River Valley Health and Rehab Center confirms first COVID cases

Troy Krause
Redwood Falls Gazette

Earlier this month, the River Valley Health and Rehabilitation Center in Redwood Falls was working toward what is known as a Level 2 visitation status.

Allowing for that move would have opened up the long-term care facility to more options.

According to Marc Halpert, chief operating officer for Monarch Healthcare Management, which owns and operates the facility in Redwood Falls, moving to that level meant conducting consistent testing. It was during that testing that the first case of COVID-19 was confirmed.

Halpert said the facility had gone seven months without a confirmed case, but when that first discovery was made more testing revealed more cases among the residents and the staff.

In fact, there were more than 40 residents and staff who had confirmed cases of COVID-19 earlier this month.

Many of those who had confirmed cases were asymptomatic, added Halpert, who indicated the facility immediately began efforts to address what was happening at the facility.

“Things spread very quickly,” said Halpert, adding they believe things are now under control.

Halpert said the facility is currently under quarantine, and he is hopeful within a couple of weeks that status will change. However, he added, the residents continue to be well cared for.

In fact, he said others from Monarch, including some of the corporate staff members are helping fill in the gaps.

Halpert said they have no idea where the source of the outbreak originated. The facility is following guidelines from the state health department and the CDC.

Halpert expressed appreciation to the families and the community for its support.

“We are glad to know they are standing with us,” he said.