Dear residents, staff, families and supporters,

As of today there are over 50 counties back in the red zone with coronavirus cases. There are 14 long-term care facilities back on the outbreak list. Bremer County is at 6%. Hospitalization and ICU visits have increased and 79% of the hospitalizations and 90% of the ICU admissions are those who are not vaccinated. This shows vaccination continues to be the best defense against hospitalization and death.

Bartels continues to follow the regulations for testing and are testing unvaccinated or symptomatic staff weekly. This week we did have one unvaccinated agency staff member test positive in Woodland Terrace and one vaccinated staff member who tested positive in Aspen Cottage. All residents were then tested in both areas and there were no positive test results.

For the next two weeks we will test all staff and all residents to ensure the highest level of safety for everyone. Testing for ALL STAFF will be Thursday, Sept. 9 and Sept. 16, from 6-9 am and 2-4 pm in the Chapel.

At the current time, all areas on campus will need to have staff and visitors screen in and wear a mask. I am also encouraging all residents to wear a mask in common areas on campus.

We are working with Meyer Pharmacy to make preparations once the CDC gives full approval for the booster vaccine. Currently, the booster is only available for those who are immunocompromised and those who meet specific criteria. We have been advised the Covid vaccine series or the booster and the flu vaccine can be given together. Bartels will be mailing and emailing out consent forms for the flu vaccine and the Covid booster over the next week so we are prepared when the booster is fully approved. The dates for flu and booster clinics will be announced as soon as possible.

Bartels has not received any additional guidance yet from the federal government on the vaccine mandate for staff or what exemptions will be acceptable for staff. I have heard the details will probably not be available until the middle or end of September.

Bartels has planned an educational event for September 23 with two key content experts on the panel. The panel will include a Pharmacist and a Primary Care Provider with over 40 years of experience. They will be available to answer questions regarding the Covid-19 vaccine, the boosters and any other related questions. There will be information available to staff, residents and families. Event details will be coming out next week.

If anyone has questions or concerns please reach out to anyone on the leadership team. Please call 319-352-4540 or email us at I continue to encourage everyone to be kind to each other during this difficult time here and in the world. I hope everyone has a safe Labor Day holiday!

Paula Geise, RN, MSN, CEO

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