[March 13, 2020] With the primary goal of protecting residents from risk of exposure to the Coronavirus, PioneerCare is suspending visits to its living and care settings unless the visit is medically necessary.
“If an individual feels they have a medically necessary need to visit a resident at PioneerCare, they should contact us first,” said Kristen Anderson, Infection Control Preventionist at PioneerCare Center. “Otherwise, we are prohibiting visitors.”
“We called family members of residents late yesterday to ensure they are aware of this change, and to answer any questions or concerns they may have,” Anderson said. “We’re addressing any extenuating circumstances related to medically necessary needs of a resident on an individual basis.”
Administration and staff have been vigilant about tracking developments for the past four to six weeks. PioneerCare has participated in weekly conference calls led by Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) that have included other healthcare providers in conversation and planning. In that time and going forward, PioneerCare staff are in continuous contact with the appropriate health agencies, continuously reviewing their own current infection control policies, and making any necessary updates based on new information.
“We’ve been communicating with residents, family members, and staff as we learn more,” Anderson said.
While PioneerCare is suspending visits by individuals from outside the building, it’s important for residents to be social and keep in touch with family. PioneerCare continues to hold internal group activities. PioneerCare also has technology available in rooms, like its education center, for residents to have on-screen, virtual visits with loved ones as an alternative to in-person visits.
A drop point will be designated for deliveries from suppliers.
Staff are required to be screened at the start of each shift they work. Anyone who answers “yes” to any of the symptom questions will be sent home and will be required to call and report their symptoms to the Minnesota Department of Health.
“We believe that taking these actions now—difficult as this decision is—can help us protect those most at risk for the most serious infections associated with COVID-19,” says Anderson.