COVID-19
Updates

Our number one priority is the health, wellness, and safety of those we serve and our staff. We are actively taking steps to mitigate any illness related to influenza and/or coronavirus (COVID-19) in our facilities. The recommendations and advice from health agencies is continuously evolving. We are responding by taking proactive measures out of the safety and concern for those we serve.

For the most up-to-date information, visit the Minnesota Department of Health.

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April 1: An Update on Our Response to the Coronavirus (COVID-19)

The health and safety of those we serve as well as our staff are our highest priority. Our greatest hope and desire is to uphold our commitment to serving others in meaningful ways that you’ve come to know, rely on and trust. This commitment hasn’t changed; however, in recent weeks, it looks a bit differently as we walk on this journey each day. We are committed to continuing to serve our communities with high-quality care by a well-trained, compassionate staff.

We have the privilege of caring for older adults in a wide variety of settings, including our home and community-based services (home care and hospice) as well as in our residential buildings. Upon early notice of the potential impact COVID-19 could have in our communities, we took several immediate steps out of precaution to safeguard our residents and staff from various health agencies*.

We wanted to share a few of these highlights, including:

  • Restricting visitors at all locations to enter any residential building unless there are certain end-of-life situations. This includes volunteer and entertainment services.
  • Screening all visitors and staff who enter any residential building and requiring them to meet stringent visit protocols
  • Temporarily closing all community spaces to the public, including the Nelson Wellness Center and Pioneer Grill
  • Encouraging residents to refrain from leaving their apartments and/or defined, designated areas
  • Enacting masking, dining and social distancing recommendations for residents and staff
  • Implementing key clinical protocols to ensure resident safety and well-being. We have been working closely with the area hospitals to ensure common understanding of safety measures being provided, treatment and areas for isolation in the event of an outbreak.
  • Keeping residents and their families as well as staff regularly informed and educated on COVID-19 and encouraging good hygiene.

These decisions are not easy as we recognize how valuable family and community connections are; however, we have done this for the safety of everyone concerned.

At the same time, we have expanded options to keep loved ones connecting by introducing an Knute Nelson e-Konnect program that our staff facilitate. Learn more here: https://www.knutenelson.org/e-connect. We have increased one-to-one activities, held activities following social distancing recommendations, increased our music and spiritual care programming to name a few. Our staff are continuously introducing creative ways to keep residents engaged as best we’re able during this time.

And, we’ve been blessed by the outpouring of support and generosity by the community with your prayers, homemade masks and gowns, handmade cards, window artwork and more -- thank you!

We’ve always been a mission-driven organization and know the vital importance of our work caring for those we serve as well as other staff. Throughout this time, we’ve become even more laser-focused on what this truly means—and are grateful for our teams who are providing courageous leadership and care especially during times we’re experiencing now.

We will continue to be vigilant with our efforts. Thank you for your continued support and prayers.

*Sources 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.

March 13: Crystal Brook takes Precautionary Steps and Restricts All Visitors

Crystal Brook is putting into place resident precautions to increase the awareness of enacting preventative actions out of concern for both residents and staff as well as mitigate the potential spread of the flu as well as the coronavirus (COVID-19). These agencies include the Centers for Disease Control, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, World Health Organization and leading medical and public health agencies.

For the most up-to-date information, visit the Minnesota Department of Health.

“Our number one priority is the health, wellness, and safety of our residents and staff,” comments Mark Anderson, Knute Nelson’s president/CEO. He continues, “We are actively taking steps to mitigate any illness in our facilities and working to be positioned to respond quickly and effectively should it impact someone in our settings. Ensuring residents are cared for in a safe and healthy environment is our first priority.”

Crystal Brook is implementing a no visitor policy effective today at 12 p.m.. There may be limited visitors in such instances at end-of-life or special circumstances. Emergency situations/visits will be considered on an individual basis. Such visits will be limited to minimize exposure beyond the family member. This is a fluid situation and updates are in continuous development.

In instances when visits are allowed, we are limiting entry points to be the main entrance. Signs have been posted on entryway doors. Crystal Brook is actively restricting individuals to come into the building, including vendors. In instances where warranted, visitors and vendors will be required to follow strict visiting standards that have been recommended by health agencies.

Communicating with loved ones is incredibly important and there are a variety of other ways this may occur including telephone, email, text, video chat or social media.

Facility leaders agree on the importance of being prepared and remaining calm. A taskforce, with representatives from Crystal Brook and Knute Nelson has been established, focusing on the education and prevention of coronavirus (COVID-19). They are closely monitoring the latest information from the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and other senior living experts.

For additional information, please visit the CDC’s coronavirus disease: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/summary.html.

Knute Nelson reminds the community to take precautions to protect yourself including:

  • washing your hands thoroughly with soap and water, when water is not available, use alcohol-based hand sanitizer (at least 60% alcohol)
  • cover your cough
  • avoid touching your face, especially eyes, mouth and nose
  • regularly disinfect frequently touched surfaces

March 13: Flattening the Curve

“We have been rapidly learning about COVID-19 from various health agencies to mitigate the potential spread and circulation of it at Knute Nelson,” comments Mark Anderson, Knute Nelson’s president/CEO.

He continues, "We have researched how the virus has spread—and want to be focused on leading efforts that increase awareness using fact-based evidence to protect our residents. The more we can to prepare for this and provide education about the virus, while remaining calm, the better.”


March 13: Knute Nelson Restricts Visitors in Housing, Closes Wellness Center and Restaurant to Public

Knute Nelson is taking further precautions to protect senior living communities at Nelson Gables and Grand Arbor following additional recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, World Health Organization, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and other health agencies.

A no visitor policy was put into place at the Care Center on Thursday and is now being extended effective at 12 p.m., Friday, March 13 to the Grand Arbor and Nelson Gables properties. There may be limited visitors in such instances at end-of-life or special circumstances. Emergency situations/visits will be considered on an individual basis. Such visits will be limited to minimize exposure beyond the family member.

“We made this decision to be proactive in our efforts to safeguard and protect our residents who call Grand Arbor and Nelson Gables home as well as to mitigate the potential exposure and spread of COVID-19,” comments Mark Anderson, president/CEO.

Also effective at 12 p.m. on Friday, March 13, Knute Nelson is closing the Nelson Wellness Center and Pioneer Grill to the public. Only residents of Nelson Gables and Grand Arbor may continue to utilize the wellness centers. Members of the Nelson Wellness Center are encouraged to utilize the Alexandria YMCA to continue their exercise regimes. This is made available to wellness members at no additional cost due to the existing Partnership+ agreement that has been in place between the YMCA and Knute Nelson for several years. “We hope this transition of classes and exercise routines are a temporary one. However, the COVID-19 efforts are fluid and continuously evolving and we’re taking added precautions,” adds Anderson.

They remind the community to take precautions to protect yourself including:

  • Washing your hands thoroughly with soap and water, when water is not available, use alcohol-based hand sanitizer (at least 60% alcohol)
  • Cover your cough
  • Avoid touching your face, especially eyes, mouth and nose
  • Regularly disinfect frequently touched surfaces

March 12: The Next Step of Precaution: Alexandria Nursing Homes Restricting All Visitors

Knute Nelson Care Center and Bethany on the Lake are taking further precautionary measures to mitigate the spread of the flu and coronavirus (COVID-19). The two nursing homes announced just yesterday of their joint efforts to put proactive measures in place out of concern for the safety and well-being of their residents and staff.

Facility leaders, Mark Anderson and Matthew Fischer, emphasize the importance of being prepared and remaining calm. Anderson and Fischer are following recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, World Health Organization, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, Alomere Health and Horizon Public Health among others.

Effective immediately, both facilities are implementing a no visitor policy at either location except certain situations such as end-of-life or special circumstances. Emergency situations/visits will be considered on an individual basis. Such visits will be limited to minimize exposure beyond the family member.

They remind the community to take precautions to protect yourself including:

  • washing your hands thoroughly with soap and water, when water is not available, use alcohol-based hand sanitizer (at least 60% alcohol)
  • cover your cough
  • avoid touching your face, especially eyes, mouth and nose
  • regularly disinfect frequently touched surfaces

March 11: Alexandria Nursing Homes Collaborate and Take Precautions to Ensure Resident Safety

Knute Nelson Care Center and Bethany on the Lake are collaborating to ensure nursing home resident precautions are put into place following the recommendations from Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to mitigate the spread of the flu as well as the coronavirus (COVID-19). Both nursing homes are working closely with medical advisors from Alomere Health and Horizon Public Health to increase the awareness of enacting preventative actions out of concern for both residents and staff.

“Our number one priority is the health, wellness, and safety of our residents and staff,” comments Mark Anderson, Knute Nelson’s president/CEO. He continues, “We are actively taking steps to mitigate any illness in our facilities and working to be positioned to respond quickly and effectively should it impact someone in our settings.”

“This being flu season in Minnesota, staff already have a heightened awareness of the risks posed to our residents/tenants by respiratory illnesses and the vital importance of effective infection control practices,” comments Matthew Fischer, Executive Director at Bethany on the Lake.

Both facility leaders agree on the importance of being prepared and remaining calm. Task forces have been established focusing on the education and prevention of coronavirus (COVID-19). They are closely monitoring the latest information from the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and other senior living experts.

To support stronger, preventative efforts, visitor restrictions and visiting standards at both nursing homes are being implemented immediately for the safety of those in our care.

Visitor Restrictions:

  • Entrances to the facilities are restricted to the main entrance only.
  • Immediate family members only.

Visiting Standards:

  • You may be asked a series of questions upon arrival about recent travel and/or illnesses.
  • You must wash your hands upon arrival.
  • Access is limited to resident’s room only.
  • You may be asked to suspend and/or delay your visit should you be presenting any positive answers to the questionnaire.

Additionally, limiting large group activities, including intergenerational programming, are suspended until further notice.

What You Can Do

  • Take precautions to protect yourself including:
  • Washing your hands thoroughly with soap and water, when water is not available, use alcohol-based hand sanitizer (at least 60% alcohol)
  • Cover your cough
  • Avoid touching your face, especially eyes, mouth and nose
  • Regularly disinfect frequently touched surfaces

Resources For You

Please consult official resources such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention – Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID019), World Health Organization (WHO) or your local public health department for the latest information.


Please note: This is a fluid situation and updates are in continuous development.

Resources:

Below is a list of website resources for further information about COVID-19 - Coronavirus: