Media Statements – COVID-19
October 14, 2020 3:00 pm
St. John’s reports first death of resident with COVID-19

The staff of St. John’s United is deeply saddened to confirm the passing of a resident from one of our managed properties. The resident had multiple hospitalizations and was last transferred to the hospital after experiencing a medical emergency. The resident later passed away. As part of its normal protocol, the hospital administered a COVID-19 test, and the resident tested positive for COVID-19 prior to her death. While at the St. John’s community, the resident was a part of St. John’s COVID-19 testing protocols with negative results. St. John’s is taking all necessary precautions to help protect our residents and staff from any potential COVID-19 exposure.

St. John’s extends deepest sympathies to the family members and loved ones during this difficult time. “Each resident is a cherished member of our community, and our heart goes out to the staff members, friends and family for their loss,” said David Trost, President and CEO. St. John’s pastoral care team is engaged with all end-of-life transitions. “The resident was only with us a short time, and we are so glad that family was able to be at her side,” said Pastor Karl Guhn.

As we have seen, COVID-19 disproportionately affects our most vulnerable populations, and St. John’s is taking every precaution to protect our at-risk residents and staff members during this outbreak. Their health and safety remain our highest priority. We will continue to vigilantly monitor their health, seek mitigation efforts exceeding guidelines, and provide medical care to the best extent of our capabilities. “Our abilities are being taxed at the highest level in my 25 years managing at St. John’s United,” said David Trost, President and CEO.

As a reminder, St. John’s United has implemented a number of protections to mitigate the threat of COVID-19. These actions include:

  • Restriction on visitations
  • Advance screening and collecting contact information on all individuals entering our buildings.
  • Enhanced PPE use, including eye protection and gowns.
  • Limiting staff access to essential work areas.
  • Quarantining and testing new admissions.
  • Adapting group activities and dining based on prevalence of COVID-19.
  • Closely monitoring residents and staff for symptoms associated with COVID-19.
  • Wearing Masks, Watching Distance and Washing Hands over and over again.

All these mitigation efforts are being balanced by a multitude of new and creative ways to address social isolation issues.

The challenges of COVID-19 reinforce the importance of our mission to provide living opportunities within nurturing environments of hope, dignity and love. We pray for all of those affected by this outbreak and remain committed to helping our community get through this difficult time. We also ask the community to help by adopting mask usage, limiting contact with others and being patient as we get through this together.

St. John’s United is a Montana not-for-profit organization that provides human services and care spanning the arc of life. These services include birthparent counseling, adoption, child care, spiritual care, mental health counseling, physical rehabilitation, home for elders, At-Home support, pharmacy support, skilled nursing care, home health care, and hospice care. These services are offered with an abiding mission to provide living opportunities within nurturing environments of hope, dignity and love. 

For more information, contact Tom Schlotterback, St. John’s Vice President of Mission Advancement, at (406) 655-5332.