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Without a cure, our clinical team finds benefit in testing early based on any indicator. As a result of early testing, we have received confirmation at Roitenberg Family Assisted Living and Hodroff Pavilion for Memory Care of residents that have tested positive for COVID -19.  In addition, we have received confirmation of a resident who has tested positive for COVID-19 at Sholom Home West on the Ackerberg Campus in St. Louis Park.  As we continue to proactively test, we anticipate additional positive cases as it is not uncommon to be asymptomatic and test positive for COVID-19.  We are in the process of having all Sholom residents wear cloth masks as they can tolerate. 

Due to the nature of transmission of COVID-19 and in some of the cases at Sholom, its asymptomatic nature, all residents in Roitenberg will be undergoing COVID-19 testing over the next week.  We are working on a process to have all Roitenberg memory care staff tested with the assistance and guidance from the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH).  All memory care residents will be isolated for the next 14 days and appointed a staff member to re-direct them as needed to maintain appropriate social distance if the resident is unable to understand and comply with direction.  Staff members throughout Roitenberg will be wearing face shields, gowns, N95 masks and other protective equipment as required. Only through the generosity of the Jewish community, we have been able to source appropriate personal protective equipment for our staff and our needs for this equipment continues to grow. 

The resident at Sholom Home West is exhibiting mild symptoms which did not require extended hospitalization and as a result this resident has returned to Sholom Home West for recovery in our pre-designated isolation area. 

We have designated a specific, specially trained team who will only be working in this isolation area to provide the best possible care for those who contract COVID-19 that do not need hospitalization. Our team has prepared this area in advance in order to isolate and contain those diagnosed. This area has been stocked with supplies, proper protective equipment and other items so proper care can be provided. In addition, we are working to mask all residents as they can tolerate.  

If a resident exhibits the slightest symptom such as an elevated temperature, cough, sore throat or other cold symptoms, we proceed to test immediately and we can continue to strongly mitigate the risk of viral spread. This best practice creates the greatest opportunity for stability and recovery, and reduces the risk of increased symptoms. 

We are proud that we have respectfully followed the guidance of the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), and the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH), and our own clinical experts. Staff at MDH have strongly reassured our leadership that we are doing all the right things to limit the spread of the virus. This practice has helped Sholom remain ahead of state orders and mandates; providing our greatest opportunity to achieve our goal of safety and well-being. While we do understand the human desire to learn more, we cannot provide any additional details due to HIPAA laws that guide best practices in privacy and dignity for these residents. 

Sholom leadership continues to meet daily to assess the situation and provide the best possible care and protection using evidence-based practices. Regular updates and information from the CDC and the MDH help to guide Sholom’s direction and practices.

We continue best practices in prevention through: proactive monitoring for any signs or symptoms, and require all staff and private duty caregivers in all buildings to wear masks to protect residents and themselves, masking residents/tenants as tolerated by the resident/tenant, ongoing reminders to tenants and residents to maintain appropriate social distancing; and daily monitoring and planning by executive and clinical staff for all residents/buildings with the support of updates by national, state and local medical professionals and organizations.

If you have questions about the coronavirus related to your loved one, please contact our Campus Administrators, Chuck Heidbrink at the Ackerberg Campus in St. Louis Park or Andrea Krebs at the Shaller Campus in St. Paul. We are dedicated to being responsive with transparency.

I understand that spending time away from your loved ones can be distressing. I know the residents and tenants would love to see their families, to get a hug or to touch their grandchildren, but many understand the serious nature of COVID-19.  For those residents that don’t understand the situation, our staff does their best to fill the gap left by the restriction of visitors.  

We also realize that family members, as more time passes, become increasingly concerned about their loved ones at Sholom. We are keenly aware that 24/7 COVID-19 coverage heightens fear, and that fear can be difficult to manage.  To assist, we have several community resources that you may find helpful.  In St. Paul contact JFS, Sara Wellington at (651) 239-4756 or email her at swellington@jfssp.org.  In St. Louis Park, call JFCS at 952-542-4843 for assistance.  You may need to leave a message, but someone will contact you to chat about how they can help.  

Please be mindful that Governor Walz’s stay-at-home order is in effect until at least May 4 and it may be many more weeks until things look and feel a bit more normal. Remember, even if weather allows, please do not plan to visit your loved one outside as this does not comply with the governor’s stay at home order.  Our staff is dedicated to keeping our residents and fellow staff members safe and healthy, Remember, our lives are in each other’s hands.   

Our residents, tenants and staff at Sholom continue to amaze me with creative ways to keep active, have fun and make the best of this unique time.  While many of you are unable to witness this first hand, I want to let you know that this community is resilient and resourceful!  We are in this together and here for each other.  

We find it important to repeat this message of gratitude for your support of our staff. Our healthcare workers show devotion that is a true measure of genuine caring. While other residential campuses receive numerous staff call-offs that challenge the ability to support care, our staff continues to come to work each day; passionate toward providing excellence in caring.

Thank you for your trust and confidence in the care we provide to your loved ones. 

Our hotline 651-328-2500 and our website www.sholom.com continue to be the best source for the most up-to-date information.  

Sincerely,

Barbara Klick, RN, MBA
Chief Executive Officer

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