November 10, 2020
Weathering the Storm
I know that all of us would like Covid to go away. Now that Minnesota, indeed most of the country, is experiencing its fall outbreak, it is time to report how HBI continues to weather the storm. And we are weathering it, through the bravery and tenacity of our employees, through the skill of our managers, and through the generosity of our donors.
As I write, on Nov 2, we have no active Covid cases among the residents at HBI and have had no active cases since the first week of September. In total, 58 residents have tested negative since this thing began, some many times, and not gotten the virus. Approximately 26 residents have tested positive, and recovered – the vast majority without hospitalization. Finally and sadly, three residents tested positive and passed away as a result of it.
Many of our staff have tested positive. At present we have two active cases with staff on quarantine and one case pending test results. In many, many situations we have had a staff or two test positive, quickly report either symptoms or the test, and gone on quarantine – with no resulting positive tests among the residents who lived at the sites where these staff worked. Both Direct Care Staff and nursing staff have really handled this situation with intelligence and compassion for the individuals they work with. So we have had very little staff transmission to residents.
Surviving the Crisis
All of the staff who tested positive have either returned to work or left HBI’s employment. Those who have left is a small number. The pattern for the most part seems to have been established with this virus: a staff person or resident tests positive, goes on quarantine, may or may not need minimal medical care, shelters for 10-14 days and then recovers. Many of us were worried at the beginning that the virus would cause significant harm to those we serve, because of their serious health issues. While there is much we do not know about long-term Covid effects, aside from some exceptions, most of our residents have weathered the storm at least for the short-term.
HBI continues to have what it needs to deliver health services to our residents. We have more than enough personal protective equipment like masks and shields, gowns, and eye protection. Our friends have continued to be generous with their donations. While we cancelled our golf tournament, our Development unit asked our usual donors if they would still give, and we promised the
donations would go for Covid relief. Development was able to secure over $80,000 in donations in this effort! It was a stunning achievement and a shining example of the generosity of HBI’s friends! These dollars are also vitally needed: so far HBI’s Covid unbudgeted expenses total $865,000.