Community Outreach Events at Sauer Health Care in Winona MN

Many thanks to our residents and staff for their cooperation with our recent outbreak testing and COVID-19 vaccine clinics.  We look forward to our next vaccine clinic on February 3rd, at which time, many of our residents and staff will receive their second dose of the vaccine and where others will have the opportunity to receive their first.  Consent forms will again need to be signed for the 2nd vaccine.  Residents or their POA will be receiving them soon.

Following our most recent outbreak testing, we anticipate resuming our indoor visits on Thursday, 1/21 pending test results from 1/19/21. Contact our TR staff Monday-Friday 8:00-4:00 to schedule an indoor visit by calling 507-494-6290 or email  We will do our best to accommodate your needs based on times available.   Thank you for your patience as we know how important indoor visits are and how frustrating it can be when visits need to be canceled due to county positivity rates or COVID cases within the facility.         

January 20th 2021

From our Tuesday testing we had 2 staff members test positive with this weeks routine testing.  Residents (and their families) who have had a potential exposure have been notified and will be on a 14 day quarantine. 

This also means that our indoor visits have, yet again, been suspended.

We thank you for your patience and understanding throughout this entire process.  We continue to have hope that with the distribution of vaccines we will start on the path to being able to open our doors to family and friends this year.    

    January 7th 2021

Today was a historic day in the fight against COVID-19 and a personal victory for those of us at Sauer Health Care.  January 6th 2021

While our staff continues its schedule of two times weekly testing until January 15, we remain optimistic that the Winona County case rate will continue to decline and we do not report any new COVID cases within our facility.  Our routine check of the Winona County case rate reports the rate at 4.9%.  This means, that as long as we do not discover any positive COVID cases within our residents or staff, we can resume indoor visits.  Please contact our TR staff at 507-494-6290 or to schedule an indoor visit. 

We look forward to our vaccine clinic on Wednesday, January 6th!  We are currently getting consent forms signed by residents and families.   Please check our additional posts with videos and information if you have questions about the vaccine. 

    January 4th 2021

Travis LaCore, Consultant Pharmacist COVID-19 Vaccine Information

 Trav Vax Video2 Revision 1.mp4

December 22nd 2020

For more information on the COVID-19 Vaccine please visit COVID-19 Vaccination | CDC   December 17th 2020

Dear families/friends of Sauer Health Care,

This has been a very difficult year with the COVID-19 pandemic, but we are pleased to share some good news. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has found a COVID-19 vaccine that is safe and effective, and our staff and residents are a first priority to receive it! This is very encouraging news!

The vaccine will soon be available and we expect to hear word any day about when we will start vaccinating our residents and staff.  Staff and residents will not be required to get the vaccine, however our Medical Director, Dr. Andrew Edin and our Pharmacist Consultant, Travis LaCore, strongly encourage everyone at Sauer Health Care to receive it.  We are moving forward with our plans and will provide additional details soon.  We need a signed consent form for the pharmacy to administer the vaccine, however we are waiting on a fact sheet for the vaccine we will receive.  We have partnered with Walgreens to receive and administer the vaccine to our staff and residents.  As soon as we have more information on exactly which vaccine we will be receiving we will let you know. There will be no costs to get the vaccine.

We encourage as many residents as possible to get this vaccine. We know too well the elderly have a much higher risk for getting very sick, being hospitalized, or dying from COVID-19. The vaccine has been shown to provide a great deal of protection against serious illness due to COVID-19. The more residents that get vaccinated, the better we can protect our facility against potential outbreaks and save lives.

This vaccine has gone through testing and clinical trials to ensure it meets the highest safety standards. It also is safe to get if you already had the virus. The health and safety of our residents is always our top priority, and we are confident this vaccine is a much better option than the risk of getting this virus.

There are potential side effects and when we receive the fact sheet we will share that information with our families and residents. What we are told is that these side effects are similar to the potential side effects of the flu shot, but they occur more frequently. The vaccine requires two doses. Residents and staff will need to get both doses to ensure the best results. The second dose will be given approximately 21 to 28 days after the first dose.

We will continue to take all necessary precautions after the vaccine is administered, including wearing personal protective equipment and conducting regular testing, to ensure the safety of our residents and staff. We will also work with public health officials to determine how and when to adjust our policies for visitations and social activities and will keep you updated.

There is a light at the end of the tunnel. We are hopeful that the vaccine will be a lifesaving turning point in the fight against COVID-19. Please do not hesitate to reach out to us with any questions. You may also visit to learn more about the vaccine. 

Warm Regards,

Sara Blair, Administrator                                            Cindy Kaehler, Director of Nursing

507-494-6280                                                                     507-494-6283                         

December 15th 2020

We are happy to report that all residents and staff have been negative for COVID-19 for the last several weeks.  We remain diligent in our infection control practices and ask all of you to continue to perform very good hand hygiene, wear masks and engage in social distancing measures.  At this time, our routine testing for staff will continue twice weekly through December 31st for all staff.  Indoor visiting requires negative test results on all staff and residents for at least 14 days and a county positivity rate of less than 10%–our current county positivity rate is 10.5%.  We will check it again on 12/18. 

We are expecting the vaccine to be available for administration to nursing home residents and staff by Christmas.  Please be thinking about whether or not you will be getting the vaccine.  There will be a required consent form that will signed prior to receiving the vaccine.  Our Medical Director and our Pharmacist Consultant are in support of staff and residents receiving the vaccine.  If you’d like to speak with our Medical Director or Pharmacist Consultant re: the vaccine, please let Sara or Cindy know.  December 15th 2020

Thank you Hope Lutheran High School for caroling and the gifts for our residents! December 11th 2020

Congratulations to our very own Lydia Paulson, RN who was honored as a Top Nurse in 2020! Lydia started her career with Sauer Health Care in 2008 as a CNA and has since earned her BSN and is pursing a MSN. Sauer is so proud of our health care professionals and their amazing contribution of high quality care giving as they advance their careers. November 5th 2020

November is National Career Development Month and we couldn’t be more proud of our awesome staff here at Sauer! In 2020 we celebrated 7 promotions and awarded 12 employees $3,000 tuition grants through the MN PIPELINE Dual Training Program! We are excited to have open applications for up to 8 new student employees to take part in the program in the Spring 2021 semester. This is a great time to start a rewarding health care career! November 1st 2020

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month.  October 30th 2020

We are excited to announce we are allowing visitors back into our building.  These visits must be scheduled with the TR Department and will occur by appointment only.  At this time visits will be 1 hour and residents will be allowed 3 visitors at a time.  We are excited to welcome you back in! Contact TR to set up your appointment:  507-494-6290 October 26th 2020

Guidance for Window Visits at Long-Term Care Facilities


As long term care staff, we know how important family and friends are in supporting the physical and mental health of our residents.  We miss the love you bring every time you visit and know our residents miss it even more.  We appreciate the support and patience you give us as we travel this unknown road.  We’ve worked really hard to control exposure to this deadly virus.  With cases still on the rise in MN and our community, we have had to make some difficult decisions on how to move forward.  Our #1 goal: to reduce risk of exposure along with reducing the risk of social isolation.

What kind of visitation is currently being allowed?

The Minnesota Department of Health recently issued guidance that modifies visitation options in our setting. The guidance allows for visits with residents in their rooms and/or a designated space in building effective on August 29, 2020. There are specific criteria and recommendations provided by the Minnesota Department of Health, which are in alignment with recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Service, that we must meet before we can safely offer visitation with your loved one in our building. This includes but is not limited to current status of COVID-19 in our building and broader community as well as our ability to complete facility wide testing or staff testing, and maintain appropriate and adequate personal protective equipment and staffing in our setting. Please know that outdoor visitation is currently taking place. We also continue to support window visits and visits that take place using the technology like Zoom/Facetime.

When will in-person visits start?

Based on a thorough review of the MDH guidance, an assessment of our current status and COVID-19 response plan, and our commitment to protect our residents and staff, we will not be resuming visitation inside our building at this time. Our decision was based on the continued rise in cases in MN and our community, which poses an increase risk to our staff and residents.   We promise you, we are reviewing data each week and we will re-evaluate this decision each week, and will keep you informed on the status of when we will resume visitation in our setting. We understand this is difficult news to receive and appreciate your ongoing patience. Please know we continue to offer outdoor visitation, window visits and visits through technology, as well as support compassionate care visits.

What more can Sauer Health Care do to prevent the spread and get closer to allowing visitors? 

Routine testing of our staff and residents has been in place for months.  Just last week CMS put into place testing requirements for nursing homes and Sauer is formatting a process to address that requirement.  Staff will be tested routinely based on Winona County’s positivity rate posted on the CMS website.   As always if a staff member or resident tests positive for COVID-19, all staff and residents will be tested.  We will notify you any time that a resident or staff member tests positive.

What if I feel I am wrongly denied visitation with my loved one?

If you believe you have been wrongly denied visitation, or you have questions that aren’t answered by these FAQs or the guidance, you may contact the Ombudsman for Long-Term Care at 651-431-2555 or 1-800-657-3591.

COVID-19 Interim Outside Visitation (UPDATED 8/6/2020) August 25th 2020

GOAL:  To allow for safe resident and family visits during facility restrictions related to COVID-19.

POLICY:  The residents will be able to safely visit with family and friends following the guidance provided by the MDH.


  1. Visitation schedule is Monday-Friday 8:00 am-4:00 pm and should be scheduled through the Therapeutic Recreation Department by calling 507-494-6290. Individuals wishing to visit during other times, should contact the Therapeutic Recreation Department to set up another time.
  2. Staff will assist with outdoor transition of residents, and to assist with wiping down any visitation areas as necessary.
  3. Staff will maintain visual observation while providing as much distance as necessary to allow for privacy of the visit conversation.
  4. Staff will ensure that all visitors are screened for signs and symptoms of COVID-19 at a screening location outside the building. Visitors are requested to write their phone number incase follow up is needed. (see attached form)
  5. All residents and visitors will wear a mask or other face covering at all times, as tolerated.
  6. Outdoor visitation spaces are designed to be accessible without visitors having to walk through the facility.
  7. Outdoor visitation spaces support social distancing of at least 6 feet between the visitor and resident.
  8. Sauer provides alcohol-based hand rub to persons visiting residents and provide signage or verbal reminders of correct use.
  9. Volunteers may be used to supervise outdoor visits after they have been properly trained on the screening process and this policy.

Resident criteria

  1. Current COVID-19 positive residents, residents with COVID-19 signs or symptoms, and residents in a 14-day quarantine or observation period are not eligible for outside visits.
  2. Residents who have had COVID-19 must no longer require transmission-based precautions as outlined by the CDC and MDH guidelines.
  3. Residents must wear a mask, or other face covering, as tolerated.

Visitor criteria

  1. Visitors must wear a mask, or other face covering, during the entire visit unless medically contraindicated.
  2. Visitors must use alcohol-based hand rub upon entering and exiting the visitation area.
  3. Visitors will be actively screened for signs and symptoms of COVID-19 by staff, and must attest to COVID-19 status if known. Any staff observed signs or symptoms and visit will be canceled.
  4. Visitors should not walk through the facility to get to the outdoor visitation area.
  5. Visitors must sign in and provide contact information.
  6. Due to the risk of exposure, holding hands, hugging, kissing, or other physical contact is not allowed during family visits.
  7. Visitors under age 12 years must be in the control of adults who bring them and must also comply with social distancing requirements.
  8. Pets must be under the control of the visitor bringing them in.
  9. All visitors must maintain 6 feet social distance from residents.
  10. Visitors must stay in designated visitation locations.
  11. Number of visitors will be a max of 5
  12. Time length of visit may be up to 1 hour, however this will be based on staff availability to supervise.
  13. Visitors must not bring food to eat either by the resident or visitors during their visit with the resident.
  14. Items may not be directly passed from visitor to resident. Items may be given to staff who are able to disinfect them.

Weather: Visits will occur only on days when there are no weather warnings that would put either the visitor or resident at risk.  Sauer retains the right to deny outdoor visitation to specific residents only if they believe:

  1. Circumstances pose a risk of transmitting COVID-19 to the facility because the resident or visitor does not comply with infection control guidance, or
  2. The resident or visitor is at risk of abuse/harm.

Residents and their loved ones should contact Sauer Health Care with questions about outdoor visits at 507-454-5540.  If you have concerns about your ability to visit with your loved ones, please don’t hesitate to contact the Office of Ombudsman for Long-Term Care at 651-431-2555 or 1-800-657-3591 to request advocacy services.

Please note this policy, as with all others will be changed based on guidance and direction from CMS, MDH and CDC.

Thank you Tito’s Handmade Vodka for donating hand sanitizer to Sauer Health Care! We appreciate your kindness! #LoveTitos August 19th 2020

Thank you Colby Tushaus for the live concert yesterday on Sauer Health Care TV! August 18th 2020

Thank you Jackie for the handmade masks! Your talents are greatly appreciated! August 1st 2020

Thank you to Winona Area Hospice staff and volunteers for continuing to think of our residents and staff. July 23rd 2020