By Angie Reinke, Galeon administrator, Osakis, MN

It is hard to believe that we have been working through COVID-19 times for over four months now. Even though it is a new normal, we have found that we have a good steady routine established here at the Galeon.

Galeon continues to follow state and federal guidelines and recommendations. New guidelines have allowed families to be able to see their loved ones for outside visits, for compassionate care visits inside and essential care visits that allows families to provide direct care, etc. to their loved ones in their rooms/apartments as they had prior to Covid-19. Each of the visits has its own set of guidelines but it has been so nice to see the reconnection with residents/tenants and their loved ones.

Social distancing, masks and glasses have become a huge part in our facility to maintain safety for those that live and work here. Galeon has completed three rounds of COVID testing on residents, tenants and staff. We continue to be COVID free at Galeon. I am so proud of all the staff, residents/tenants for their continued efforts inside and outside of Galeon to maintain their health so we can keep COVID out of our facility.

Galeon will be conducting COVID testing in August. Our testing plan is to take 50% of the staff and test on August 13 then in two weeks on August 27 we will test the other 50% of staff. If we were to get a positive result on either testing date, we will then complete facility wide testing for all who live and work here.

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Testing generally takes less than two hours to complete. Once the tests are complete, a courier from Fargo will come and collect our samples. Our samples are then transported to Fargo where they are cataloged into the system. The samples are then flown to Mayo in Rochester that same day. We typically see results start generating in the system around 48 hours later.

Because there are so many silent carriers who do not know they are carrying the illness we feel that testing is the one way we can ensure we do not have COVID on our campus. While a positive case is not what we want to find, we want to know as soon as possible to ensure we can attempt to see the effects of the disease in the lowest amount possible.

Positive tests can affect how our routine goes but safety and protection are number one. Positive staff would remain at home until COVID free. If a resident/tenant is positive they will be moved to our COVID wing until they are COVID and symptom free. Visiting restrictions would again be put into place until we are COVID free for a given amount of time.

While we hope that this not the case, we have plans and procedures ready to go.

On behalf of the staff, residents and board of directors, thank you for your support and prayers for Galeon. It is so appreciated.

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

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