'Heroes Work Here'

A sign celebrating essential care workers stands outside a senior living facility in Savage.

Updated at 11 a.m. on Wednesday 

Six of Scott County's congregate care facilities have reported COVID-19 exposure or outbreaks since May. 

All Saints Senior Living in Shakopee is the latest local congregate care facility to report exposure to the virus. 

"Exposure is defined as a COVID exposure from either a resident, staff member or visiting service provider," according to the Minnesota Department of Health. The health department's list of exposure in congregate settings is cumulative and some facilities may not have ongoing transmission.

On July 2, Meghan Eakins, All Saints' executive director, confirmed an asymptomatic staff member tested positive for the virus, but said there have been no other cases identified. 

A few days before, Kingsway Retirement Living in Belle Plaine also reported a staff member had tested positive for COVID-19.

Elsewhere in Shakopee, COVID-19 cases have been reported at St. Gertrude's Health and Rehabilitation Center, Friendship Manor Healthcare Center and Emerald Crest.

St. Gertrude's reports 12 patients and 16 staff members have been infected with the virus. Four patients have been discharged, and two of those patients have died. 

As of July 7, eight infected residents are recovering in a special unit with dedicated staff within the facility and six staff members are recovering from the virus in quarantine. 

Emerald Crest in Shakopee did not respond to requests for comment regarding their outbreak. On June 5, the state reported four residents and two staff members had been infected.

No active cases 

Since June 18, Friendship Manor in Shakopee hasn't dealt with any new or ongoing cases of COVID-19, according to Jamie Mohlin, the facility's director of social services. 

In early June, the state reported nine residents and staff members were infected. 

But now, with the outbreak behind them, the facility welcomed back its beautician for haircuts and began offering outdoor visits to family. 

"It's just a different vibe," Mohlin said on July 1, adding all residents have returned to their regular rooms as the isolation wing is no longer needed, but other precautions remain in place. 

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 two resident deaths before subsiding early last month. 

Cindy Ray, a spokesperson with Presbyterian Homes, said the facility received its last positive test on June 3, and a full series of testing completed last week by the health department found no active cases among residents or staff. 

Christine Schuster is a reporter for the Savage Pacer.

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