By Angie Reinke, Galeon administrator, Osakis, MN

Recently, Gov. Walz requested that 10,000 tests be completed daily on nursing home staff and residents. Testing is to be on a facility volunteer basis. Facilities that volunteer for testing can choose to work with local agencies or to work with the National Guard to complete testing.

Last Friday, May 29, the National Guard was at Galeon to complete COVID-19 testing on all staff, residents and tenants at Galeon.

Twelve members of the National Guard from the Duluth unit were here to work with our facility. Over 200 tests were completed in less than two hours. Nasal and oral swabs were used to collect the samples. Samples were then couriered to Fargo where they are checked in. The tests are then flown to the Mayo Lab for completion of getting the results. A staff member designated from the facility will receive the results from the Mayo Lab portal. If any results come in positive, that staff member will receive a call day or night to inform of the result so procedures can be implemented for staff or residents/tenants.

We started to receive our results very early Sunday morning. Our results indicated that 100% of tests completed were negative. We could not have been happier. Knowing all the efforts we as staff have put forth to keep our residents and tenants safe are working.

Galeon staff continue to wear masks and safety glasses when they are on duty. Residents and tenants are also encouraged to wear masks when direct care is being provided for them.

We continue to abide with the same recommendations from the government agencies. Residents and tenants remain primarily in their rooms for meals and activities. We have encouraged exercise for our residents and tenants on an individual basis with our staff to keep their strength at the highest level possible. With the nicer weather, we are also seeing our staff bringing individuals outside for some fresh air.

Galeon had a parade for our families and friends to come and see their loved ones Mother’s Day weekend. This was a huge hit. Even though no one could touch each other they were still able to see their loved ones in person. We were able to maintain social distancing to keep our residents and tenants safe. We are planning another parade for Father’s Day weekend. Window visits and other forms of communication are available and encouraged.

On behalf of the residents, tenants, staff and Board of Directors, we cannot say enough how we value everyone’s prayers and support for Galeon. We appreciate you all very much!

Osakis Voices is a rotating column written by community leaders who share their thoughts in their field of expertise.

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