May 12, 2020 by Katie Perry
We understand you may be concerned about the spread of COVID-19, especially with the amount of media coverage heightening everyone’s awareness on senior living providers. We want you to know that we are doing everything we can to ensure the safety of our residents and staff. This has always been our priority and will always continue to be our priority.
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services have updated their notification guidelines requiring nursing homes to report any presumed or positive cases by 5 p.m. the next calendar day. We will follow this requirement for all of our residential facilities, including housing and the nursing home.
KN Care Center, Alexandria: No active cases.
Crystal Brook, Park Rapids: No active cases.
Grand Arbor, Alexandria: No active cases.
Nelson Gables, Alexandria: No active cases.
We have a dedicated team of caregivers and staff who are working tirelessly to prevent any serious illness, including COVID-19, among our residents. They are also providing compassionate support and continuing to meet the emotional and health needs of our residents. We are taking all recommended guidance and doing everything possible to protect the health and wellness of all who live and work at Knute Nelson. While this is a challenging time for our staff, residents and their families, we are honored to stand alongside them as we continue to fight this pandemic. We recognize and thank them for their understanding, cooperation and dedication to standing with us.
Late last week, Governor Walz announced a 5 Point Plan by outlining strategies to support residents and long-term care providers. Their priority areas include:
• Expanded testing for residents and workers
• Provide testing support and troubleshooting
• Get facilities needed Personal Protective Equipment
• Ensure adequate staffing levels
• Leverage partnerships
We will continue to advocate for assistance in all areas identified above along with our membership organization, LeadingAge Minnesota. By leveraging a collective voice to advocate for additional assistance, we can have a stronger impact together.
Recently, Minnesota Department of Health’s Commissioner Jan Malcolm commented as they released the congregate living locations with confirmed COVID-19 cases:
"Being on the list does not mean that the facility is deficient in any way or has done something wrong any more than we would say that there was something done wrong by a family with a household member that has a case. These are our most vulnerable residents ... without the care and support of the staff who are working with them, we are going to have an additional crisis on our hands. It's incumbent on all of us to understand that these facilities are working very hard to protect their residents and their staff, and we continue to work very closely with them to do everything possible to prevent the introduction and spread of the virus. However, with community transmission as it is, we should expect that many facilities will have cases, just as many work settings and families and households around the state have had and will have cases. We know that the risk of COVID-19 is general and widespread across all of our communities and why it is so very important that we practice social distancing and take those other protective measures in all areas of society. We need to be doing everything we can to protect the residents and employees at these facilities in particular."
We will continue to provide updates to you to keep you informed of our ongoing work. Please note: This is a fluid situation and updates are in continuous development. Help us keep family and loved ones informed by visiting our website: https://www.knutenelson.org/covid-19-coronavirus-updates
*Health agencies providing recommendations to us include the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, World Health Organization, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, local medical advisors and public health advisors among others.