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

Updated: September 17th, 2020

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.

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

Detailed confirmed case information can be found below and will be updated as necessary. 

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.

Case Information

We have had no new cases since September 9, 2020. 

Note: This information is comprehensive and includes all cases starting with our initial positive case on June 22, 2020 to the current date. 

Detailed Case Information:

      • Total Cases: 14
        • Staff : 7 
        • Resident: 7
      • Of these 14 total cases there have been: 
        • Deaths: 0

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 email Jill at jbartz@cedarsofaustin.com or call her at 507-437-3246

Outdoor Visit Information: 

We are currently conducting outside visits in accordance with guidance from the MDH.  To request an outside visit and to learn more email Jill at jbartz@cedarsofaustin.com or call her at 507-437-3246

As the weather changes we have prepared a safe indoor space to continue these visits. 

Update on Gradual Reopening's: 

Reopening guidance has been released by the Minnesota Department of Health.  We are utilizing this guidance, along with ensuring the safety of our residents and staff, in determining our path towards reopening.  

We will communicate any change in this regard to our residents and their family members as we move forward. 

Just like all members of the Cedars of Austin family - staff, residents, and their loved ones - we look forward to reopening our community, but doing so too soon carries a great risk of catastrophic results, which is why we will be following all guidance issued by the MDH in regards to reopening our community and are committed to doing so safely. 



Q. What action is being taken by the Cedars of Austin in response to the Coronavirus/COVID-19 pandemic? 
A. We are taking a number of different actions in order to comprehensively address the threat presented by Coronavirus/COVID-19. Specifically:

  • We are reviewing information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Minnesota Department of Health, senior housing industry leaders and other reputable and fact-based sources on a daily basis. We are updating our action plans as necessary based on this information and recommendations.
  • Our staff has completed additional training on Coronavirus/COVID-19, as well as refresher training on infection control standards and procedures. Supervisors have increased their presence on the floor to be a resource for staff as well as to monitor infection control protocol. It is long-standing Cedars of Austin policy for all staff receive infection control training annually and for supervisors to continually monitor staff to ensure infection control policies and procedures are being followed.
  • In addition to the infection control policies, procedures and standards that are always in place, we have increased disinfection and have implemented increased/heightened preventative cleaning measures.
  • We have implemented daily monitoring of every resident who receives health care services. This includes a symptom screen, temperature check and oxygen saturation check. Residents who do not pass the screening or are displaying symptoms of COVID-19 will be referred for additional medical evaluation.
  • We have modified our dining and activity programming throughout the pandemic based upon the most current guidance from MDH and CDC. 
  • We are only allowing staff, pre-approved essential visitors/caregivers, medical providers and vendors to enter our community and everyone must be screened upon entry.  Pre-scheduled outdoor visits are also permitted. 
  • We are working with our vendors to ensure we have all necessary supplies and are taking a weekly inventory. 
  • We are encouraging residents to practice recommended hand washing practices, to avoid any unnecessary physical contact with others, and to report to staff immediately if they feel ill, or are experiencing respiratory symptoms, fever, runny nose or sore throat.


Q. What about masks? Does the Cedars have any? Who is wearing them and when? 
A. All our staff are wearing masks the entire time they are at work.  We have provided masks to all our Independent Living, Independent with Services, Assisted Living  and Memory Care residents as well.  They are asked to wear their mask any time they leave their apartment and any time staff are in their apartment. All visitors to the building must wear a mask. If you have questions or concerns about masks or PPE usage, please contact our Executive Director.  

Q. What if I am worried my family member/loved one is ill? 
A. It is crucial that you contact Cedars of Austin staff immediately to notify them if your loved one is ill or is experiencing respiratory symptoms, fever, sore throat, new fatigue, change in taste/smell, chills, body aches, or shortness of breath.

Q. Can I visit my family member/loved one? 
A. Please see the Visitor Information tab for complete and current information on visiting your loved one at the Cedars of Austin.  

Q. How should I continue to communicate with my family member/loved one? 
A. We strongly encourage you to stay in touch with your family member/loved one by phone, text, email or other means that do not require physical proximity.

Staff are available to assist residents with phone or video calling Monday-Friday 9:00AM – 5:00PM. To schedule staff assistance please contact the Executive Director. 

Q. How long will these restrictions be in place? 
A. Reopening guidance has been released by the Minnesota Department of Health.  We are utilizing this guidance, along with ensuring the safety of our residents and staff, in determining our path towards reopening.  We greatly look forward to the time when we can reopen our community. 

We will communicate any change in this regard to our residents and their family members as we move forward. 

Q. My family member/loved one is seen by an outside health care provider on site, will they still be able to be seen? 
A: Yes. If your loved one/family member receives medical care from an outside provider, that provider will be permitted to enter our campus as necessary to provide essential care, but will be subject to screening. 

Q. How are you communicating updates? 
A. In addition to posting information on this page, we are sending out at least weekly letters to residents, staff and family members.  This weekly letter is sent out via email to family. If you wish to be added to this list please contact Carol Weber at cweber@cedarsofaustin.com


Q. What can I do to help?
A. Follow and encourage our residents to follow the visiting restrictions we have put in place. 

Stay healthy and prevent spreading germs by following recommended actions: frequent hand washing; avoiding touching eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands, cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing and dispose all used tissues; avoid contact with people who are ill.

Encourage your loved ones living at the Cedars of Austin to follow the policies and guidelines we have put in place.  

Please be patient and understanding with our staff during this time. This situation is difficult for them as well and they are working as hard as they can to ensure the safety and well-being of the residents they care so deeply about.


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


The Cedars provided a very good experience in a very difficult situation.

-Family Member of Resident

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