Covid-19 Policies & Resources

UPDATE 9/16/2021

We want to keep you updated on the COVID status at Midwest Covenant Home.  We did have a nursing home staff member test positive on September 12.  We have not had any other nursing home staff members test positive since 9/12/21. 

We are testing  residents in the nursing home twice weekly.  We continue to work hard to keep our residents safe. 

Per guidance from the infection control experts in Omaha, we are also limiting access to visitors until we can be sure there is no spread of the virus within the building.  Thank you for your patience with this process.

If we continue to have negative results, we hope to open back up on September 27.  Please feel free to contact me if you have further questions.

 

Update 9/9/21

We have noticed that COVID cases are on the rise in our area.  Please use caution as you are out in your communities.  We have had some additional positive COVID tests.  These positive tests are on individuals who were wearing protective equipment.  There has been no new exposures since the initial ones.  We continue to test residents and staff 2x/week.  The testing will continue even after we conclude our quarantine times.  Please feel free to contact our staff if you have further questions.

Update 9/8/21

We want to keep you updated on the COVID status at Midwest Covenant Home and The Plaza.  We did have a nursing home staff member test positive on September 1.  She has been off work since that time.  We are testing all staff two times a week starting September 1. We have some other staff test positive but they have not exposed residents to the virus. We are hopeful to be out of quarantine soon.

We are testing all residents in the nursing home twice weekly.  No residents have tested positive.  We continue to work hard to keep our residents safe. 

We did have a resident in The Plaza test positive on September 4.  The resident has been in the hospital since that time.  No Plaza staff have tested positive.  We continue to test residents and staff of The Plaza twice weekly.  The Plaza will remain in quarantine for a period of time to allow the proper time to pass.

We are applying the disinfecting spray monthly in the nursing home and using appropriate protective equipment in efforts to keep the residents safe.  We are also limiting access to visitors until we can be sure there is no spread of the virus within the building. 

Please feel free to contact me if you have further questions.

Thank you!

Update 9/01/21

We want to keep you updated on the COVID status at Midwest Covenant Home.  We did have a nursing home staff member test positive on September 1.  She has been off work since that time.  We are testing all staff two times a week starting today.  All other staff have tested negative.

We are testing all residents in the nursing home weekly.  No residents have tested positive.  We continue to work hard to keep our residents safe. 

We are applying the disinfecting spray monthly and using appropriate protective equipment in efforts to keep the residents safe.  We are also limiting access to visitors until we can be sure there is no spread of the virus within the building. 

Please feel free to contact Sheila Bjerrum if you have further questions.

 

Update 8/26/21

AHCA, NCAL Urge Administration to Consider Implications of Vaccination Policy

Joanne Erickson 8/20/2021

https://www.providermagazine.com/Topics/Pages/Policy.aspx

Following an announcement from President Biden this week that all nursing home staff will be required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 in a forthcoming regulation, the nursing home industry warned about the potential impact on the profession’s already challenging workforce situation. Industry leaders are deeply concerned that it may cause a mass exodus from the nursing home profession, leaving frail seniors without the caregivers and access to care they need.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) should use a thoughtful approach in developing the policy—one that focuses on retaining current staff members, the American Health Care Association and National Center for Assisted Living (AHCA/NCAL) said in a letter to HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra and CMS Administrator Chiquita Brooks-LaSure.

The association encouraged the administration to strengthen the policy by including all health care settings and provide resources to support providers in their efforts.

In the letter, AHCA/NCAL offered key solutions for federal officials to ensure success:

  1. The president’s order should include a vaccine mandate for all health care workers in all Medicare- and Medicaid-certified settings. This is the only way to prevent nursing facility employees from leaving to work in other settings such as hospitals or home health.                            
  2. More education must take place to provide information to vaccine-hesitant staff. “We worked with the CDC on a digital media campaign that targeted facilities,  and we had success in increasing vaccination rates,” the letter said. “Individuals who saw our advertising reported they were more likely to get vaccinated after watching or reading the ads. Unfortunately, there was only $1 million allocated for that campaign, and we quickly exhausted the funds. We ask that the administration, either with us or on its own, dedicate $25 million to restart and expand this effort.”                  
  3. There should be a federally funded daily testing alternative for staff who won’t take the vaccine. This will give the education efforts time to work and prevent a sudden departure of large numbers of staff. “We realize and would support this option being time limited,” the letter said. Currently 16 states and the District of Columbia have implemented vaccine mandates for some or all health care workers. Of these, eight (Delaware, D.C, Hawaii, Maryland, Mississippi, Oregon, Pennsylvania, and Rhode Island) include regular testing for unvaccinated staff as a provision of their mandate.                               
  4. Providers will incur significant expense in agency staff once this policy goes into effect. “We encourage the Administration to set aside $3 billion from the Provider Relief Fund to cover the cost of implementing this program, including use of agency staff [and] recruiting replacement staff, as well as the cost of testing staff,” the letter said. This could either be in the form of a direct payment on a per bed basis at the start of the program, or an application process with funds set aside to cover these costs.              
  5. “We continue to urge HRSA [Health Resources and Services Administration] to open the portal for the additional Provider Relief Funds, both in the general fund and the rural fund,” the letter said. “The sector is in crisis, and the time to open these funds is now.”                                      
  6. CMS should modify its visitation guidance to allow providers to ask visitors about their vaccination and test results and require vaccination or negative tests prior to visits. This should also apply to federal and state survey inspectors and ombudsman.

“Nursing home providers are committed to increasing vaccination rates, but we can’t do it alone,” the letter said. “COVID-19 has exacerbated longstanding workforce challenges in nursing homes, and a vaccine mandate focused solely on this sector would push too many caregivers out of their jobs and facilities to their breaking point.

“Our nation’s most vulnerable deserve full protection from the virus, but they also deserve access to the long term care they need. Federal officials must take a comprehensive and supportive approach.”

Update 8/13/21

Infection Prevention and Control in Nursing Homes—Now and for the Future

Buffy Lloyd-Krejci, DrPh, MS, is an infection prevention and control expert and founder of IPCWell, which works with healthcare providers to reduce infectious disease and inappropriate antibiotic prescribing.

In addition to serving as a subject matter expert for the AHRQ ECHO Network, Dr. Lloyd-Krejci worked June 2020 through October 2020 with Doctors Without Borders on its first-ever mission in the United States, supporting nursing homes during the COVID-19 pandemic. Over the past 18 months, she estimates she has visited almost 200 nursing homes across the country, helping them improve their infection prevention and control practices.

Here, Dr. Lloyd-Krejci talks about what she’s seen in the field, how it relates to her work with the Network, and how infection prevention and control and nursing homes needs to be prioritized and supported.

Q: What have you seen in the nursing homes you’ve visited?

I talk with the housekeeping staff and the CNAs and the infection prevention people and learn what their challenges are. Many times, those challenges are very different from what the leadership at the facility will tell you.

I quickly learned that ancillary, non-clinical staff needed a lot of support. Their infection control training was just dismal. For example, in June and July of 2020, it was not uncommon to observe housekeeping staff walk into a COVID-19 quarantine or COVID-19 positive room without appropriately wearing PPE. I also observed that most housekeepers cleaned the restroom first and then the resident’s room, which increases the risk for cross-contamination—and without even changing gloves before going on to clean the resident’s room.

Being onsite in a nursing home, we often focus on meeting with the facility leadership or infection preventionists, and it can be easy not to consider housekeeping practices. However, drilling down to those very basic infection prevention and control practices, like hand washing and hygiene and environmental services, is an essential part of infection prevention and control.

Q: Is there much overlap between the field work you’re doing and the work you’re doing with the Network?

A: There’s 100% overlap, in the sense that I’m taking my real-time experience in the field and bringing it back to our cohort calls. All the challenges they’re dealing with in the nursing homes—whether it’s a new CMS memo or a state survey, PPE shortages, or testing logistics—are the same challenges the participants on our calls are dealing with.

I would just ask the people on the calls, ‘Are you experiencing this? Let’s talk about it.’ And that would help get a dialogue going where we could talk about practical solutions that work in real time.

Q: How have nursing homes been implementing the COVID-19 guidance they’ve received during the pandemic?

A: Many of the directives and guidance that come from county, state, and federal offices aren’t always practical to implement in the field. The written guidance doesn’t always translate into practice. For example, take the face shields (eye protection) that staff are supposed to wear. According to the CDC guidance for conventional use, you’re supposed to clean and disinfect the eye protection after each use, meaning each time you leave a resident’s room before you go into the next room. We plotted out that it takes 15 steps to appropriately clean and disinfect the eye protection! Keep in mind this is not only for our direct care staff; it includes food service staff, too, the people who bring the meal trays to the residents’ rooms. By the time they go through this process, the residents’ food is cold.

It’s completely impossible, so my recommendation has been to just throw away the eye protection after each use and get a new one or follow the CDC guidance for extended use.

Q: After a huge drop in infection rates and reopening for visitation, facilities in some parts of the country are having outbreaks again because of the Delta variant. What’s your advice?

A: Get your staff vaccinated. It is the single best way to protect our residents, our staff, and ourselves.

Also, stay in contact with your local and county public health officials, including the epidemiologists, so that you know what’s going on in your community in terms of infection rates. Things can change very rapidly, and it’s important to get real-time, local data.

Q: How have you talked about the vaccines with nursing home staff?

A: Vaccine education is part of our everyday conversations, including on the Network calls. When I have these conversations, I present the evidence, facts, and up-to-date data, and they all point toward getting vaccinated. It’s important to give staff the data and the facts and refer them to trusted sources of information and continue to have conversations with them. The misinformation is driving vaccine resistance, but there are enough data and evidence now to demonstrate the effectiveness and safety of these vaccines. The risks and harms from getting COVID are significantly greater than any risks or harms from the vaccines.

Q: What are your top learnings from this experience?

A: The state survey process needs to be collaborative. Right now, it’s too punitive. CMS awarded the states $80 million to step up the infection control focus of their surveys. I wish that funding had gone to supporting nursing homes during this crisis instead.

My second big learning experience has been just seeing how much our nursing home staff care. I see the heart they bring to their work. They show up every day in the midst of a deadly pandemic. They come in weekends and work after hours. They want to do the right thing, but they’re often not provided with the support or resources they need.

The third thing I’ve learned firsthand is how much we need to focus on and support mental health. In late spring, I hit a wall and started unraveling. I had nothing left to give and I had to take a month off. Our healthcare workers have seen and encountered so much. It’s been so traumatic for them, and they’re expected to not miss a beat. The need for mental health treatment, healing, and recovery can’t be ignored.

Q: What needs to happen going forward?

A: Infection prevention and control was a big issue before COVID-19. More than 380,000 nursing home residents die every year from infections, many of which are preventable. Yet infection prevention and control has not been a priority in long-term care.

COVID-19 has changed that, but we can’t just fall back on our old ways when we think the danger is over. We need to remember that this isn’t just about preventing COVID-19. It’s about implementing long-term sustainable programs and support for nursing homes that will help them create a culture of strong infection prevention and control similar to what hospitals have.

 

Update 8/4/21

This week our positivity rate was 5% which causes us to test unvaccinated staff weekly. We continue to encourage you to wear masks and social distance and hand sanitizer to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Update 7/28/21

The Four Corners Health District is seeing a spike in COVID cases again.  There were 12 new cases in the past 4 days in our district.  2 new cases in Polk County during that same time frame.  The guidance for long term care facilities has not changed so we continue to require masks, 6 foot distancing  and screening.  Please be aware of the routes of transmission of the COVID virus and take the necessary precautions to prevent the spread as well as keeping our facility COVID-free.  Please reach out to Angel, Katherine, Talia or Sheila if you have questions.

 

Update 7/23/21

In Polk County, we continue to see isolated sporadic cases every couple of weeks.  Our visitation guidelines are unchanged at this time.  Thank you for following our screening and masking rules.  If you would like additional information about any COVID questions, please feel free to ask Angel, Katherine, Talia or Sheila.

Update 7/06/21

COVID cases are on the rise in York.  At MCH, we are doing our best to keep COVID from entering the building.  This is part of the reason we are moving cautiously with changes in our visitation policy.  As you remember to last fall, when COVID is in the building we must lockdown the facility to visitors.  We are trying to do everything in our control to prevent that from occurring.  We appreciate your patience and understanding in this.  Please keep the infection control principles in mind as you go about your day: sanitize your hands, mask as appropriate, keep your distance and stay home if you are ill.

Update 6/30/21

With the recent uptake in the amount of COVID cases in the neighboring county, we decided to reach out to our medical director.  After a discussion with Dr. Dave Jameson, medical director, Sheila Bjerrum, administrator, and I, Angel Eschenweck DON, we decided that we should have any LTC, SNF resident that is not vaccinated that goes out for a family outing isolate themselves in their room for 14 days after outing as well as swab them twice a week for 2 weeks. 

In addition, Katherine Adkins, Infection Nurse, added to the visitor screening logs as question that asks all visitors if they are vaccinated or not. 

Update 6/24/21

Notice to Visitors-

You must wear a mask that covers your mouth and your nose at all times in any public area in the facility (for example in the hallways).  Visitors are only allowed in residents rooms not in public areas.

If you have not been fully vaccinated for COVID-19 we ask that you leave your mask on at all times while in the facility.

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-

Reminders-

  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):

Definitions:

  • 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. 

Blessings,

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.

VISITOR INFORMATION

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.

Covid-19 Policies & Resources

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):

Definitions:

  • 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. 

Blessings,

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.

VISITOR INFORMATION

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.

Covid-19 Policies & Resources

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):

Definitions:

  • 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. 

Blessings,

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.

VISITOR INFORMATION

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.

Covid-19 Policies & Resources

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):

Definitions:

  • 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. 

Blessings,

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.

VISITOR INFORMATION

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.

Covid-19 Policies & Resources

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):

Definitions:

  • 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. 

Blessings,

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.

VISITOR INFORMATION

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.

Covid-19 Policies & Resources

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):

Definitions:

  • 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. 

Blessings,

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.

VISITOR INFORMATION

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.