COVID-19 Update – May 6, 2020

Dear Sholom residents, tenants, staff and families,

Thank you to everyone for your continued support of our residents and staff!  We appreciate your kind words, gestures and gifts during this unprecedented time.

In keeping with our commitment to transparency, I wanted to provide an update regarding Sholom’s position in the fight against COVID-19.

As of today, despite the unwavering efforts of our extraordinary caregivers, Sholom has experienced the first positive COVID-19 case at our Shaller Campus in St. Paul of a staff member. Because of the non-direct care nature of this employee’s work, the Minnesota Department of Health believes residents and visitors are at very low risk of becoming ill with COVID-19. There are currently no residents at the St. Paul Shaller Campus with any COVID-19 symptoms.

As previously disclosed, our Ackerberg Campus in St. Louis Park has experienced COVID-19 cases as well.  At Sholom Home West, we have seven residents with confirmed cases of COVID-19.  Roitenberg Family Assisted Living and Hodroff Memory Care has had 16 residents and there was one isolated case at Menorah Plaza. Sholom’s COVID-19 numbers are updated regularly.

Overall, we have experienced seven deaths of our beloved residents across Sholom since the virus was first detected.  As of today, we have had six staff members who have tested positive that are no longer needing isolation, two staff members in isolation at home and one staff member remains in the hospital.  Each positive conversion is devastating to all of us at Sholom who have dedicated our careers to taking care of your loved ones and our employees.

Because there are asymptomatic spreaders, no current therapies, or approved treatments, and increased testing for COVID-19 is promised but not yet realized, it is predicted that health care facilities will continue to see a rise in cases.   COVID-19 has proven to be a relentless virus that is capable of being present in seemingly healthy people who show no signs or symptoms.

We understand that this creates a lot of unease in our community.  As early as March 12, 2020, we began proactive measures. We continue these 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. We will continue to take all the necessary steps to keep residents and staff safe.

There is no doubt that our early actions helped reduce the transmission of COVID-19, but we are now seeing what other countries and states have experienced—COVID-19 can be slowed, but it can’t yet be stopped.  We have learned much about this virus, who is most at risk, how easily it can be spread and tools needed to respond.  We are working closely with the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) and Centers for Disease Control (CDC) to reduce the impact of this virus.  We are committed to putting all the resources we have to continue this critical, life-saving work and to be there for your loved ones in all the ways you need us to be.

In the face of this invisible enemy, our senior care workers come in everyday and give 150%.  They are the caregivers, the family members, the beauticians, the podiatrists, the mailman and so much more.  Our healthcare workers show devotion that is a true measure of genuine caring, and I am so proud of their selfless work for the seniors in our care.

Like all of you, we look forward to a day when the gathering places at Sholom are once again filled with the joyful presence of community.  When families can hug their relatives, when contacts with friends and family are as they are meant to be, with touch and companionship.

I ask that you join us in extending thoughts and prayers to those who have lost loved ones to this virus.  Our steadfast fight against COVID-19 will continue as we deliver care to our community with compassion.

Please check our website and hotline regularly for updates.

If you have specific questions about the coronavirus related to your loved one, please contact your campus administrator.  We are dedicated to being responsive with transparency.

With warmest regard for your health, safety and well-being,
Barbara Klick, RN, MBA
Sholom CEO