Cedars of Austin Coronavirus/COVID-19 Information, Prevention Updates & FAQ

Updated April 8, 2021

As you may know, CMS, CDC and MDH have released updated guidance on visitation and activities for communities like the Cedars of Austin. We are THRILLED with these changes. 

More detailed information is on this page.  If you have any specific questions about these changes and our current policies, please do not hesitate to contact us. 

Our on-site vaccination clinics are nearly complete. We are thrilled that so many of our residents and a majority of staff have been vaccinated. 

Moving forward, we are continuing to promote vaccination for our staff and residents.  We are assisting any staff or residents who have not been vaccinated but wish to be in securing a vaccination. 

Our dedicated caregivers and staff are working tirelessly to prevent serious illnesses while also providing compassionate support and continuing to meet the emotional and health needs of all our residents. We are taking all recommended and necessary measures and doing everything possible to protect the health and wellness of all who live and work here.

While this is a difficult time for our staff, residents and their families, we are honored to stand alongside them as we continue to fight this pandemic, and thank them for their understanding, cooperation, and dedication to standing with us.

If you are considering a move to senior housing and have questions about the Cedars of Austin's COVID-19 response and what day to day life looks like in our community right now please contact Lisa Nelson at 507-437-3246 or via email at lnelson@cedarsofaustin.com.  We are more than happy to answer any questions you may have and provide information. 

For media or press inquiries please contact Ashley Fjelstad at 612-670-2448

We have conducted Point Prevalence Survey testing in accordance with the MDH guidelines.  We have and will continue to do testing on a schedule that is based upon potential exposure on our campus and in the larger community.

Visitor Information

Essential Caregiver Program Information: 

We have implemented an Essential Caregiver program and are grateful for this opportunity to be able to allow some additional one on one time for those residents who qualify for the program.  If you believe your loved one would qualify for an Essential Caregiver visit or if you have questions about the program itself, please send your request to Mary Barajas at mbarajas@cedarsofaustin.com or call her at 507-437-3246.

Indoor Visit Information: 

Residents who have been fully vaccinated may have visitors in their apartment.  Unvaccinated residents may still have indoor visits, but visits must take place in the designated indoor area.  Masks must be worn by visitors and residents at all times during visits.  All visits still must be scheduled so we are able to perform the necessary screening and to monitor the number of people in the building. For more visit information or to schedule a visit please contact Mary Barajas at mbarajas@cedarsofaustin.com or at 507-437-3246.

Activities and Dining: 

Fully vaccinated residents are now able to enjoy a meal and activities without having to social distance, which means they can fully enjoy the activities and meals in the Dining Room!  Unvaccinated residents may also participate, but subject to certain restrictions, such as maintaining social distancing.  Masks must be worn by all at all times unless eating. 

Prospective Residents: 

We are currently offering both virtual and in-person tours.

Fully vaccinated new move ins do not need to complete the 14 day quarantine period previously required of all new move ins.  

We would love to discuss your questions, goals and what Copperfield Hill has to offer.  Please contact Lisa Nelson at 507-437-3246 or via email at lnelson@cedarsofaustin.com

We also encourage you to visit our Facebook Page to check out what our residents are up to today! 

Vaccine Information

Please note: due to the fast moving nature of vaccine information and updates, this page will be updated frequently.  

The information on this page is based on guidance from state and local government agencies, industry association groups and the pharmacies conducting the on-site vaccination clinics.

Q. When will the COVID-19 vaccine be available to residents and staff?
A. Our first vaccine clinic for residents and staff was held on January 13th, with our second clinic in February and third in March.  Over 90% of our residents and the majority of our staff are now fully vaccinated!

Q. Will I be able to visit my loved one once they have been vaccinated?
A. Yes! Fully vaccinated residents may have visitors in their apartments.  Visits must be scheduled and number of visitors is limited.  Please see the information on this page for Indoor Visits for more information. 

Q. Have isolation/quarantine guidelines changed for essential caregivers, residents or staff who have been fully vaccinated? 
A. Yes! Fully vaccinated residents who leave the building overnight do not need to quarantine upon return unless they have been exposed to someone with COVID-19. Fully vaccinated staff and essential caregivers do not need to quarantine for 14 days after travel. 

Q. Why should residents and staff get vaccinated? 
A. We encourage all residents and staff to get the two-shot COVID-19 vaccination because it is one of the best ways to protect everyone from the virus. Getting these shots will not only protect residents from being infected; it will help us take a big step towards ending this pandemic and getting life back to normal in our community.  We can’t wait to open our community back up and return to the bustling thriving hive of activity we all love and miss.  There have been no “shortcuts” in ensuring the safety of this vaccine across a very diverse population.  It is strongly recommended by government authorities and medical professionals.   

Q. How do we know it’s safe since it was developed so quickly?
A. Scientists have worked on coronavirus research for decades starting with the original SARS outbreak and influenza.  Scientists only needed to isolate certain things about COVID-19 to begin creating a vaccine because we already know so much about the type of virus.  Due to the public health crisis created by the pandemic, many private, government and independent groups came together and cooperated on a vaccine.  This scale of cooperation is not typical, and the partnership created resources and information sharing to develop the vaccine faster.  The vaccines have been administered to tens of thousands of trial participants with no significant safety concerns. 
Q. What are the side effects of the vaccine? Are there long-term effects?
A. There may be side-effects from the COVID-19 vaccination such as a sore arm, mild, generalized aches, headache, and fever. This vaccine will not make you sick with COVID-19; the side-effects are a result of your body’s immune system working to understand and create a response to the virus which is needed for your immunity. While the long-term effects are still being studied, Dr. Fauci has noted “one of the things that I think the general public didn't fully appreciate that if you go back to the history, as you well know in vaccinology, and you look at what are considered intermediate and long-term effects, more than 90 to 95% of them occur within 30 to 45 days of the actual vaccination. And that's the reason before the Emergency Use Authorization is issued, the FDA demands that there be at least 60 days from the time that 50% of the people in the trial have received their last dose of the vaccine. So we're now well beyond that in both the Moderna and the Pfizer product.”  The first few months show no severe side effects for the general population. As with all vaccinations, long-term effects are monitored for up to 10 years. As with many vaccines, there may be some individuals who should not receive the vaccine based on medical history or their condition on the day of the vaccination clinic. Pharmacy representatives will conduct routine screening to identify these individuals.  We encourage all residents and staff to consult with their primary care provider about the COVID-19 vaccine as soon as possible. 
Q. Will I have to pay for it?
A. No, there will be no cost to you for the vaccine. Vaccine doses purchased with U.S. taxpayer dollars will be given to the American people at no cost. However, vaccination providers will be able to charge an administration fee for giving the shot to someone and the CARES Act requires insurers to cover the vaccine without imposing copays, coinsurance or deductibles. You will be asked to provide front and back photocopies of your insurance card with your consent form. For uninsured patients, coverage will be provided by the Health Resources and Services Administration’s Provider Relief Fund.
Q. Will the vaccine be mandatory?
A. No. Because the vaccination is released under the Emergency Use Authorization, we are not making it mandatory. The vaccination, administered through our pharmacy partners on behalf of and state and federal agencies, requires appropriate consent from residents and staff. We strongly encourage getting vaccinated. Getting vaccinated against COVID-19 is one of the best ways to protect yourself and everyone around you, particularly those who are at increased risk for severe illness.
Q. Will employees be paid for their time to attend a vaccine clinic if they aren’t scheduled to work on the day of vaccine clinics?
A. Yes.
Q. Is it better to get natural immunity for COVID by getting the virus instead of the vaccine?
A. In many cases, the way to develop natural immunity to a pathogen is to become sick, have our immune systems respond, and then our immune system “remembers” the pathogen to keep us from getting sick again.  However, our immune systems cannot always “remember” the pathogen; or, it cannot always fight off the virus.  Right now, we don’t know if becoming sick with COVID-19 actually causes you to be immune to re-infection with the virus or not. Scientists and public health officials believe the vaccination does provide immunity to the disease. Additionally, there is no way to be certain whether or not someone with COVID-19 will develop severe disease and suffer significant health complications or not. You will not become sick from the COVID-19 vaccine.
Q. If I have had COVID-19, should I still get vaccinated?
A. We are being advised that even people who have had COVID-19 should be vaccinated. The CDC indicates that there is not enough information currently available to say if or for how long after infection someone is protected from getting COVID-19 again; this is called natural immunity. Early evidence suggests natural immunity from COVID-19 may not last very long, but more studies are needed to better understand this. We are being told that individuals must wait at least two weeks following a COVID-19 diagnosis to be vaccinated.
Q. Can I get the flu vaccine and the COVID vaccine?
A. We are being advised that individuals must wait at least 14 days following other vaccinations like the influenza vaccine to receive the COVID vaccine. Each provider may have slightly different protocols, and the COVID-19 consent form will ask you to list any recent vaccinations.  The COVID vaccine clinics will only be administering the COVID vaccine.


Q. Who should I contact with questions? 
A. Please contact Ashley Fjelstad at the corporate office at 612-670-2448 or afjelstad@popebucknell.com.

Q. What resources are available? 
A. There are many resources available. See below for some good sources of fact based information. 

MDH Getting Vaccinated for COVID (simple, quick read)

CDC COVID-19 Vaccine FAQ Page 

CDC Pharmacy Partnership for Long Term Care Program Information

Moderna Vaccine Information Sheet

Walgreens COVID-19 Vaccine Information 

Minnesota Department of Health COVID-19 Vaccine Information 

The Making of the COVID-19 Vaccination Video from MDH

MDH COVID-19 Vaccine Information for Healthcare Professionals 

Omnicare/CVS COVID-19 Vaccination Resource Page

LeadingAge Minnesota COVID-19 Vaccination Information 

MDH Making a COVID-19 Vaccine Information 

FDA Vaccine Development 101



We are always here to discuss any questions or concerns you may have and encourage you to contact us. Mary Barajas, our Executive Director at 507-355-7103 or mbarajas@cedarsofaustin.com during regular business hours. We know that there will still be questions for which we do not have answers, but we are committed to ensuring we respond to all inquires in a timely manner.

There are resources available: 
U.S. Centers for Disease Control
Minnesota Department of Health

For resources on the COVID-19 vaccine, please visit the vaccine tab on this page. 


It only took two days of living at The Cedars to realize that my daughter was right when she encouraged me to move here!


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