As the number of COVID-19 cases continue to climb in Minnesota, local care facilities have had to make some tough choices, one of them being whether or not to allow visitors into their facilities.

Luther Haven began restricting visitors last week. “We began restricting visitation on Wednesday, March 11,” said Luther Haven Director Justin Hughes. “Exceptions may be made under special circumstances.”

As the number of COVID-19 cases continue to climb in Minnesota, local care facilities have had to make some tough choices, one of them being whether or not to allow visitors into their facilities.

Luther Haven began restricting visitors last week. “We began restricting visitation on Wednesday, March 11,” said Luther Haven Director Justin Hughes. “Exceptions may be made under special circumstances.”

The restrictions are also in effect for Copper Glen. “We are following recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and the Minnesota Department of Health,” said Hughes.

Luther Haven is a 90-bed long-term care facility and Copper Glen is a 20-unit assisted living facility. Combined, both facilities employ 200 people.

For now, there is no way of telling when the visitation restrictions will be lifted. Hughes said: “These restrictions will remain in effect until further notice. We will continue to follow all recommendations of the CDC and MDH as they come out. We believe it is important to be proactive in protecting our residents, tenants, and employees.”

Hughes feels fortunate that Luther Haven and Copper Glen are a part of the Montevideo community. “We are very grateful for the support and understanding we have received so far, and we will continue to provide updates as changes occur,” he said.

Sherri Bennett, director of administration at Meadow Creek Assisted Living, provided an update of their visitation policy. “Last week we were asking visitors to stay away if they had a temperature or had a cough, but after this last weekend we are restricting visitors until further notice,” she said.

Meadow Creek has 13 residents and 15 employees. Bennett said: “We are hoping COVID-19 will soon be under control, and no longer a threat to our loved ones.”

Bennett said that restrictions will stay in place until further notice. “We are following the recommendations of our association, Care Providers of Minnesota.”

CCM Health of Montevideo has also restricted visitation at the hospital. Wes Duellman, Marketing and Communications director for CCM Health, said: “CCM Health is temporarily restricting visitors at the hospital, except in extreme circumstances. Staff will determine these restrictions on a case-by-case basis. Any visitor will be directed to the triage nurse when entering the facility to go through a screening.”

Duellman said that CCM Health is continuing to see patients in its clinic and hospital. “CCM Health will continue with elective procedures such as lab, radiology, surgeries, etc., but will monitor based on demands of staff and resources,” he said. “Outreach providers will also continue to come to the clinic and CCM Health will prescreen providers and their staff upon their arrival.”

Avera Granite Falls is limiting visitors to critical patients only at the discretion of hospital staff. All visitors are being screened for symptoms. “This policy is for the protection of everyone,” said Avera Granite Falls Director Tom Kooiman.

Kooiman urged people to follow the recommendations of the CDC and MDH. He said: “This is a challenging time for our community, our state, our nation, and even our world. Please stay informed about COVID-19 and practice these guidelines. We at Avera will continue to work hard to prevent the spread of this virus and deliver high quality care for those who become ill or need health services for other conditions. We want to thank our staff and our community members for your support.”

Avera is also currently not allowing visitors to long-term care facilities.

As things stand, it may be a long time before things return to more normal operations at our care facilities. All agree that the public needs to be patient and understanding during this time of crisis, as well as following the recommendations of the CDC.