Meridian Manor in Wayzata

Residents of Meridian Manor, an assisted living facility in Wayzata, were relocated on April 18 after seven staff members and more than a dozen residents tested positive for the coronavirus.

WAYZATA – More than 40 residents of Meridian Manor in Wayzata have been moved out after 19 residents and seven staff members tested positive for the coronavirus, Laurie Sykes, regional director of operations with Transforming Age, which owns Meridian Manor, told Lakeshore Weekly News on April 18.

State health officials directed the assisted living facility on Saturday to transition all residents not affected by COVID-19 to other providers, while residents with the virus continue to be treated in hospitals, Transforming Age said.

“The primary reason for the move was to ensure patient safety and care because a majority of staff and administration are ill and unable to care for residents,” the Minnesota Department of Health said in a statement to the paper on April 18.

Meridian Manor residents began testing positive for the coronavirus at the hospital on April 7, Transforming Age said, which prompted Meridian Manor to get all residents tested for the virus.

As of Saturday, 18 out of 55 residents had tested positive for the virus, and on Friday, April 17, one resident had died due to complications with COVID-19, Transforming Age said.

A total of 47 residents were relocated on Saturday, MDH said in a media update on Sunday. Seven residents were taken to hospitals, 13 residents went to family, friends or relatives, and 27 residents went to other care facilities.

Transforming Age said the Wayzata facility has taken extreme precautions to protect residents and staff from the possibility of exposure to the virus and has been diligently screening residents and sending anyone with a change of health to the hospital for testing and care.

“The COVID-19 pandemic is a public health crisis with devastating impacts,” Torsten Hirche, the president and CEO of Transforming Age, said in a statement. “This virus is hitting with such voraciousness and has brought with it so much suffering and pain. We express our deepest gratitude to our team members and our partners for keeping our residents safe. Thank you to the Minnesota Department of Health for being so helpful with the complex relocation plans. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the entire Meridian Manor community, our residents and their families.”

The decision was made to move the residents to other facilities that meet their care needs in consultation with MDH, State Emergency Operations Center and local health partners, MDH noted.

MDH’s coronavirus statistics show 18% of all COVID-19 cases in the state involve people living in an assisted living or long-term care facility, while congregate living situations are the likely cause for exposure for 26% of cases in the state.

Melissa Turtinen is the community editor for Lakeshore Weekly News and Eden Prairie News. She's passionate about adding context to stories and informing people about what's going on in their community. She enjoys being outside, traveling and good beer.

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