By Chad Koenen


Willow Creek Executive Director Lisa Augustus said the effects of COVID-19 are not only taking the toll on the employees, but the residents at the independent and assisted living facility.

Contributed photo
Staff members and residents at Willow Creek received their first COVID-19 shots recently. They will have their second shot later in February. 

During its regularly scheduled meeting last week, Augustus told the Willow Creek Commission that six residents were hospitalized from Dec. 9 through the end of January.  In 2019, just two people were hospitalized at the facility, a byproduct Augustus attributed to an increased age of some of the residents and restrictions from COVID-19. Two residents have not returned to the facility, one remained in the hospital and three others have returned to Willow Creek. 

Employees and residents were able to get their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine late last month and will get a second shot later this month. 

While the facility continues to navigate the unchartered waters of COVID-19 and the subsequent restrictions put in place to protect staff members and residents, Augustus said activities like Bingo and exercise continue at the facility. 

In other news

• Heard from Augustus that Willow Creek received a $4,000 grant from the state of Minnesota to help purchase cleaning supplies and PPE and other care related items. 

• Discussed the Emergency Preparedness Procedures Plan. The commission reviewed several changes in the plan, which is a guide to what happens if something like a fire, tornado, bomb threat and more occurs at the facility.

• Discussed different options for purchasing food and bulk products at Willow Creek. The commission has looked at purchasing items from places like Sysco and CostCo where large cans of items can be purchased with a longer shelf life. Augustus also brought up the idea of making a monthly trip to a bigger community like Alexandria, Minn., to purchase some grocery items. She said the plan would still be to use B&D Foods for some items like it has in the past.