Grand Forks' Valley Senior Living bars visitors

This image published by the Grand Forks Herald, via purchase from iStock images. (Credit: tumsasedgars)

After the North Dakota Department of Health on Thursday advised nursing homes and other long-term care facilities to do so, staff at Valley Senior Living facilities in Grand Forks on Friday began barring visitors to the company’s three locations for the foreseeable future.

Family members are only allowed to visit a Valley resident in person if the resident is in critical condition or near the end of their life.

“Our population is the most vulnerable,” said Sally Grosgebauer, the facilities’ director of marketing. “So we have to be very vigilant in making sure that we do everything possible to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and prevent it from getting into our care community.”

People 80 and older have the highest rate of death from COVID-19, the illness caused by the coronavirus, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The American Health Care Association and federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services issued similar guidelines last week.

In a similar vein, Edgewood Healthcare staff on Thursday clamped down on visits at their facilities, too. The company operates 62 senior homes in seven states, including two in the Grand Cities. Altru Health System and Sanford Health, which operate clinics and hospitals throughout North Dakota and Minnesota, have begun restricting visitors.


Gov. Doug Burgum on Wednesday confirmed North Dakota’s first case of the virus, a Ward County man in his 60s who is now recovering at home. Burgum declared a state of emergency on Friday.

As a public service, the Herald has opened this article to everyone regardless of subscription status.

Joe Bowen is an award-winning reporter at the Duluth News Tribune. He covers schools and education across the Northland.

You can reach him at:
What To Read Next
Get Local