We set up our indoor visiting booth last month and have had a number of residents and their family or friends take advantage of this visiting space. We are already seeing some people doing weekly recurring visits which really gives some people something to look forward to. This visiting area is available every day of the week from 9 am to 6 pm. While we can only do 1 visit at a time, doing it 7 days a week allows us to accommodate a few more visits each week then we were doing with our 3 days a week outdoor visits. The indoor visiting booth will accommodate 2 residents and 2 visitors at a time. To begin with we will schedule 30-minute visits but over time, if we feel we can lengthen the visiting time we certainly will look at that. All visitors must come in through the front entrance at 1321 W Dow Rummel Street, use the hand sanitizer available and complete a health screening which will include one of our staff taking your temperature. All visitors must wear a mask at all times while in Dow Rummel including during the visit. Visitors should be at least 12 years old as children under 12 may not be able to answer the questions on the health screening and may not understand the importance of wearing a mask and using hand sanitizer. We will look at exceptions to this age restriction on a case by case basis. We ask that visitors not come more than 5 minutes before the scheduled appointment time as we don’t have space in our main entrance area for visitors to sit and still accommodate our residents waiting for transportation trips with adequate physical distancing. You can schedule a visit by calling our main number 336-1490. We will also help with virtual visits whenever we can!

With the number of active cases in Minnehaha County at over 3,400 and increasing, the exposure is very high for our staff. Therefore, with us doing over 225 tests per week with staff, we expect that we will see more asymptomatic positive cases than we have seen in the past. We are testing all staff who work in the health care center twice a week per CMS requirements. We received an antigen testing machine so we are doing most of the testing on site now. We are also doing random testing in our two assisted living buildings (including memory care) for staff and residents. We have had 3 residents test positive in these past 7+ months but no active cases for residents at this time. We currently have 3 active cases at Dow Rummel which are all staff. One is a staff person in Village South assisted living so we are doing testing for a few Village South residents and staff who had close contact with this person and are doing more frequent monitoring of all residents and staff in that area. The other two had no close contact with any residents the 48 hours prior to testing and one had close contact with one other staff person in that time frame. That close contact staff person is part of our ongoing semi-weekly testing and is continuing to be monitored with that testing process.

Several of you have asked what it will be like for us this holiday season. Given the number of active cases we have in Sioux Falls and across the state, I don’t anticipate any of us will have the kind of Thanksgiving or Christmas we have been used to in the past. I know it is very important for some of you to gather with family or friends and I don’t want to keep anyone from spending that time together. However, the process will have to be different than in the past. If you would like to spend this time with your loved one, I would encourage you to consider having them come stay with you for the day or a few days but develop a plan to keep safe (such as, have you been watching who you are around so you aren’t being exposed to someone who could be spreading the virus, will you all wear a mask when together, practice social distancing and good hand hygiene, etc.). Just know that any residents who do go spend time with family or friends over the holidays, will need to quarantine for 14 days when they return to Dow Rummel so that they aren’t exposing their neighbors to the virus should they have come in contact with someone who has it and doesn’t know it.

Please feel free to call me at (605) 575-0177 if you have any questions regarding this message.

We are asking ALL residents to wear a mask when they come out of their apartment and keep on at all times when moving about our campus except when eating or when in the pool.

We also encourage family members to keep yourselves safe by wearing a mask whenever you leave your home.
Join us in supporting and promoting #MASKUPSODAK

Stay SAFE! Stay WELL! Stay POSITIVE and test NEGATIVE!