'Heroes Work Here'

A sign celebrating essential care workers stands outside Savage Senior Living at Fen Pointe.

The Lutheran Home in Belle Plaine and New Perspective in Prior Lake are the latest congregate care facilities in Scott County to report exposure to COVID-19.

As of Wednesday, three staff members at The Lutheran Home had tested positive for the virus, according to Director of Marketing and Communications Dawn Schaffer.

“The team members who tested positive are quarantined at home and will not be allowed to return to work until they have recovered from the virus and passed our return-to-work protocols,” Schaffer said in an email.

At New Perspective, a third-party hospice nurse who’d visited the facility tested positive in late August, according to facility staff members.

To date, there have been no cases identified among facility staff or residents, according to Doug Anderson, the facility’s vice president of marketing and communications.

Earlier this month, Savage Senior Living at Fen Pointe and Oak Terrace Senior Housing of Jordan also reported exposure to COVID-19 from a case identified in a care provider.

These cases also did not result in any known transmission to other residents or staff.

At Savage Senior Living, one asymptomatic resident tested positive for the virus during the facility’s biweekly testing, according to Kaylee Skaar, a communications specialist with M Health Fairview.

Jennifer Cox, Oak Terrace’s housing director, confirmed one “non-direct” staff member tested positive for the virus on Aug. 19 following the weekly facility-wide testing.

Early last month, Mala Strana Assisted Living & Rehab Center in New Prague reported 35 residents and 21 staff members had been infected with the virus since an outbreak began in mid-July.

The county’s first coronavirus outbreak in a congregate care setting was reported at McKenna Crossing in Prior Lake in mid-May. The outbreak grew to 19 cases and caused two resident deaths before subsiding in early June.

Kingsway Retirement Living in Belle Plaine and Shakopee’s Friendship Manor, St. Gertrude’s Health and Rehabilitation Center, All-Saints Senior Living and Emerald Crest Memory Care have all reported cases among residents or staff at some point since the pandemic began.

On Sept. 16, the county’s total number of cases reported since the outbreak began stood at 2,305 with 32 deaths.

Seven Scott County residents, ranging in age from 45-94, died of COVID-19 in the last two weeks of August, according to state data.

The most recent death in the county was reported Sept. 1 among a resident in their 60s.

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