First, I would like to update you on how we are doing with confirmed cases of COVID-19 here at Dow Rummel. As you know, we had an employee tested and confirmed positive for COVID-19 on April 24. That employee is doing well and expected to come back to work later this week. We have NOT had any additional confirmed cases of COVID-19 on our campus. There have been a number of staff and a few residents tested but those test results have all come back negative. We continue to screen for signs and symptoms for anyone entering the building and the residents in the licensed areas of our campus and will continue to have people tested as appropriate based on signs and symptoms.

With Mother’s Day this weekend, we are all going to have to find different ways to celebrate with our families. If you would like to video chat with your family, please let us know. We would be happy to help with a video chat by Facetime, zoom meeting or another format for you.

We have had a number of people asking about when we will be lifting our restrictions as they start to hear about the restrictions being eased in Sioux Falls and around the state. The Mayor and Governor’s goals are to balance the number of people exposed so they can manage those needing to be hospitalized against being able to keep the economy going. So, I understand their need to ease restrictions a bit for the sake of businesses. However, our goal here at Dow Rummel is different. Our sole goal is to keep our residents and staff safe and not just to minimize the number of hospitalizations but to really minimize the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases on our campus. So, we are not looking at easing any of our restrictions at this time. We have seen data that shows we will peak here in Sioux Falls in mid to later May with the rest of the state following to peak in mid to later June. Therefore, I don’t anticipate that we will be easing any restrictions at least for the month of May. We will also need to see if we have a surge in cases as they start to ease restrictions in Sioux Falls and around the state.

We have had a few family or friends come to visit with residents by staying outside and visiting. Occasional visits are ok as long as you are behind a closed window or closed patio door. If a you live on 2nd or 3rd floor and have a patio, you can step out on the patio to visit since there is a considerable distance between you and the visitor. But the visitor needs to stay a safe distance away from the building as there are residents who live on first floor and you need to respect their privacy and physical distancing. It is NOT ok to have visitors come sit outside with you and visit or go for a walk with you around the campus.

We have had a number of people asking about when the beauty salons are going to open up again. We wish we could give you a date but at this time we are not sure when we will be able to open up the beauty salons again. As soon as we can, we will be sure to let you know!

Residents in the licensed areas are starting to wear cloth masks upon a recommendation from the Department of Health. Residents in independent living are encouraged to wear a mask but it is not required at this time. Many of you have masks already. We also have masks for sale in the Main Street shop.

We would like to encourage you to use the amenities on Main Street. You may even want to invite a neighbor or friend here at Dow Rummel to join you to watch a movie in the theater, check out the library, do a craft or project in the Craft Room or Workshop, or enjoy a little golfing by using the golf simulator or the outdoor putting green.

There are a lot of scammers right now taking advantage of this COVID-19 situation to scam people out of money and personal information. If you get any phone calls, emails or regular mail asking for money to support an organization due to challenges with COVID-19, I would encourage you to not respond to that phone call or email but to directly contact the organization yourself. Scammers are posing as non profit organizations to get this money. There are also scams about helping you get medical supplies or medications quicker or helping you get your government stimulus package check. But these are all scammers trying to get your personal identification information like your social security number or bank account information. Please be extra cautious of these types of requests right now. If you are ever in doubt about one of these calls, emails or mail, just ask. We will be glad to look into the situation for you.

Please know that everything we are doing is for you and all the Dow Rummel residents’ safety and health. As challenging as the distancing from our family and friends is, our residents and staff’s safety comes first and foremost!

Now more than ever remember to:
Clean your hands regularly using soap and water or alcohol-based hand sanitizers.
Always cover your cough. Use a tissue or your sleeve when
you cough or sneeze. Clean your hands after coughing or sneezing.