Covid-19 Policies & Resources

Update 6/10/21

Family visitation reminders-

We are thinking we need to do a new call to all of the families again as a reminder and for new resident’s families-


  1. Appointments are to be made to come and visit at least by the day before you plan to come and visit and you must make the appointment with the front office Monday – Friday when the office is open 8:00am-4:30pm.
  2. Visits are requested to not be during meal times unless other arrangements have been made so visiting times are 9am-11am and 1pm to 3pm. 
  3. When visiting you must wear a mask at all times during you visit.
  4. While visiting you must visit in the resident’s room or any other private area designated by MCH staff.  You cannot visit in resident public areas. 
  5. Visitations outside are great weather permitting.
  6. If you have questions please call 402-764-2711 and ask to talk to Katherine, Angel or Sheila.  
  7. Thank you for your patience in this very trying time. 

If you take your loved one out of the facility the staff will need to visit with you prior to taking them and you will get some information and have to sign a sheet and when you return you will have to answer some questions about any high risk situations that might have occurred during the outing.  Just know that if you take your loved one out there is a chance that they might have to get COVID tested 2 times a week for 2 weeks or be in quarantine for 14 days depending on the situation. 

Update 4/26/21

We are so excited for our residents to be able to see their loved ones.  We have recently updated our COVID visitation guidelines.  Please see below.

  • We want to provide assistance to visitors as they enter our building as well as make sure we can accommodate the number of visitors, so we are requesting that visitors call for an appointment time.  Please contact the facility at least 24 hours in advance and during normal business hours (Monday through Friday  8-430) to schedule a visit time with your loved one.
  • Visitors need to sanitize their hands and put on mask if they don’t have one.  They can wear their own as long as their mouth and nose are covered with their mask.
  • Visitors must answer all screening questions.  If they answer yes to any of the screening questions or have a temp, they cannot come in and visit.
  • Visitors can visit in the resident room as long as they do not have a roommate. If the resident has a roommate, we will make arrangements for the roommate to be out or for them to go to the family dining room.
  • Visitors must go directly to and from the resident room. Visitors must not visit in the hallways or common areas.
  • There is no time limit on the visit at this time.
  • There is no certain number of visitors but they must try to keep a 6-foot distance during the visit so in most of our rooms 2-3 is a good number.
  • With the nice weather, we encourage outdoor visits if possible.
  • If you have questions, please ask Katherine, Angel or Sheila.

Update 3/16/21

With the decrease in COVID-19 positivity rates in Polk County and the surrounding area, we are making some minor changes to our visitation guidelines.  Please see the update below.

Visitation at the Nursing Home/The Plaza update-3/15/2021

  • Visits will be with masks, frequent hand hygiene and social distancing of 6 feet and per Core principles of COVID-19 Infection Prevention
  • Visits will occur during business hours on weekdays, unless extenuating circumstances arise.
  • Visits will need to be scheduled, preferably at least 24 hours in advance, during business hours.
  • Visits will occur in the resident room.  Visitors will go directly to the resident room and then when ready to leave must leave without talking in the hallway.   You will not be able to walk around the hallways with the residents at this time. The visitor must stay in the resident room during the entire time of the visit.
  • If visitors show any s/s of illness or had an exposure, they may not visit.
  • All visitors must be screened at the door.
  • Visitors must tell staff if they become ill 2 days after a visit to Midwest Covenant Home. 
  • If the facility has illness with residents or staff, then there will be no visits.
  • If you need to talk to staff, put on residents call light and we will come to the room.

With the decrease in restriction we will also be implementing the follow plan for managing new admission, readmission and return from High Risk Community Outings (Does not include medically necessary appointments):


  • Core Principles of COVID-19 Infection Prevention:
  • Screening of all who enter the facility for signs and symptoms of COVID-19 (e.g., temperature checks, questions or observations about signs or symptoms), and denial of entry of those with signs or symptoms
  • Hand hygiene (use of alcohol-based hand rub is preferred)
  • Face covering or mask (covering mouth and nose)
  • Social distancing at least six feet between persons
  • Instructional signage throughout the facility and proper visitor education on COVID-19 signs and symptoms, infection control precautions, other applicable facility practices (e.g., use of face covering or mask, specified entries, exits and routes to designated areas, hand hygiene)
  • Cleaning and disinfecting high frequency touched surfaces in the facility often, and designated visitation areas after each visit
  • Appropriate staff use of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
  • Effective cohorting of residents (e.g., separate areas dedicated COVID-19 care)
  • Resident and staff testing conducted as required at 42 CFR 483.80(h) (see QSO-20- 38-NH)

Admission/ Readmission/ Return from Community Outings Plan for Residents:

  • Screen for symptoms and exposure upon admission.
  • If symptoms identified – need to isolate resident in private room (light red zone). Do not admit in COVID-unit (red zone) unless COVID confirmed.
  • If exposure identified will need to establish yellow zone for admission and quarantine in a private room.
  • After passing the screen (i.e. no symptoms and no exposure identified):
  • Test twice weekly for the next 14 days (Testing would not apply in cases of COVID-19 recovered patients during the 90 period immediately after COVID-19 diagnosis unless symptomatic with no alternative diagnosis).
  • Increase monitoring (2-3 times per day) for signs and symptoms of COVID-19, including vital signs and pulse oximetry
  • Grey zone (Quarantine in Room) will be implemented as needed on a case to case basis.  Midwest Covenant Home staff will determine whether grey zone will be implemented based on several factors including but not limited to: county positivity rates both of facility, county where resident was in, and number of county cases in the recent weeks.

We are striving to do our best to keep your loved one safe.  We want you to have open dialogue with us.  Please feel free to contact any of us if you should have questions. 


Sheila Bjerrum, Administrator

Angel Eschenweck, RN, DON

Talia Peterson, RN, Assisted Living Coordinator

Mark DeMers, Quality of Life Coordinator

Katherine Adkins, Admissions Coordinator/Infection Control Nurse

Update 02/22/21

Visitation at the Nursing Home update-

  • Visits will still occur at scheduled times M-F at 10am and 2pm. 
  • 2 people at a time with mask and hand hygiene and maintain 6-foot distance.
  • Will visit in the resident room but will have to go directly to the resident room and then when ready to leave must leave no talking in the hallway.   You will not be able to walk around the hallways with the residents at this time the visitor must stay in the resident room.
  • Visits will still be 30 minutes.
  • If visitors show any s/s of illness or had an exposure they may not visit.
  • Visitors must tell us if they become ill 2 days after a visit to Midwest Covenant Home. 
  • If the facility has illness with residents or staff, then there will be no visits.
  • If you need to talk to staff put on residents call light and we will come to the room.

Update 02/15/21

I just wanted to let you know that starting today, you can visit residents in their room.

Just a few guidelines

  1. Still 2 visitors at a time
  2. Please wear your mask
  3. Visits need to be around 30-45 minutes
  4. Visits during business hours M-F (exceptions can be made for those that live or work out of town)
  5. Please go directly to the resident’s room. Don’t visit other residents.
  6. Call 402-764-2710 for visit appointments.

Thanks! Please call me with questions!!

Talia Peterson

Assisted Living Coordinator

Update 11/17/20

Midwest Covenant Home has NOT had any new positive resident cases since October 22!  Therefore, nursing home residents have been able to visit the hair salon and the exercise room one at a time. We are hopeful to begin communal dining November 23 at noon.  It has been so long for the residents to be able to share a meal together.  While there remains a strong COVID19 presence in the Polk County community, we are progressing cautiously with ways to allow our residents more opportunities to socialize.  We appreciate your patience and understanding as we care for our elders. 

Update 11/04/20

At Midwest Covenant Home, we are excited to see our residents improving and recovering from COVID19.  Those residents who have recovered are moving back to their old rooms and out of the COVID wing over the next few days.  We still have NOT had any new positive resident cases since October 22!  Staff continue to work hard to provide safe and compassionate care to the residents.  The Plaza, Assisted Living, continues to be COVID-free.  We are so thankful for this.  In light of that, Lori Jochum, hair stylist will return to provide hair care to the Plaza residents starting November 10.  She will only be doing hair for the assisted living residents at this time.  While there remains a strong COVID19 presence in the Polk County community, we are hopeful that we have been through the worst of it and are looking forward to returning to a more normal living environment for the residents.  Please remember our residents and staff in your prayers as we move along this path marked for us.

Update 10/27/20

We want to keep you updated on the COVID status at Midwest Covenant Home.  We have purchased an electrostatic disinfecting sprayer that will allow us to disinfect and protect each resident room and hallway against the COVID19 virus.  Our Environmental Services staff should have this product applied to all of the nursing facility rooms and hallways by the end of the week.  This disinfectant kills the virus and the protectant provides a sealant which kills viruses on contact and lasts for 30 days.  We are excited that this will provide Midwest Covenant Home with extra disinfecting and protecting against viruses for our residents and staff.  We are also hopeful that this will allow our facility to open up again soon. 

Thank you for your patience with us as we go through this process.  We look forward to the time when we can return to a more normal situation.

Update 10/22/20

Midwest Covenant Home has been busy battling the Novel Coronavirus.  We have had some staff and residents test positive for the virus.  We are working valiantly to keep everyone healthy and safe.  During this time the virus is very prevalent in our community and we have had to take extra precautions to ensure everyone’s safety.  We are taking measures over the next few days to provide further disinfection and protection against the Coronavirus and other viruses that appear in the coming months.  Recently, there has been news about a Coronavirus vaccine.  Midwest Covenant Home has made their reservation for an adequate supply of the vaccine to administer to our staff and residents.  We are hearing that it will be here before the end of the year and hopefully sooner. Please keep us in your prayers as we fight this virus and work to keep your loved ones safe.

Update 08/17/20

Everyone at Midwest Covenant Home is doing well.  We continue to have residents in the dining room for meals 6 foot apart. Residents that are able wear a mask while out of their rooms. 

We have resumed visitations and continue the face to face visitations this week. We have more families wanting to visit their loved ones and want everyone to be able to visit so we are asking that each resident have only one face to face visit per day. Window visits are available most anytime, please call the facility to have the window opened to your loved one’s room.  Video chats are available please call ahead to set that up at 402-764-2711 and talk to Mark DeMers or Vernon Tallman.

Please call the office Monday – Friday 8:00 am-12:00 pm and 12:30 pm -4:00 pm to make an appointment. The current appointment times available are Monday- Thursday 10:00 am, 3:00 pm and 7:00 pm, and Friday 10:00 am and 3:00 pm. except on Holidays.

We currently are discouraging residents going out with families unless it is to a Dr. appointment that is medically necessary. 

The same visitation rules apply:

  1. You must be screened by Midwest Covenant Home staff and be healthy.
  2. Visitors and resident must wear a mask at all times.
  3. You do need to sanitize your hands.
  4. Only two people can visit the resident at one time.
  5. Visits will be 30 minutes in length.
  6. Each resident can have 1 visit per day unless other arrangements have been made.
  7. Visiting areas are taped off and we ask that you and the resident follow the taped guidelines to keep at a safe 6 foot distance from each other. 

We re-evaluate visitations at least every week on Friday. If you have any questions please call Katherine Adkins at 402-764-2711.

We thank you for your patience and grace during the COVID-19 pandemic. We know it is difficult with the ever changing rules but it is a new learning process for all of us.  We are doing our best to keep your loved one safe and happy. 

Update 08/06/20

Hope everyone is doing well and enjoying the weather we have been having. It is hard to believe school is starting after a long break. 

We are all doing well at the Midwest Covenant Home. 

Two weeks ago we had stopped all outside visitors from coming in due to increase in COVID cases in PolK Co.  In the last 2 weeks we have still been seeing cases of COVID in our county but not as many as we had seen. 

We reevaluated our COVID plan for Midwest Covenant Home nursing home and assisted living, and with the knowledge of Dr. David Jameson and Four Corners Health Department we have decided that we will now use the Four corners Health Department COVID Risk Dial to help us make determinations about visitations. (You can also see this COVID Risk Dial if you go the Four Corners Health Department website.) So with that change we will start having visitation at our nursing home facility and assisted living on 08/10/2020 as long as the COVID Risk Dial stays below 2 and in the yellow once it reaches the orange and 2 and above the visitation will stop.

Visitation will be set up the same as before you must call the front office before your visit to get a time to see your loved one. You can call the office Monday-Friday 8:00 am-12:00 pm and 12:30 pm -4:00 pm to make your appointment. We would love you to come and visit your resident at the facility. We currently are discouraging residents going out with families unless it is to a Dr. appointment. 

The same visitation rules will apply:

  1. You must be screened by Midwest Covenant Home staff and be healthy.
  2. Visitor must wear a mask at all times and the resident must wear a mask at all times.
  3.  Sanitize your hands.
  4. There will still only be 2 people who can visit the resident at one time.
  5.  Visits will be 30 minutes in length.
  6.  There will be areas taped off and we ask that you and the resident use those to keep at a safe 6 foot distance from each other. 

If you have questions please ask we are all learning as we go and doing the best we can to keep your loved one healthy and happy. 

For questions call Katherine Adkins at 402-764-2711.

Update 07/27/20

Everyone at the facility is doing well and missing their family and friends. 

As expected with the opening up of more things and doing more activities in our state we have seen an increase in the COVID-19 cases in Polk county. When we developed our plan for COVID-19 it was stated that if there were 3 or more cases in Polk county within a week we would stop the outside visitations. Unfortunately with 6 new cases in the county we had to stop visitations on July 23, 2020. We will reevaluate the visitations for the nursing home and assisted living on August 7, 2020. We encourage you to call, skype, face-time, or visit your loved one at their window. Please call Mark or Vern at 402-764-2711 Monday through Friday 8-4 to set up appointments for any of these options.

Keeping your loved ones safe and healthy is our highest priority. If you have any questions do not hesitate to call we would be glad to visit with you

Update 07/06/20

We started doing visitation for resident and families and it has been going well.  Remember to call and make your appointment for a visit with your friend/families Monday–Friday 8:00 am-12:00 pm and 12:30 pm-4:00 pm with the front office staff. The visits are scheduled Monday – Friday 10:00 am, 3:00 pm and 7:00 pm. There are 2 nursing home slots for visits and 2 assisted living slots for visiting. You just need to come in the front entry and you will be screened you will need to wear a mask and do hand hygiene and social distancing (stay at least 6 foot away). If you are not sick we ask you to not come and visit until you are well and are symptom free for 14 days. Visits will be outside on the patio area weather permitting. If visitation cannot be outside there are specific areas in the building that you can visit in. 

We do encourage that if you begin to feel ill after you have visited with your loved one that you please let us know.

CDC information-

Why it is important to wear a cloth face covering

Cloth face coverings may help prevent people who have COVID-19 from spreading the virus to others. Wearing a cloth face covering will help protect people around you, including those at higher risk of severe illness from COVID-19 and workers who frequently come into close contact with other people (e.g., in stores and restaurants). Cloth face coverings are most likely to reduce the spread of COVID-19 when they are widely used by people in public settings. The spread of COVID-19 can be reduced when cloth face coverings are used along with other preventive measures, including social distancing, frequent hand washing, and cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched surfaces.

The cloth face coverings recommended here are not surgical masks or respirators. Currently, those are critical supplies that should be reserved for healthcare workers and other first responders. Cloth face coverings are not personal protective equipment (PPE). They are not appropriate substitutes for PPE such as respirators (like N95 respirators) or medical facemasks (like surgical masks) in workplaces where respirators or facemasks are recommended or required to protect the wearer.

If you have any questions please call and talk to Katherine or Angel.


Update 06/24/20

We are working towards lessening the restrictions we have been under for months now.  All the staff were tested for COVID on June 19th 2020 and everyone tested negative. 

Residents started coming out for meals in the dining room on June 22nd 2020 with rules, such as residents must be 6 feet apart and no more than two people per table. It has been going well and residents are excited to be out and about again. 

As of Monday June 29th 2020 you can call and make an appointment with the front office to come and visit your loved ones.  We ask that you call 402-764-2711 Monday through Friday 8am-12:00pm and 12:30pm- 4pm to make an appointment.  We will have 6 appointment times available for nursing home and 6 appointment times available for assisted living every day Monday through Friday.  We have set specific times for up to two visitors per time slot at 10am, 3pm and 7pm.  You will be able to visit for 30 minutes. There will be specific areas to visit your loved ones.  We will be having the visits outside, weather permitting.  If the weather is not conducive for outside visiting, we will have you come inside and the staff will show you where to go for your visit. Visits will start Tuesday June 30th 2020. The visitors will need to be screened by Midwest Covenant Home staff even if you are going to visit outside. You will have to be healthy, wear a mask and sanitize your hands.  We thank you for your patience at this difficult time but we are happy that we have all stayed COVID-free.  If you have further questions please call Katherine Adkins 402-764-2711.

Update 06/22/20

Thank you for your cooperation and patience over the last several months! I know that it has not been easy on anyone but I hope that it was as good as it could be given the circumstances.

In an effort to stay within compliance and be able to ease into our new normal for dining, we will be serving all meals in two shifts starting on Monday June 22nd 2020. Meals will be served in the dining room at the following times:

Nursing home-

First shift will be West hall and the East hall even numbered rooms and the second shift will be South hall and the East hall odd numbered rooms

Breakfast: 7:30AM – 8:15AM

Lunch: 11:30AM – 12:15PM

Supper: 4:45 PM – 5:30PM

Assisted Living- will also be transitioning back to meals in the dining room as well and will have 2 meal times for all meals to start with. 

  • Residents will need to be 6 feet apart and no more than 2 per table
  • Residents will wash their hands or use hand sanitizer prior to coming to the Dining room
  • Residents will need to wear masks in the hallway while going to and from the dining room.
  • Hands will need be washed or hand sanitizer used when leaving the dining room.
  • Staff will need to wear masks at all times when in contact with residents.

Last week we updated our facility plan for the reopening of the facility. The state said that to move to the next phase of reopening we have to have our staff tested for COVID. With the help of the Nebraska National Guard and Test Nebraska we did the testing on Friday at Midwest Covenant Home. The staff was very willing to get this done so that the residents can start to get back to normal and see their families again. 

We will now have staff screening all visitors coming into the building when we are able to do visitation. Please follow the signage for guidance and if you have questions please call and talk to Katherine Adkins LPN.

We will be reaching out to families with phone calls next week to talk about the plans for visitation to the facility.  

Thank you once again for your cooperation and patience as we all get through this together.

Update 06/15/20

As we said in last week’s update, the Department of Health and Human Services told us to come up with a plan for beginning to lessen the restrictions on nursing home and assisted living facilities. We finalized our reopening plan this week and informed the Department of Health and Human Services it was complete. Today we learned that the Department of Health and Human Services would be sending us the phased plan. We hope that we will get that from the state this week so we can integrate that into the plan we have at this time. We know that waiting is so hard but we promise you we are trying to get our residents back to some kind of normal. If you have any questions please feel free to call Katherine Adkins at 402-764-2711. Thank you all for you cooperation and your patience in this very trying time. 

COVID tidbits:

Symptoms of Coronavirus (COVID-19)

What you need to know

  • Anyone can have mild to severe symptoms.
  • Older adults and people who have severe underlying medical conditions like heart or lung disease or diabetes seem to be at higher risk for developing more serious complications from COVID-19 illness.

Watch for symptoms

People with COVID-19 have had a wide range of symptoms reported – ranging from mild symptoms to severe illness.

Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus. People with these symptoms may have COVID-19:

  • Fever or chills
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headache
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Sore throat
  • Congestion or runny nose
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea

This list does not include all possible symptoms. CDC will continue to update this list as we learn more about COVID-19.

When to Seek Emergency Medical Attention

Look for emergency warning signs* for COVID-19. If someone is showing any of these signs, seek emergency medical care immediately

  • Trouble breathing
  • Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
  • New confusion
  • Inability to wake or stay awake
  • Bluish lips or face

*This list is not all possible symptoms. Please call your medical provider for any other symptoms that are severe or concerning to you.

Call 911 or call ahead to your local emergency facility: Notify the operator that you are seeking care for someone who has or may have COVID-19

Update 06/08/20

Last week we were informed by the Department of Health and Human Services that we could start developing a plan to gradually move forward with lessening restrictions on our nursing home and assisted living, which is the news we have all been waiting to hear. We are working on this new plan but they have several things we have to take into consideration like access to adequate testing, staff testing, if there are COVID positive cases in the community or nursing home, adequate staffing, adequate personal protective equipment for staff and visitors coming into the facility, and local hospital capacity. 

We ask for your patience as we work through this. We do understand that the residents are missing their family/friends and you are all missing them too. We want this lessening of restrictions to be successful so we will hopefully not have to go back into the quarantine phase again. 

As we begin to work through this planning for reopening, we need to educate our friends and families of the residents. We will be updating the website with education on reopening at least weekly. If you have questions or concerns please feel free to call Katherine Adkins LPN IP at 402-764-2711 she is in the office M-F 8:00-4:00. 

Hand Hygiene- We encourage everyone to use good hand hygiene like washing your hands or using hand sanitizer before and after you would eat, after going to the bathroom, after touching pets, after being outside, after coughing sneezing or blowing your nose and as you enter and leave a nursing home or an assisted living facility.

We have learned masks are important in slowing and stopping the spread of the COVID virus. We have attached some instructions for wearing masks.

Wear your Face Covering Correctly

  • Wash your hands before putting on your face covering
  • Put it over your nose and mouth and secure it under your chin
  • Try to fit it snugly against the sides of your face
  • Make sure you can breathe easily

Take off your cloth face covering carefully, when you’re home

  • Untie the strings behind your head or stretch the ear loops
  • Handle only by the ear loops or ties
  • Fold outside corners together
  • Place covering in the washing machine
  • Be careful not to touch your eyes, nose, and mouth when removing and wash hands immediately after removing.

Use the face covering to protect others

  • Wear a face covering to help protect others in case you’re infected but don’t have symptoms
  • Keep the covering on your face the entire time you’re in public
  • Don’t put the covering around your neck or up on your forehead
  • Don’t touch the face covering, and, if you do, wash your hands

Who should NOT use cloth face coverings: children under age 2, or anyone who has trouble breathing, is unconscious, incapacitated or otherwise unable to remove the mask without assistance.

Follow Everyday Health Habits

  • Stay at least 6 feet away from others
  • Avoid contact with people who are sick
  • Wash your hands often, with soap and water, for at least 20 seconds each time
  • Use hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available

Please contact Katherine Adkins, LPN, IP at 402-764-2711 with Covid-19 related questions.

Update 06/01/20

COVID-19 is a highly contagious respiratory illness that we first heard about occurring in China 2019. In 2020 we saw the COVID-19 virus spread from one country to another until it was confirmed in the United States. By mid- March 2020, it had been detected in all 50 states. Polk County, Nebraska had their first confirmed case in early April 2020. Midwest Covenant Home has been very fortunate to not have any cases at this time.

The population of our nursing home and the assisted living residents often have underlying chronic medical conditions which would put them at a higher risk of being affected by respiratory pathogens like COVID-19. At the beginning of March 2020, the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services and The Centers for Disease Control began giving direction to facilities about visitors and screening that would need to be done. Here is a timeline of our actions to date to protect our vulnerable residents and staff.

• March 9, 2020 we began monitoring visitors to Midwest Covenant Home.
• March 16, 2020 we asked that no visitors would come to Midwest Covenant Home unless your loved one was on Hospice care.
• April 3, 2020 all staff started wearing masks.
• We have continued this process to remind staff and improve infection control practices.

We have now just received word from the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services that we can work on a process to slowly relax restrictions. We are hopeful our plan will be approved quickly so stay tuned and check on the website for more information. We plan to update this site weekly or more often if needed. We are eager to have the residents get back to normal but we need to do it in a safe manner.