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‘Stay at Home’ to ‘Stay Safe’

As of May 18th, the “Stay at Home” order in Minnesota was lifted and we moved to the “Stay Safe” order, which encourages Minnesotans to stay close to home but allows small gatherings of friends and family if social distancing procedures are followed. The order also allows retail stores to open if they have a preparedness plan in place and operate at half their occupancy. The governor has also told us about phased plans for reopening restaurants, salons, campgrounds, and eventually churches and entertainment venues.

As with anything, there are mixed reactions to the news about these restrictions being eased: some are overjoyed and immediately gathered in large groups without taking any precautions. Some feel a little freer to see people or visit stores, but are doing so cautiously by wearing masks and social distancing. And others aren’t changing any of their actions based on this new order; they are continuing to stay at home and not venturing out. It is truly fascinating to witness the variety of reactions among different groups of people.

At Lakewood, we are still taking the most conservative, safest approach. We don’t anticipate making any significant changes because of this new direction from the governor. Just because a new order is in place does not mean we should throw caution to the wind and be reckless. We’ve come too far over the last couple of months to backtrack, and the number of COVID-19 cases in our area only continues to rise. We are still carrying out all the safety measures we’ve put into place thus far, such as masking and screening all employees and visitors, and restricting family members and visitors in our care center. As much as we’d love to reunite our care center and senior housing residents with their families, it’s not prudent to do so at this point. These are the most vulnerable people and it’s our job to protect them.

We believe we should also still be safe outside of Lakewood’s walls when we are out in our communities. A little inconvenience on our part can go a long way for others we come into contact with. For example, wearing masks in public places might not be the most comfortable option for you or me, but if it means we can prevent the spread of the virus to someone next to us in the grocery store line, it’s worth it. By being safe and responsible citizens, we can protect others and help our economy thrive and be successful.

So, please do what’s best for the safety of all. This is not about us; it’s about helping our neighbors, friends and the most vulnerable among us. Please continue social-distancing. Wear your masks. Avoid large gatherings, and stay home whenever possible. On behalf of healthcare employees, providers, and our senior residents, we thank you for your consideration and respect.

Tim Rice
President & CEO
Lakewood Health System