been exposed to someone who has tested positive or are experiencing COVID symptoms.

Looking for ways to help? We have a variety of positions available with flexible scheduling and on the job training. For more information or to apply, visit www.jobswithus.org.

Please follow our Facebook page (@Guardian Angels Health and Rehabilitation Center) or our website (www.sfhs.org) for all COVID updates and information on what is happening inside our care center. Please do not hesitate to reach out to Shane P. Roche, Administrator, at 218-231-8106 if you have any questions or concerns.

COVID Update – Vaccine Connector Tool

Dear Friends and Family.

Weekly Update 2-25-2021

As of today, we have 1 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in our care center. Our care center is now in point prevalence testing (PPT). Due to being in PPT, we are testing weekly and are closed to indoor visits. We are following recommendations from the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH), the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS).

We have activated our segregated COVID unit. We continue to offer virtual visits, essential caregiver visits, and compassionate care visits. We do ask that these visitors are tested prior to entering our care center. Due to cost, we will no longer be able to test essential caregivers, compassionate caregivers in the care centers.

We continue to receive questions on how and when family and friends will receive their vaccine. Health officials have created a Vaccine Connector tool found at https://vaccineconnector.mn.gov/. This tool helps Minnesotans find out when, where, and how to get a COVID-19 vaccine. After you fill out a simple form, the Vaccine Connector will alert you when you are eligible to receive a vaccine, connect you to resources to schedule a vaccine appointment, and notify you if there are vaccine opportunities in your area.

It is not necessary to sign up if: 

  • You have already received your COVID-19 vaccine.
  • You previously registered for the COVID-19 Vaccine Pilot Program or the COVID-19 Community Vaccination Program. You’re already on the Vaccine Connector list, and there is no need to re-submit your information.  
  • You completed the Minnesota COVID-19 Vaccine Education and Child Care survey. You’re already on the Vaccine Connector list, and there is no need to re-submit your information. 
  • You completed the Health Care Connection Form, you do not need to re-submit your information. The Minnesota Department of Health will work with health systems and local public health agencies to notify you about when and where you can get vaccinated. 

Looking for ways to help? We have a variety of positions available with flexible scheduling and on the job training. For more information or to apply, visit www.jobswithus.org.

Please follow our Facebook page (@Guardian Angels Health and Rehabilitation Center) or our website (www.sfhs.org) for all COVID updates and information on what is happening inside our care center. Please do not hesitate to reach out to Shane P. Roche, Administrator, at 218-231-8106 if you have any questions or concerns.

COVID Update

Dear Friends and Family.

Weekly Update 2-12-2021

As of today, we have no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in our care center. Our care center has moved to testing staff monthly based on our county positivity rate. We are following recommendations from the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH), the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). As of today, the MDH is not recommending any changes to our visitation process. Currently we are offering virtual and indoor visits.

Since the start of the pandemic, 3,977 residents of Minnesota’s long term care facilities have died from COVID-19, accounting for 63% of the deaths from the virus statewide. However, last week, Minnesota recorded an average of just 64 new coronavirus cases per day in long-term care settings; the lowest the state has experienced since September! On Tuesday, MDH released more data showing that overall trends are improving, and not just in senior services communities. The state’s positivity rate of testing has fallen to 4%, the lowest rate since June! The rate had peaked at 15.5% in November amid an upsurge in cases.

The drop in new cases is a hopeful sign that the vaccines are starting to provide the protection we need and the infection control protocols put in place are working. Our staff continue to find creative ways to ensure social distancing does not stop social interaction. This week we plan to celebrate Valentine’s Day by having special treats and crowning a valentines King and Queen. Please remember with any holiday, we see an increase in virtual visits (and indoor visits). Please schedule your visit by Friday with Kelly Squires, at 218-231-8119.

This week, the Minnesota Association for Geriatrics Inspired Clinicians (MAGIC) launched a new video resource to help providers in our community to address hesitations and misinformation related to the COVID vaccine. MAGIC COVID Vaccination Video was developed to provide accurate and up to date information and dispel myths regarding the vaccine. The goal is to increase vaccination rates, specifically among frontline health care workers, by providing meaningful information from a trusted source that allows them to make an educated decision. Our care centers next vaccine clinic is on March 1st.

Looking for ways to help? We have a variety of positions available with flexible scheduling and on the job training. For more information or to apply, visit www.jobswithus.org.

Please follow our Facebook page (@Guardian Angels Health and Rehabilitation Center) or our website (www.sfhs.org) for all COVID updates and information on what is happening inside our care center. Please do not hesitate to reach out to Shane P. Roche, Administrator, at 218-231-8106 if you have any questions or concerns.

Moving to Monthly Routine Testing

Dear Friends and Family.

Weekly Update 2-5-2021

We conducted point prevalence testing (PPT) this week and all tests were returned negative.  As of today, we have no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in our care center. Our care center will move to testing staff monthly based on our county positivity rate. We are following recommendations from the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH), the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS).

The CDC released a report that indicates a national average vaccination rate for care center residents of 77.8% and of care center staff, 37.5%. Minnesota is in a category with higher rates for both, with more than 80% of residents and more than 40% of staff. As of Wednesday of this week, 70,049 residents and staff of Minnesota’s long term care centers have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. We are excited to announce we have conducted our second vaccine clinic giving many residents and staff their second dose of the Moderna vaccine! We hosted our 2nd clinic on date on 2-1-21 and our 3rd will be on 3-1-21. As of today, 94% of residents have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 Vaccine and employees 66%.

This weekend we plan to celebrate Super Bowl Sunday with special food and games. We want to remind our friends and family that may be participating in Super Bowl activities to please social distance, wear a mask, and wash or sanitize your hands often.

Looking for ways to help? We have a variety of positions available with flexible scheduling and on the job training. For more information or to apply, visit www.jobswithus.org.

Please follow our Facebook page (@Guardian Angels Health and Rehabilitation Center) or our website (www.sfhs.org) for all COVID updates and information on what is happening inside our care center. Please do not hesitate to reach out to Shane P. Roche, Administrator, at 218-231-8106 if you have any questions or concerns.

COVID Update

Weekly Update 1-29-2021

We conducted point prevalence testing (PPT) this week and all tests were returned negative. As of today, we have no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in our care center. Our care center continues to test staff weekly. We are following recommendations from the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH), the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS).

We are excited to announce that we are taking actions to distribute the 2nd of the two-step COVID-19 vaccine on Monday, February 1st. There will be no cost to our residents or staff for the vaccine.

This week, MDH health officials contacted a computerized random selection of Minnesotans aged 65 and up, who signed up to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. Unfortunately, with only 11,700 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine to give away, many on this list will not receive the vaccine this week. If you were not contacted on Wednesday, your name will remain on the list for the next round of vaccine distributions. For staff and residents at our care center, our next vaccination date is on Monday, February 1st.

Valentine’s Day is fast approaching and like previous holidays throughout the COVID Pandemic, must be celebrated cautiously. MDH and CDC have not changed guidance regarding residents leaving our care centers during the pandemic and do require residents to quarantine upon return. With any holiday this year, we have seen an increase of visits requested. Please remember to plan ahead and schedule your virtual visit or, if available, indoor visits, with Kelly Squires at 218-231-8119 as soon as possible.

Looking for ways to help? We have a variety of positions available with flexible scheduling and on the job training. For more information or to apply, visit www.jobswithus.org.

Please follow our Facebook page (@Guardian Angels Health and Rehabilitation Center) or our website (www.sfhs.org) for all COVID updates and information on what is happening inside our care center. Please do not hesitate to reach out to Shane P. Roche, Administrator, at 218-231-8106 if you have any questions or concerns.