Dear residents, staff, families and supporters,

There continues to be pressure on nursing homes, as well as nursing home closures, due to not having enough caregivers to look after patients. There is intense competition for dietary, custodial, maintenance and nursing staff. It’s appropriately called a workforce crisis, which is not just limited to long-term care facilities.

Each and every day Bartels is evaluating care which needs to be provided and how best to provide this care effectively while creating a culture where staff want to work. I know I must sound like a broken record at times! At Bartels, the leaders will continue to oversee and help the staff, continuously communicate changes as they happen and staff and families should also do the same. I do believe if we continue to have this type of transparent communication and culture, Bartels will grow and thrive in these uncertain times.

As far as a Covid update:
Bremer County remains in high (red) for community transmission rates. Thursday’s testing will be for all staff regardless of vaccination status. We will then continue with twice per week testing of staff (exemptions and not-up-to-date only) until transmission rates move to moderate (yellow). Due to the holiday, staff testing next week will be Tuesday, May 31, and Friday, June 3, and will resume to the normal Monday/Thursday schedule starting June 6. As always, symptomatic staff should be tested prior to working and should contact their supervisor if they have new onset of symptoms or a known exposure.
There have been no new resident cases in the last week. We will continue testing first floor residents until it has been 14 days since the last confirmed case which will be June 2. Visitors are reminded to screen in on the kiosk prior to visiting, wear a mask for the duration of the visit and please do not visit if not feeling well. Here are a few other guidelines:
• Cross floor activities will resume June 2
• Small group activities will continue to happen across campus except for those in isolation precautions
• All residents, across all levels of care, on and off campus should be careful when out in public

With Memorial Day just around the corner, and the many things we could do in order to properly observe this holiday, it is a good time to make room in our schedules to honor the extraordinary people who have given their lives for the United States of America. I want to recognize all those who have served in the military or lost someone who has served. Sacrifice is the pinnacle of patriotism. At Bartels, we will continue to serve our residents who have strength and wisdom they have gained over time as they live to tell us many stories from years ago!

Bartels also wishes to extend our thoughts and prayers to the families who have been impacted in Texas.

Have a Blessed and Safe Holiday!

Paula Geise, RN, MSN, CEO

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