Minnesota Essential Caregiver Program

On July 10, the Minnesota Department of Health released “Essential Caregiver Guidance for Long-term Care Facilities” that recommends long-term care facilities (including nursing homes and assisted living facilities,)   develop a process to designate “essential caregivers” where appropriate.   Facilities are not required to implement an essential caregiver program; the guidance provides recommendations for facilities that choose to do so.  Facilities with active resident/staff COVID cases, or with residents/staff who are under investigation for COVID, are not eligible to implement an essential caregiver program.

The guidelines present significant logistic and operational considerations which we are carefully analyzing.  We are eager to find ways to bring residents back to closer contact with loved ones.  Our top priority has been, and continues to be, the safety and wellness of our residents.  We are mindful that elders in our care are the most susceptible to COVID-19.  We are examining how an essential caregiver program would align with all of the regulatory requirements we must comply with to protect our community from the COVID-19 virus.

Please take advantage of all of the options that are available now for connecting with residents:

  • Window visits
  • Electronic visits and video chats
  • IN2L tablet visits
  • Drive-bys
  • VOA Cheer Mail
  • Outside visitation (if there are no active COVID resident/staff cases within the facility)

We appreciate your patience and partnership as we continue working to keep our residents safe.