Residents moved from Wayzata assisted living facility amid outbreak of COVID-19

Meridian Manor in Wayzata, Minn.
Meridian Manor in Wayzata, Minn., as seen on Sunday. More than 40 residents of Meridian Manor were moved to other facilities amid an outbreak of COVID-19 affecting residents and staff members.
Evan Frost | MPR News

Updated: April 19, 11 p.m.

More than 40 residents of a Wayzata, Minn., assisted living facility were moved to other facilities Saturday amid an outbreak of COVID-19 affecting residents and staff members.

Officials from Transforming Age, the nonprofit that owns and manages Meridian Manor, said that as of Saturday, 18 of 55 residents at the facility have tested positive for COVID-19, and one resident has died. The Minnesota Department of Health said staff members also were affected.

"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," MDH said in a news release.

Family members of the Meridian Manor residents were being notified, officials said. MDH said seven residents “were sent to a nearby hospital because of their care needs,” while 40 others were being relocated with family or being transported to other long-term care facilities.

Transforming Age said the first confirmed case involving a resident was reported on April 7, after which all residents were tested for COVID-19. It said Saturday's decision to move residents came at the direction of state officials.

“Meridian Manor is fully cooperating with MDH and the team is humbled by the support of neighboring providers that are graciously taking in our residents during this difficult time,” Transforming Age said in a statement Saturday. “Interlude, Pres Homes, and Ebenezer are all working with Meridian to serve and protect our residents.”

Meridian Manor is among more than 80 congregate care facilities with more than 10 residents in Minnesota that have reported at least one COVID-19 case among residents, staff or contractors, according to a list maintained by the state.

The state health department says 26 percent of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Minnesota involve residents or staff of congregate-care facilities.

“The COVID-19 pandemic is a public health crisis with devastating impacts,” Torsten Hirche, president and CEO of Transforming Age, said in a news release. “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.”