Northfield Retirement Community

Northfield Retirement Community. (Photo courtesy NRC)

A Northfield Retirement Community Care Center staff member tested positive for COVID-19 this week.

President and CEO Kyle Nordine said Friday the staff member had no symptoms during the last shift that person worked. He added the staff member "is doing well and is quarantined for a period of 14 days."

Nordine said it isn't known how the disease spread to the staff member, but believes a member of their household also tested positive. He noted no residents are currently testing positive for the virus in either the Care Center or board and lodging units. Two NRC residents tested positive for COVID-19 in April. They were cleared from isolation April 30. 

NRC has had two testing sessions of all Care Center and board and lodging staff and residents. The first testing, which served as a baseline, resulted in no positive results. The positive test came seven days later during a testing sequence required by the Minnesota Department of Health.

Nordine said NRC continues following required protocols from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and MDH. NRC continues screening those who enter their buildings, reviewing protocols including all infection control procedures, and providing all personnel with appropriate personal protective equipment as required by government agencies.

"Given our separation of units and our private resident rooms and private bathrooms, we believe it is as safe as any place at this time," Nordine said.

Rice County Public Health director said recently that the number of county residents living in congregate facilities who have tested positive for COVID-19 is very low, particularly in comparison to other Minnesota counties.

According to Friday's state Department of Health report, five Rice County facilities have reported either a resident or staffer has tested positive for the virus. Steele County has four facilities in which an individual tested positive.

Reach Associate Editor Sam Wilmes at 507-645-1115. © Copyright 2020 APG Media of Southern Minnesota. All rights reserved.

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