Walker Methodist


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Dear residents and families of Walker Methodist,

In the last months, I have received emails and letters from residents and family members that have been uplifting and grateful for the work of our team, and others that have pulled at my heart and left me saddened at the pain that this time of isolation is causing many people. Our desire is to enhance lives, and COVID-19 has not changed that mission; it has made it more challenging.

Our teams continue looking for ways to brighten our residents’ days—you can see many examples of this on our Facebook page. Despite the masks and shields, we continue to deliver smiles and joy each day.

But we know that being separated from families and loved ones is difficult. Until restrictions are lifted by the Department of Health, I urge family members and friends to continuing making calls to our residents, to stop by their windows (some of our communities are asking for appointments), and to write letters and emails. I know it isn’t the same, but it does make a positive difference; and remember this generation grew up writing letters.

Testing update

We are pleased to announce that testing of asymptomatic residents and employees will be possible in the coming weeks and months. For several weeks, we have been reaching out to advocacy groups, Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) officials, and legislators for this kind of testing to become available, and we are pleased that nursing homes and assisted living communities are now being prioritized in this way. While all the details are not yet ironed out, please know that Walker Methodist is working with MDH to begin this process as quickly and methodically as possible.

Having this testing available will be a tremendous help in protecting our residents from the COVID-19 virus. It could also create a new problem if we discover that team members are asymptomatic and have positive test results. Any positive team member will not be allowed to work and must stay home until they are virus free. We are building a contingency plan to ensure that this does not negatively impact Walker’s ability to deliver care to our residents. We will share more about the testing plan as it becomes clearer.

Status update

Although there are still team members with active cases, I am delighted to share the news that Care Suites of Edina no longer has any residents with active cases of COVID-19! And the number of active cases at the Health Center (Minneapolis) is shrinking.

We are encouraged by this news, but we also know that this does not mean that we are out of the woods. Here is where we stand today with resident cases:

  • Care Suites of Edina: 0 active cases. 4 recoveries. 1 death.
  • Health Center (Minneapolis): 6 active cases. 12 recoveries. 11 deaths.
  • Havenwood of Minnetonka: 1 active case. 0 recoveries. 0 deaths.
  • Plaza (Anoka): 3 active cases. 1 recovery. 1 death.
  • Westwood Ridge (West St. Paul): 2 active cases. 0 recoveries. 0 deaths.

I also want to help put these numbers into context for you. Walker Methodist serves nearly 1,500 residents, and to date we have had 42 residents test positive for COVID-19. That is less than 3 percent of the Walker population. While it’s never good news that anyone is positive for the virus, it is encouraging to see that the efforts of our team members are paying off.

Thank you again for your understanding and encouragement during this time. Together we will overcome.

Scott Riddle,
President and CEO, Walker Methodist