Wayzata’s Folkestone Vigilant Amid COVID-19 Pandemic

More than 80 percent of the COVID-19-related deaths in Minnesota are people who resided in long-term care or assisted facilities.
Folkestone Senior Living Community is doing everything possible to make sure an outbreak does not occur there.
Courtesy Presbyterian Homes and Services
“All employees wash their hands thoroughly and are screened for fever and respiratory symptoms before entering the building,” said Beth Fries, Campus Administrator at Folkestone. “They are required to wear safety goggles and source or surgical masks. If an employee answers yes to any of the screening questions or is running a fever, they are sent home immediately and instructed to contact the PHS employee health nurse to report and learn next steps.”
The vulnerability of long-term care facilities to the virus hit close to home back on April 18 when residents of Wayzata’s Meridian Manor were transported away from the facility after a COVID-19 outbreak. 
Meridian Manor, Wayzata
A total of 21 residents tested positive for the virus of the 59 people living there. Two of the residents died from COVID-19.

The company that owns Meridian Manor later announced that the facility had been permanently shut down.
Fortunately, Folkestone has avoided an extreme situation like this.
Courtesy Presbyterian Homes and Services
“We are restricting all visitors, volunteers and vendors to only essential visits, such as end-of-life or required care and services,” said Fries. “Such visits are limited to minimize potential exposure in resident living spaces in the building. We require that essential visitors be screened for fever, respiratory symptoms and possible prior exposure prior to any access to resident living spaces.”

COVID-19 presents some well-known physical implications, but it also has taken a mental toll.
Stress levels can be high for Folkestone residents, families and staff.
Fries says that transparent communication with residents and families is helping to ease the stress.
“Residents understand and are abiding by the changes in their daily lives necessary to prevent spread,” said Fries. “Our hearts go out to families who have not been able to visit their loved one for over two months and we appreciate their understanding and words of encouragement and trust. We know how important it is for residents to remain connected with their families and have provided a multitude of ways to support family communication.”
Testing is a big part of heading off an outbreak.
Folkestone tests residents and staff members individually if they develop COVID-type symptoms or if they have been in contact with someone who has symptoms or has tested positive.
“The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) is scheduling broader testing to protect assisted living and care center residents and workers,” said Fries. “We are awaiting the full roll out and timeline details and stand ready to welcome and participate fully with a state rapid testing team in the near future.”

 So, what happens if a test confirms that a resident is positive for COVID-19?
“We coordinate care with the resident’s primary health care provider to determine the best course of treatment and recovery,” said Fries. “One option is to transfer the resident to Interlude, the PHS COVID recovery center in Fridley. When a test confirms that an employee is positive for COVID, the employee is immediately placed on leave and self-quarantines at their home until cleared to return to work.”
According to data compiled by The Foundation for Research on Equal Opportunity (FREOPP.ORG), the share of deaths occurring in nursing homes in Minnesota is higher than any other state.
“We are all concerned about the concentration of deaths occurring in long-term care centers,” said Fries. “We are very glad that the state is addressing the unique risks and needed support and giving it the attention that older adults, their families and our staff caregivers deserve. The Governor’s plan is still in the process of being fully implemented since its announcement. We anticipate that we will see beneficial results as this plan is rolled out.”

Daniel Gustafson & Elisha Gustafson Realtors
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