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Mason City's Good Shepherd Health Center managing coronavirus for 2nd time

Despite having to go through two outbreaks this year, the facility has learned many lessons from them to work

Posted: Nov 18, 2020 3:01 AM
Updated: Nov 18, 2020 6:41 AM

MASON CITY, Iowa - Long-term care facilities, nursing homes and hospitals have been hit hard with cases throughout this pandemic, including one such facility in North Iowa.

Earlier this summer, Good Shepherd Health Center dealt with a large coronavirus outbreak, followed by a stretch of no activity before being hit with another outbreak, according to CEO Ian Stockberger.

"On October 16th, we began a second outbreak, which was on the upstairs portion of Good Shepherd. Currently, at this time, we have 16 positive residents left to go, and that number is falling weekly."

Those infected have reported mild symptoms, and this time, fewer residents have had to be hospitalized compared to the first outbreak. In terms of staff, 18 staff members have tested positive at this time.

"We've been keeping more routines in place, we've really been hammering nutrition, liquids, that type of stuff and not so much on the isolation side. I think the industry as a whole has really learned a lot about the effects of isolation on folks."

Now that the facility has gone through this twice, and with stronger procedures in place, Stockberger says the facility is in a better position now by trying to be ahead of the curve when dealing with an outbreak.

"The systems we put in place to deal with it and the staff that are comfortable dealing with it now, we've become quite the resource for the hospital. We're taking between 2-4 residents a day coming to us as COVID positive from the hospital that we are caring for, and the only reason that we're comfortable with it is our own experiences here."

As the facility follows Cerro Gordo County's positivity rate to determine how often to test for the virus, Stockberger says Good Shepherd tests twice a week now, up from once a week.

While the facility has allowed compassionate care visits like end of life care and psychological care, they are still encouraging virtual visits. Recently, the center's chaplain purchased some audio equipment to help enhance virtual visits with family.

Across town, the Independent Order of Odd Fellows Nursing Home and Assisted Living Facility released a statement on Tuesday for community members, asking that relatives do not take residents home with them for the holidays. While they understand it's difficult, the home is placing the health and wellbeing of loved ones as a top priority.

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 763915

Reported Deaths: 8581
CountyCasesDeaths
Hennepin1526881914
Ramsey63091977
Dakota56699523
Anoka53591515
Washington33431329
Stearns28298252
St. Louis23444355
Scott21503159
Wright21099171
Olmsted18023118
Sherburne15420114
Carver1353254
Clay1016098
Rice9936131
Blue Earth960759
Crow Wing9396107
Kandiyohi830996
Chisago828062
Otter Tail7941104
Benton7454109
Beltrami645978
Mower642240
Douglas624689
Goodhue614784
Itasca608981
Winona608254
McLeod589270
Steele580825
Isanti565474
Morrison553566
Becker524662
Polk506377
Freeborn485242
Nobles480052
Lyon451456
Carlton443866
Nicollet431351
Pine424630
Cass420742
Mille Lacs411265
Brown405347
Todd397336
Le Sueur381831
Meeker354552
Waseca326130
Martin322834
Wabasha29095
Hubbard286744
Dodge27149
Roseau261026
Fillmore241012
Redwood238643
Wadena234629
Houston230017
Renville226449
Faribault218530
Pennington215027
Sibley207312
Cottonwood195228
Kanabec190230
Chippewa189740
Aitkin181542
Watonwan170311
Pope15888
Yellow Medicine154720
Rock154519
Jackson145614
Koochiching137919
Clearwater135518
Swift134219
Marshall133419
Murray133210
Pipestone132327
Stevens124211
Lake108121
Wilkin101314
Lac qui Parle97524
Mahnomen87712
Norman8579
Big Stone7934
Grant7759
Lincoln7695
Kittson60322
Red Lake5869
Unassigned541124
Traverse5075
Lake of the Woods4614
Cook2460

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 467281

Reported Deaths: 6685
CountyCasesDeaths
Polk73698716
Linn28680379
Scott24441271
Black Hawk20130355
Woodbury18854242
Johnson17800100
Dubuque15577228
Pottawattamie14073197
Dallas13894107
Story1275148
Warren763496
Webster6876111
Cerro Gordo6816107
Clinton6814100
Des Moines657893
Marshall635484
Muscatine6294113
Wapello5807136
Jasper571478
Lee560787
Sioux560276
Marion499791
Buena Vista489745
Plymouth459187
Henry378647
Jones365160
Washington362255
Bremer353867
Benton352056
Boone344837
Carroll341753
Crawford337345
Mahaska313656
Dickinson297651
Clay274631
Buchanan274239
Jackson270445
Kossuth269373
Hardin266448
Tama261476
Fayette253848
Delaware253444
Cedar246326
Page244827
Wright240945
Winneshiek230837
Hamilton228553
Floyd216744
Harrison215277
Madison214325
Clayton210058
Poweshiek206840
Iowa204229
Butler203237
Jefferson197340
Mills197227
Allamakee192952
Cherokee191943
Lyon190641
Cass190557
Winnebago185432
Hancock184739
Calhoun184115
Appanoose175950
Shelby174239
Louisa169651
Grundy167937
Emmet163842
Franklin163328
Humboldt161826
Mitchell161843
Union159437
Chickasaw156418
Sac156323
Guthrie154034
Palo Alto140831
Clarke140028
Montgomery138941
Keokuk137534
Monroe131534
Howard125422
Ida116641
Davis113825
Greene113712
Lucas112224
Pocahontas109323
Monona107436
Worth10678
Adair103634
Osceola91117
Fremont83711
Van Buren82721
Decatur81212
Taylor78612
Wayne72024
Ringgold66827
Audubon64514
Adams4984
Unassigned150
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