News and Events

Thanksgiving

Dear Family and Friends,

We recently learned that the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) and the federal Medicare agency (CMS) are advising against residents leaving their care center for holiday visits. As we continue to fight against COVID-19, we ask that you not take your loved ones out this Thanksgiving.

By not taking your loved one out for a holiday visit, you will help us in protecting the health of everyone who lives and works here. One of the best things that you can do for your family this holiday season is to not gather in groups and keep everyone safe by wearing a facemask when you do.

We know just how special the holiday season can be and spending time with family is what adds meaning to our celebrations.  However, we need your help to protect our residents, our staff, and yourself during this pandemic’s risky time by limiting our contact with the broader community.  As Governor Walz told us the other night, the COVID-19 surge is at a dangerous level in Minnesota.

This past year has been a challenge like no other and we deeply appreciate the sacrifices that you and your family have already made during these past months. The hope of a COVID-19 vaccine is promising, but until that time we all need to use extra caution to slow the spread of this highly contagious disease.

If a resident does choose to go to a holiday gathering outside of our care center, the resident will need to quarantine in his or her room for 14-days after returning as a necessary precaution. Even when being very careful and following all of the guidelines, the risk of being infected when being out in the general public is high.

Our staff is committed to keeping you connected during the holiday seasons. We have a variety of activities planned that will engage our residents and are doing all we can to facilitate alternative means of communication between you and your loved one. If you have any gifts or cards you would like to give to your loved one or wish to schedule a virtual visit, please contact Deb Heck at 320-695-2165 ext. 30 or email at dheck@bvhc.sfhs.org.

We know that this news may cause concern or that you may have questions about what we are doing to keep everyone safe and healthy. Please do not hesitate to reach out to me. 

Sincerely,

Autumn Herzog

Administrator

320-695-2165

aherzog@bvhc.sfhs.org

County Positivity puts BCHC in the “Red Zone”

Dear Family and Friends,

As of today, we have no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in our care center. We continue to work with the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) and are following COVID-19 recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS).

Our county positivity rate has risen above 10% putting our care center in the “red zone.” According to CMS calculations, all Minnesota counties, but four, are now in the “red zone.” Being in the “red zone” requires our care center to routinely test our staff twice weekly. We are also required to suspend all indoor visits at this time. We encourage you to use alternate ways to connect with your loved ones such as Zoom, Facebook Portal, Phone, and Facetiming. To schedule your visit or for more information on our visitation policy, please contact Deb Heck at 320-695-2165 ext. 30 or email at dheck@bvhc.sfhs.org.

With hospital beds nearing capacity and healthcare staffing shortages, Governor Walz issued even more COVID restrictions this week. Restaurants, breweries, bowling alleys, movie theaters, and bars will be take-out only. Gyms will close and organized indoor sports will be suspended. We need your help to control the spread of the virus in our community. We encourage you to use masks, social distance and abide by the Governor’s Orders.

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 (@Browns Valley Health 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 Autumn Herzog, Administrator, at 320-695-2165 or by email at aherzog@bvhc.sfhs.org if you have any questions or concerns.

No COVID Cases – Indoor Visits Resuming

Dear Family and Friends,

We conducted our 2nd round of entire site testing on 11/10/2020. We are happy to announce that we have no additional positive cases in our care center.  We continue to follow all recommendations from the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH), the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).

We continue to be in the “yellow” county positivity rate. Our care center will routinely test all staff weekly. Our next round of routine STAFF testing is on 11/17/2020. The “yellow” category also mandates all visitors and essential caregivers receive a negative COVID test prior to entering our care center. If you are unable to be tested at your clinic, please contact Deb Heck (320-695-2165 ext.30) for information on how to be tested at our care center.

This week Governor Walz announced new COVID-19 restrictions. These include earlier bar and restaurant closing times and 10 person limits on all indoor and outdoor gatherings. We encourage everyone in their efforts to control the spread of the virus including wearing masks, social distancing and the recent turning back of the dial by the State.

We continue to see outbreaks in our rural communities and this has the potential to impact our care center’s ability to allow indoor visits. In order for visits to occur, there can be no new onset of COVID-19 cases in the last 14 days and the care center cannot currently be conducting outbreak testing.  County positivity rates could also limit our ability to allow indoor visits.

We will be resuming indoor visits on 11/16/2020. Due to high demand and the safety of our residents, all visits must be scheduled 24 hours in advance. As a reminder only two people may visit at one time. To schedule your visit or for more information on our visitation policy, please contact Deb Heck at 320-695-2165 ext. 30 or email at dheck@bvhc.sfhs.org.

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 (@Browns Valley Health 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 Autumn Herzog, Administrator, at 320-695-2165 or by email at aherzog@bvhc.sfhs.org if you have any questions or concerns.

NO POSITIVE COVID CASES THIS WEEK!

Dear Family and Friends,

We conducted entire site testing on 11/03/2020 and all tests came back negative. We will be testing again on 11/10/2020.  We continue to follow all recommendations from the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH), the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).

Our top priority is to support and protect our residents and dedicated caregivers. We have equipped our staff with the training and supplies needed to provide safe, quality care, services and support to our residents. We continue to urge everyone to practice proper hand hygiene and safe physical distancing.

We are committed to ensuring that physical distancing does not mean isolation. We are working to have a variety of small group activities that engage our residents such as 654 dice, crafts, hallway bingo, hallway exercise, and much more. We know that you too are making sacrifices and we appreciate your patience as we continue to navigate through this Pandemic. To schedule a visit with your loved one, please contact Deb Heck at 320-695-2165 ext. 30 or email at dheck@bvhc.sfhs.org.

We are now in the “yellow” county positivity rate. This means our care center will begin weekly routine testing for our staff members even when we are not in outbreak testing. The “yellow” category also mandates all visitors and essential caregivers receive a negative COVID test prior to entering our care center. If you are unable to be tested at your clinic, please contact (name) for information on how to be tested at our care center.

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 (@Browns Valley Health 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 Autumn Herzog, Administrator, at 320-695-2165 or by email at aherzog@bvhc.sfhs.org if you have any questions or concerns.

Positive Staff Member at BVHC

Date: 11/1/2020

Dear Family and Community Members,

Although not unexpected, as of 10/31/2020, we have a staff member in our care center that has tested positive for COVID-19 through our routine staff testing on 10/27/2020. This employee is considered very low risk as the employee has not worked since 10/11/2020 and currently self-quarantining at home. Our top priority is to keep everyone safe and healthy. We are collaborating with our Medical Director and the Minnesota Department of Health and are following all recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to ensure we are taking all appropriate steps at this time. Browns Valley Health Center is committed to the health and safety of all the people that live and work in our community.

With the confirmed case of CoVid-19 in our care center, BVHC will be performing entire site testing. We believe this is the best way to protect our residents, staff, and our community and track the path of the virus. Results will be shared as they come in. Our staff is equipped with specific training and personal protective equipment (PPE) to continue to provide safe, quality care, services and support to the residents of our community.

As we’ve shared several times, in early March, we initiated proactive infection control practices, screening procedures and visitor restrictions that will help us manage this situation as effectively as possible and protect the safety and health of all who live and work here. We will continue to update you on any news, emerging issues, or additional changes in our operations via Bright Arrow, email, website, and our Facebook page.

As this is consider low risk BVHC will continue to provide communal dining, activities and in house visits along with technology visits through Facetime, Facebook Messenger and Zoom. Please contact Deb Heck to set up an appointment at 320-695-2165 or by email at dheck@bvhc.sfhs.org.

We know that this news may concern you or that you may have questions about what we are doing to keep everyone safe and healthy. Please do not hesitate to reach out to me at (320)695-2165 or aherzog@bvhc.sfhs.org

Sincerely,

Autumn Herzog, LNHA

Administrator

Browns Valley Health Center

Weekly Update

Dear Family and Friends,

As of 10/23/2020, we have no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in our care center. We continue to routinely test staff monthly. We follow all recommendations from the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH), the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).

Our care center has started indoor visitation. As a reminder, we follow state and federal guidance for visitation, which includes following the core infection control protocols, including screening of all visitors for signs & symptoms of COVID, proper hand hygiene, face coverings, and social distancing. Please recognize that this virus is still spreading throughout our state and that we may need to restrict visitation if we experience positive cases of COVID-19 in our setting, identify a broader risk of exposure both in our setting and/or the broader community, or encounter other factors that affect the safety of visitation.

Due to high demand and the safety of our residents, all visits must be scheduled 24 hours in advance. As a reminder only two people may visit at one time. To schedule your visit or for more information on our visitation policy, please contact Deb Heck at 320-695-2165 ext. 30 or by email at dheck@bvhc.sfhs.org.

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 (@Browns Valley Health 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 Autumn Roark, Administrator, at 320-695-2165 or by email at aroark@bvhc.sfhs.org if you have any questions or concerns.

Indoor Visitation Resuming Soon!!!

Dear Family and Friends,

We are very excited to share the news that we will soon be able to resume indoor visits, and warmly welcome you back into our care center. The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) has issued guidance on how we can safely re-open to visitors while continuing to protect the health of our residents and staff. This guidance takes effect on October 17th.  In the meantime, we remind you to take advantage of outdoor visits, window visits, and virtual visits.

Even though we are excited to open up our care center for indoor visits, it is tempered by the fact that rural communities are seeing more outbreak in recent weeks which has the potential to impact our care center’s ability to offer visitation. There can be no new onset of COVID-19 cases in the last 14 days and facility cannot currently be conducting outbreak testing.  COVID-19 county positivity rates will determine how our care center will facilitate indoor visits. As of 10/15/2020, we have no positive cases of COVID-19 in our care center and are not conducting outbreak testing. 

For your planning purposes, please know we expect to accommodate indoor visitation very soon, following these strict guidelines:

  • All indoor visits MUST be scheduled in advance.
  • Visitors must be screened prior to entering the care center for signs and symptoms of COVID-19.
  • All visits must be conducted using social distancing.
  • Visitors must wear a mask covering both nose and mouth while in the care center. Residents must wear a surgical mask during the visit.
  • Proper hand hygiene must occur (use of alcohol-based hand rub) throughout visit.
  • Visits may be restricted to a designated area within the building.
  • Physical contact (hugs, kisses, handshakes, etc.) continues to be restricted to protect everyone from potential virus transmission.
  • Visitors will be limited to two visitors per resident; the total number of visitors in the building will be limited; and the duration of visits will be limited.
  • Visitors must adhere to all infection control policies (ICP) and staff should provide monitoring for those who may have difficulty adhering to ICP
  • Cleaning/disinfecting high frequency touched surfaces and designated visitation areas must occur after each visit.
  • All items brought to the visit must be left with staff for disinfection and not passed to the resident during the visit.

Our ability to resume visitation would not have been possible without the incredible commitment and dedication of our staff, who have worked tirelessly to manage the risks of COVID-19 and providing compassionate care and support to our residents at a time when they are physically separated by their loved ones. We know that you too, have made sacrifices during this incredibly difficult time and we thank you for your patience and understanding.

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 (@Browns Valley Health 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 Autumn Roark, Administrator, at 320-695-2165 or by email at aroark@bvhc.sfhs.org if you have any questions or concerns.

Weekly Update

10/09/2020

As of 10/9/2020, we have no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in our care center. We continue to routinely test staff weekly. We follow all recommendations from the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH), the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).

MDH is developing guidelines based on the recently issued CMS guidance on how we our can safety re-open our setting to visitors and continue to protect the health of our residents and staff.  We plan to revise our current visitation policies to accommodate the MDH and CMS changes as soon as possible and distribute to residents and families.   

We appreciate your patience as we take time to evaluate and implement the guidance so that we can safely resume indoor visitation. These requirements not only apply to our ability to resume indoor visitation but also identify triggers for when we may need to restrict visitation. Restricting visitation may happen if we experience a positive case of COVID-19 among our residents and staff or if our broader community falls into a higher risk category.

We deeply appreciate the sacrifices you made to limit the impact of COVID-19 on our community and your patience as we prepare our setting to host safe indoor visitation. Our entire team looks forward to seeing you again. Families, friends and volunteers are a core fabric of what makes our community so special. In the meantime, we remind you to take advantage of outdoor visits, window visits, and the ability to connect residents and their loved ones through alternative communication, such as FaceTime, Zoom and Skype.

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.

Thank you again for being partners with us in fighting the COVID-19 virus. Your messages of support, prayers, and caring is important to those working to keep our residents healthy and safe. Without a doubt, there will be more challenges ahead, and we continue to ask for your patience as we make adjustments and implement this next phase in our visitation. Please follow our Facebook page (@Browns Valley Health 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 Autumn Roark, Administrator, at 320-695-2165 or by email at aroark@bvhc.sfhs.org if you have any questions or concerns.

Weekly Update

September 25, 2020

As of today, we have no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in our care center. 

We continue to routinely test facility staff according to CMS guidelines.  “Facility Staff” is broadly defined to include employees, consultants, contractors, volunteers, and caregivers who provide care and services to residents on behalf of the facility, and students in the facility’s nurse aide training programs or from affiliated academic institutions.  Our care center is in a low county positivity rate. The requirements outline routine testing depending on our county positivity rate:

  • Low: Monthly testing in counties with less than 5% positivity
  • Medium: Weekly testing in counties with 5-10% positivity
  • High: Bi-weekly testing in counties with greater than 10% positivity

We continue to follow the recommended guidance from the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) and Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), and the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH), and take all appropriate measures possible to protect the health and wellness of all who live and work here. We test symptomatic residents and staff as symptoms arise and perform entire-site testing during an outbreak (1 or more positive cases of either a resident or staff in our care center). Should a confirmed case come from any of these tests, we would promptly notify our residents, their families and staff.

On September 17, 2020, the Center for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) released Memorandum QSO-20-39-NH Nursing Home Visitation – COVID 19 which provides updated visitation guidelines for skilled nursing facilities; https://www.cms.gov/files/document/qso-20-39-nh.pdf. We are currently waiting for the MN Department of Health direction on this Memo before we begin working on a policy & implementation plan.

Please follow our Facebook page (@Browns Valley Health Center) for all COVID updates and information on what is happening inside our care center. If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to reach out to Autumn Roark, Administrator, at 320-695-2165 or by email at aroark@bvhc.sfhs.org.