NEW Guidance Allows Open Window Visits
When visitor restrictions went into effect in March, who would have guessed the policy would remain in effect so long? We know it’s been challenging to remain physically distanced from our loved ones, and we miss the presence of family members too.
We’ve heard concerns, we share them, and we’ve passed them along to state-level leadership and as a result, they’re cautiously opening the window and offering new guidance. While in-person, in-the-building visits are still restricted, we are now allowed to provide what we’ll call open window visits. While this may work for some, it’s not an ideal solution for others. Families will need to consider if it’s helpful to their loved one.
Here’s how it works:
- Please call ahead so your loved one can prepare for your visit. Staff can help make sure they’re ready for you. At the care center, please call the household in which your loved one lives, or call 218-998-1500. At Pioneer Cottages, please call 218-998-9677. For Pioneer Pointe, please call the tenant you plan to visit.
- Please bring a mask. If you’re planning an open window visit you will need to wear it while the window is open.
- You need to be at least 3 feet from your loved one’s window. Your loved one inside needs to be 3 feet from their window.
- Before going to the window, please stop at the care center’s main entrance. We’ll give you a yard stick. We’re calling it a talking stick. It’s actually a concept adapted from Native Americans who lived in what is now the Northeastern United States. In meetings, whoever held the stick had the right to talk and when they were done, they passed it to the next person. If you’re visiting as a family group, you might want to have a little fun with the talking stick and use it as they did.The visitor doing the talking should keep it between them and the window. Others should be outside the 3-foot distance as well.
- The window screen must remain in place. Please do not try to remove the screen.
- Bring a cell phone along in case it’s difficult for either you or your loved one to hear from that distance.
The State’s new guidance is also in response to a lower incidence of cases in nursing homes and assisted living settings. Please help us continue that downward trend by following these guidelines and safe practices in the greater community. We thank you for your part in protecting residents and staff.
For more details, go to the new window visiting guidance from MDH.