In collaboration with area nursing home and assisted living facilities, Glacial Ridge Health System has assembled a testing “strike team,” as the state refers to them, to respond within 24 hours to a need for mass testing for the coronavirus. This is a key component in helping to identify and stop a potential spread within the facilities in order to keep them staffed and open so they can continue caring for their residents we all care about – our family, neighbors, and friends.
Two months ago, nursing homes and assisted living facilities were among the first to restrict visitors and take additional precautionary measures for infection control to help ensure everyone’s safety. Since people living in congregate settings, such as in a nursing home or an assisted living complex, are at higher risk of getting very sick from COVID-19, the goal of the “strike team” is to quickly test and stop COVID-19 from spreading within the facilities.
“We appreciate the collaboration and planning that has been done thus far. The long-term care facilities in the area have done a great job staying COVID-free to this point in time,” said Mary Krueger, RN, Glenwood Retirement Village Administrator. “It is reassuring that we have a plan ready to execute as this virus becomes more prevalent in our community,” she added.
The GRHS team has been training to help ensure it is a smooth process for everyone, especially the long-term care residents and staff. If one of the area nursing homes or their accompanying assisted living facilities need testing, either because a test came back positive, or more than one resident is showing symptoms of COVID-19, GRHS is ready to respond within 24 hours to conduct facility-wide testing. Pictured above are some of the staff on the GRHS strike team during a walk-through of the processes established for efficient and safe testing at long-term care locations.
Christopher Knoll, CEO of Minnewaska Community Health Services stated, “We are appreciative that GRHS is prepared to do rapid testing for our senior communities when or if the need arises.”
The “strike team” includes staff from various departments at GRHS. They volunteer to be ready to go at a moment’s notice because they understand that in a time of crisis, we all need to work together to care for our community and mitigate spread.
The Minnesota Department of Health provides an update of cases per county at 11:00 am daily, including the number of people with confirmed cases in Minnesota who have recovered. The website is www.health.state.mn.us.