One of the most difficult things about COVID-19 for our residents has been the prolonged separation from families and loved ones. With the virus still very much a threat in our communities, we must take careful steps in any plans to re-open our settings to visitors.
We recognize the critical role family members and other outside caregivers, such as friends, volunteers, private personal caregivers, often have in the care and support of our residents. We are aware that the South Dakota Department of Health has provided guidance for a new designation of an Essential Caregiver in nursing homes and assisted living.
Realizing both the potential benefits and risks of allowing additional essential caregivers into the building, we will carefully consider this guidance as well as other criteria such as the current status of COVID-19 in our setting and local communities and the overall health and safety of all who live and work here.
We ask for your patience over the next few weeks as we review this guidance and determine our next steps in terms of how it aligns with our infection control practices and diligent commitment we have to combat this virus as we balance the safety, health and wellness for all who live and work here.
We know the desire of our residents and their loved ones to be connected in a more meaningful way and also recognize the concerns that many of our residents and families have regarding our ability to prevent and contain this virus in light of more people having access to our building(s).
Please know we are carefully considering our options, evaluating our policies and protocols, and will be sharing more information with you as soon as we have completed that process.
Bethesda Home of Aberdeen
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