Essential Caregiver In-person Visits Begin at Thorne Crest

We are excited to begin essential caregiver in-person visits today at Thorne Crest. Residents and family members were mailed information pertaining to the visits and how they will be conducted.  Designated caregiver’s will be able to visit individually, one day a week, Monday through Sunday, in up to two hour increments.  Please contact Marilyn Claassen at 507.369.6905 or Leah Atz at 507.369.6925 between 8AM-4PM on Monday’s or Tuesday’s to schedule a visit with a Thorne Crest resident or to get more information regarding the in-person visits.

The following is the official informational/overview letter that Thorne Crest administrator Shari McNamara shared with families of our residents:


The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) recently issued information regarding “Essential Caregiver Visits.”  Senior Living Communities are now able to allow these in person visits, however, they are also required to develop policies and procedures to safely expedite these visits with all residents, in all continuum of care.

To be able to participate in essential caregiver visits, both, residents and family members need to familiarize themselves with policies and procedures listed below, to facilitate a safe visit.

  • Residents will be asked to designate one and if necessary, up to two designated essential visitors.  The designated visitors will be the only visitors allowed to meet in person with residents and must be at least 18 years old.  Only one designated visitor is allowed per scheduled visit inside the building.
  • Once the resident has identified the designated visitor(s), the visitor can call to schedule a time to enter the building and meet with the resident.  To schedule a visit, family members should contact Leah Atz at 507-369-6925 or Marilyn Claassen at 507-369-6905 8AM-4PM, on Monday’s or Tuesday’s. Essential caregivers will be determined based on consultation/assessment between the resident and designated staff.
  • Each resident is allowed one essential caregiver visit per week. Visits can be up to two hours in length and must be scheduled ahead of time.

    Visits can take place Monday – Sunday, during one of the following times:  

                   9AM-11AM      Noon-2PM      2PM-4PM      5PM-6:45PM

Because it is necessary to properly sanitize between visitors, we will be restricting the number of resident visits during each of the above time slots. Visits are scheduled on a first come, first serve basis.

  • All visitors will be required to enter through Door A (on Garfield Ave.) and follow the screening process. Any visitors with a temperature of 100 degrees or higher and/or found to be a high risk of spreading COVID-19 will be denied access to the building.
  • No visits will be allowed with residents during a 14-day quarantine period or if a resident has tested positive or is symptomatic for COVID-19, unless the visit is for compassionate care (end of life).
  • Please do not visit if you have an elevated temperature or if you are not feeling well.
  • After visiting, you should monitor for signs and symptoms of respiratory infection or other symptoms of COVID-19 for at least 14 days and notify Thorne Crest if symptoms occur.
  • During the essential visit, visitors and residents will be required to don a mask (covering both, mouth and nose) and protective droplet eyewear throughout the entire visit. Thorne Crest can provide all necessary personal protective equipment (PPE) for the visit.  All PPE must be returned to the screening station after the visit.
  • All visitors will be required to understand, adhere to, and sign a risk acknowledgement form.
  • Please do not bring food or drinks to the visit, as that would require the visitor and/or resident to remove their mask.  Treats or personal items for residents should be dropped off at the main entrance (Door A on Garfield Ave.) prior to or after visits.  Staff will deliver these items to residents.
  • Visitors will be escorted to the meeting place and must stay in the designated area. If the visitor needs to use restroom facilities during the visit, they must return to the main lobby and use facilities located there.
  • Visitors must practice hand hygiene and social distancing with other residents and staff members.
  • Any resident or essential visitor found non-compliant with the policies and procedures set forth to expedite safe essential caregiver visits, could cause the resident involved to be quarantined for 14 days after the non-compliant occurrence and could restrict essential caregiver visits with that resident.
  • If issues arise from essential caregiver visits or if we should have a COVID outbreak in our community, Thorne Crest reserves the right to discontinue essential caregiver visits for as long as necessary to keep residents and staff safe.

Please be mindful, essential caregiver visits are not appropriate for everyone. Wearing a mask and protective eyewear could be unsettling for some. Please talk with Thorne Crest care providers if you have concerns regarding a resident’s ability to wear the required PPE during an entire visit.  There are other options, such as electronic visits, utilizing FaceTime and Skype.

Essential caregiver visits will begin on Monday, July 27th. We appreciate your understanding of the above policies and procedures, required to keep residents safe.  Following protocols will help us continue to minimize the risk of a COVID-19 outbreak in our community.  We are dedicated to keeping residents and staff members as healthy as possible during this pandemic.  We hope you will join us in that effort.

For future updates, please follow “the most recent Coronavirus updates” on our website: