Our Updated Safety Procedures in Response to COVID-19


Click here for a VACCINE UPDATE as of 12/14/20.


The safety of our residents and staff members who live and work in our communities is our top priority at Cherrywood Pointe and Ebenezer. We have made some changes in our operation to maintain the safety of our communities.

First and foremost, we are actively screening all staff and restricting entry to those who exhibit any respiratory symptoms such as fever, cough, shortness of breath, or sore throat.

UPDATE: Visitation Guidelines

The Minnesota Department of Health has come out with a strategic and careful re-introduction of visitation and activities guidelines for housing with services communities with an arranged home care provider, also known as assisted living-type facilities. Information from The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) for skilled nursing facilities was used as a resource to develop this guidance, in addition to documents from the Centers for Disease Control, the Minnesota Department of Health, and the Alzheimer’s Association.

Outdoor visits are still the preferred method of visitation. No changes have made to the current recommendations for outdoor visits.

Indoor visits will now be allowed for visitors beyond Essential Caregiver and Compassionate Care visitors, however, certain criteria need to be met:

  • No COVID-19 cases are present in our community for 14 days prior to indoor visitation
  • Visitors must adhere to the core principles as outlined below
  • Children may need to be monitored as some may not be able to follow the core principles appropriately.
  • There will be a limit to the number of visitors that can see a resident at one time
  • We will limit the number of visitors in our building at one time
  • All visits need to be scheduled, and for a limited amount of time – similar to how we schedule outdoor visits
  • To limit the amount of visitor movement within our community, each visitor should go directly to the resident’s room/apartment or designated visitation area.
  • If our county has a positivity rate greater than 10%, visits will be limited to essential care and compassionate care visits.

Balancing COVID-19 safety and visitation restrictions with the well-being of our residents in long-term care and other residential settings is an urgent priority for Minnesota. Social isolation as a result of COVID-19 visitor restrictions is a significant concern and an issue that requires close cooperation between senior living/care communities, visitors, and local and state public health to address safely and successfully.

Visitation can be conducted through different means based on a community’s structure and residents’ needs, such as in resident rooms, dedicated visitation spaces, and outdoors: and for circumstances beyond compassionate care situations. We are developing updated visitation opportunities to ensure core principles and best practices that reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission are in place.

Core Principles of Visits

  • Screen for symptoms and temperatures are taken – Deny entry with any positive symptoms/elevated temperature
  • Hand hygiene at entry
  • Face masks at a minimum
  • Social distancing of 6 feet
  • Instructional signage
  • Clean/disinfect high touch areas frequently before and after each visit
  • Staff has access to appropriate PPE
  • Visitors who do not adhere to the core principles of safety will not be permitted to visit or will be asked to leave if after redirected does not comply.

We continue to follow the guidelines and restrictions determined by the Center for Disease Prevention (CDC) as well as the Minnesota Department of Health and Human Services.

​While we understand that this is incredibly difficult situation for the loved ones of our seniors and our residents, we are committed to protecting the health, quality of life and well-being of our patients and residents.

Reopening Committee

An Ebenezer “Reopen” Committee is responsible for developing coordinated strategies as we continue the process of loosening restrictions within our senior living communities. See previous updates from the Reopening Committee using the links below.

Click here for an update on our Salons Reopening.

Click here for an update on Window Visits.

Click here for an update on Outdoor Visits.

Click here for an update on Small Group Activities.

Click here for an Essential Caregivers Info Sheet.

Keeping Residents Safe

While it looks like we are making progress with our pandemic planning and response, we are not out of the woods yet. It is precisely because of the sometimes asymptomatic, or long incubation period for this COVID-19 virus, that organizations such as Ebenezer have invested heavily in readiness, response, and communication with a spirit of transparency and evidence-based practice as key principles.

We are confident in our people, our preparations and our protocols to prevent and to isolate the COVID-19 virus. Click here for a reminder on our family communication plan.

Action Steps

Staff Screening

We continue our daily screenings of all staff and are following appropriate direction as it has been communicated by Occupational Health, Minnesota Department of Health and the Centers of Disease Control.

Staff must enter and exit through one main door in the community. Staff will be temped and screened immediately after arriving to the building in a place where other staff members are not present.

Universal Masking and Face Shields

We have implemented universal masking for staff members in all our communities. In addition, we have implemented universal face shields along with universal masking for all staff members in our communities as an additional “layer” of protection for our residents and staff in fighting COVID-19.

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

Ebenezer and Cherrywood Pointe have secured and delivered the PPE supplies needed at this time to all our communities. In the event a situation develops that indicates changes in our current protocols, we have plans in place with our supply chain, and we are working with MHealth Fairview to ensure we have a continuing supply of facemasks and other protective equipment. It’s times like these we are grateful to be part of this extraordinary organization.

Guidance for Safe Transition Between Work and Home

Infection Prevention has created guidelines for healthcare workers to safely transition between work and home, reducing the risk of potential transmission of COVID-19 by contaminated objects or contact with the work environment. It outlines actions that can be taken by these workers prior to, during, and after work shifts to prevent transmission, including handling of personal items and work supplies, clothing recommendations, and direction on cleaning contaminated items.

Daily safety checks are being provided to all residents in our housing with services and skilled nursing settings.

Surveillance Testing

Ebenezer is doing surveillance testing of residents and staff at all our skilled nursing and assisted living/memory care communities. Surveillance testing allows us to identify positive COVID-19 cases among asymptomatic carriers, so we can better contain and prevent further spread. We are happy to report that all our communities in the metro area have finished their baseline testing. Those communities outside the metro are still in process. The number of positive cases continues to drop.

Virtual Tours and Move-Ins

You can still rely on us for Senior Living, where we can provide 24/7 support and services, and quick entry move-ins to meet your needs. We are allowing for virtual tours or in-person tours (with safety precautions in place) for those who need a move within the next few months. Simply call the location of your choice, and a staff member will gladly provide you with lease information and set up a time for a virtual tour or in-person tour.

Staying Healthy During COVID-19

Access a variety of articles, support, and resources for your health as well as promoting the safety and health of those you love.

7 Tips to Help You Stay Connected During Social Distancing

How to Support a Loved One When You Can’t Be There

Keep Moving During Social Isolation: Tips for Staying Active 

Guidelines for Communicating about the Pandemic with Family Members Living with Dementia

Stocking up for COVID-19: Healthy Options in our Freezer and Pantry

Seniors and COVID-19 Scams: How to Keep Your Loved One Safe

Immune Boosting Nutrition Tips