Bethesda releases new masking policies for facilities in Willmar, New London and Olivia

While masks are now optional in Bethesda facilities, the situation can change if there's an outbreak. Visitors will be asked to follow the guidance of signs in the facility they are visiting.

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WILLMAR — Masking is now optional for residents, visitors and employees in Bethesda facilities, depending on the rate of coronavirus transmission in the county and the outbreak status of Bethesda locations.

The status could change at any time, without notice.

According to a news release from Bethesda, an outbreak is defined as a positive case of COVID-19 in a neighborhood resident or staff member in the past 14 days,

Staff and visitors are asked to respect residents’ wishes if they ask visitors or staff to wear masks.

Each area in Bethesda will have signs identifying the location’s status as “masking optional” or “please mask.” Staff and visitors are encouraged to be conscious of infection control measures at the facilities and at home.


Do not visit if you have the following symptoms:

  • Fever (over 100.0 degrees Fahrenheit)
  • New cough
  • New congestion/runny nose
  • Fatigue
  • Nausea/vomiting
  • New shortness of breath
  • Sore throat
  • Headache that is not typical/usual for you
  • Muscle/body aches
  • Diarrhea
  • Loss of taste or smell
  • Chills

Do not visit if you have tested positive for COVID-19 or have been in close contact with someone with COVID-19 in the last 10 days.
Visitors are asked to follow the masking recommendations for the area they are entering. If masks are recommended, wear a mask to enter the building, in the hallways, in common areas, and within 6 feet of residents or staff.

Visitors are permitted to remove masks in the personal room of the resident they are visiting, unless other residents or staff are present.

When masks are recommended, visits should take place in the resident’s room, outside or in a designated visitation area.

Bethesda also recommends that visitors stay up to date on their COVID-19 vaccines.

Our newsroom occasionally reports stories under a byline of "West Central Tribune staff report." Often, the "West Central Tribune staff report" byline is used when rewriting basic news briefs that originate from official sources, such as a city press release about a road closure, and which require little or no reporting. At times, this byline is used when a news story includes numerous authors or when the story is formed by aggregating previously reported news from various sources. If outside sources are used, it is noted within the story.

The West Central Tribune newsroom can be reached via email: or phone 320-235-1150.
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