Leaders from the Minnesota Department of Health provided an update on our Administration’s response to COVID-19 in long-term care facilities. Significant work has been done to stand up the Governor’s Five-Point Battle Plan over the last several weeks, including:
• Developing a process to schedule long term care facilities to be tested. To date, we have tested 39 long term care facilities across the state, including over 7000 residents and staff. Looking forward, we have 30 facilities scheduled for testing over the next week.
• Rolling out the REDCap survey tool where long term care facilities can request testing for their facilities.
• Hosting a weekly webinar for long term care facilities.
• Training and deploying 50 National Guard members to test in long term care facilities.
• Sending more than 2 million gloves, 37,000 cloth masks, 18,000 N95 masks, and more than 100,000 face masks/face shields to skilled nursing and assisted living facilities. More than 175 facilities received these critical supplies.
• Finalizing and releasing a volunteer management system in order to connect facilities to actual healthcare workers near them.
• Finalizing and distributing long-term care toolkits to over 2500 long term care facilities.
• Providing assistance to 654 facilities on infection control measures, how to properly use PPE and other how to prevent, prepare for and respond to a potential outbreak.
Above all else, the Walz-Flanagan Administration prioritizes Minnesotans’ health and safety through the COVID-19 pandemic. Yesterday, the Governor announced the slow turning of the dials for restaurants and bars, allowing outdoor seating with safe social distancing measures, as well as the cautious reopening of personal services, like hair salons and barbershops.