PioneerCare announced a second COVID-19 case on July 14 at PioneerCare Center in Fergus Falls. The first case was announced July 8 for a staff member who tested positive. Following that positive test, the care center implemented widespread testing, testing about 70 people, and uncovering the newest positive case in a resident of the nursing home.
The resident was asymptomatic and has been moved to the designated COVID-19 unit in the nursing home, while the staff member is in isolation at home. The COVID-19 unit is separated from the rest of the building, has negative air pressure and is staffed by designated employees who will only work in that unit. The care center is also working with the Minnesota Department of Health to ensure they’re taking the appropriate steps to contain a potential spread.
“We’re just exercising as much care as we can to make sure that our residents and staff are safe. We also really want to be transparent to the community,” Steve Guttormson, marketing and development director at PioneerCare, said. “Just having as much information out there as is available is a good thing for everybody.” Families of any residents who test positive will receive phone calls from staff and the PioneerCare website will maintain a situation update regarding cases. As an alternative to the website, the situation update can also be checked by phone by calling 218-998-1500 and following prompts.
Widespread testing began once again on Thursday, July 16. “Everybody at the care center … will be tested once a week and it started today,” Guttormson said. Staff and residents will be tested once a week until there have been two consecutive weeks of negative results.
The care center has also increased restrictions on resident movement throughout the building and communal activities, like communal dining and small group activities, have been canceled. Outdoor visits have also been canceled, but closed window visits and electronic visits are still encouraged.
“We are confident in our infection prevention and control measures, and in our ability to manage this small outbreak safely and effectively,” the PioneerCare website’s release on the second case states.