Helpful Links regarding COVID-19

Centers for Disease Control (CDC)

Minnesota Department of Heath (MDH)


Update September 15, 2020

Ely Carefree reports with a heavy heart 4 resident deaths within our community.  The deaths occurred this past weekend, The Ely staff have provided the end of life care per family choice. No resident has been hospitalized. These special residents have been our family, friends and neighbors. Our dedicated and caring staff continue to provide the best care possible 24/7.
Ely Carefree will continue to test 2 of our 3 buildings weekly until we have 2 weeks of negative tests, as our 3rd building has been totally COVID free.
We pray our other residents who are positive for COVID will continue to recover.
Ely Carefree staff appreciate your continued support.


Update September 9, 2020

Ely Carefree Living continues with weekly COVID testing for staff and residents. The testing will continue until we have achieved two weeks of negative test results in each respective building. One building may graduate from COVID testing before another.

At this time we have continued cases for both staff and residents. The Carefree families and associated physicians have communication from our staff weekly if not daily.

Our Carefree staff are amazing and resilient. They have cared for these residents prior to COVID and continue caring for them with the same loving attitude during COVID.

MDH has provided clear guidance outdoor visits. These visits will be available once a building has two weeks of negative tests.

Spectrum Health Companies has 12 other assisted living locations. From the start of the virus and continuing to this time, we have been and are COVID free at these locations.

We ask all in the community to wear masks, practice good hygiene and continue with safe distancing and avoiding large groups. Be safe and be well.


Update August 31, 2020

Ely Carefree Living announced it has two residents and a staff member who have tested positive for COVID-19. Last Monday a staff presented with symptoms and was tested positive for COVID and is on self quarantine. Subsequently, Ely Carefree tested all 45 residents. One resident tested positive for COVID and remains at Ely Carefree Living and staff continue to monitor. A second resident tested positive on Sept. 1.
Ely Carefree has informed the Minnesota Department of Health of these cases and have implemented a strict protocol of how they are staffing and managing resident cares to keep everyone safe.
Since March 2, when Minnesota had only two cases statewide, that number has grown to almost 75,000. St. Louis County has 885.
Spectrum Health Companies owns and operates 13 assisted living facilities in as many communities in Minnesota. This diagnosis is the first for the company.


Update June 27, 2020

The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) has issued guidance allowing essential caregivers. We are happy to work with essential caregivers and residents to accommodate these requests, please contact the Executive Director or Health Services to make your request. The following criteria will be used to evaluate the request to be deemed an essential caregiver:

  • The resident must have an assessed service, care or emotional need that cannot be met by the facility.
    • Examples may include EC providing care that are listed on our “Limitations to our Home Care Services”, , family/resident representatives that provides home management tasks such as sorting mail, money management, home management, bill pay,etc.
    • Move-in or move-out or packing/unpacking of resident personal belongings.
  • The EC fulfilled a caregiving role and/or was identified in the resident plan of care as a service provider prior to the pandemic and visitor restriction.
    • Examples may include, family that provided medication set-up, shower assistance, laundry, home/money management etc. prior to the visitor restriction.
    • The EC may be an ILS, ARMS worker, PCA or other third party provider that was not deemed medically essential at the beginning of the pandemic.


Update June 18, 2020

The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) has issued guidance allowing open window visits and outdoor visits. We are happy to work with visitors and their loved one to accommodate these visit, please contact the Executive Director or Health Services manager to schedule your open window or outdoor visit.

Per policy and MDH guidance the processes below will apply to the visits.

Window visits:

– The visit should be prearranged with the Administrative Assistant. ED or HSM by contacting the facility Monday – Friday 8:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
– Staff may assist with access to a phone for the visit if needed.
– Accommodations to a first floor window can be made for resident living on upper floors of the building.
– The visitor must remain outside the building.
– The window may be opened during the visit. If the window is open the following apply:
– The resident must wear a cloth mask and stay back 3 feet from the window.
–  The visitor must wear a cloth mask and stay back 3 feet from the window.

Outdoor visits:

• Visits must be scheduled in advance with the Administrative Assistant, Executive Director or Health Services Manager by contacting the facility Monday – Friday 8:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
• Visits will take place in the facility designated visitor area
• Visitors must wear a mask, or other face coverings, during the entire visit unless medically contraindicated
• Visitors must use alcohol-based hand rub upon entering and exiting the visitation area
• Visitors must actively be screened for sign and symptoms of COVID-19 and must attest to COVID-19 status if known
• Visitors are not permitted in the building
• Due to risk of exposure, holding hands, hugging, kissing, or other physical contact is not allowed during visits
• Visitors will be limited to 3 persons per visit. Visitors under age 12 years must be in the control of adults who bring them and must also comply with social distancing requirements
• Pets must be under the control of the visitor bringing them. Visitor is responsible for cleaning up after pets
• All visitors must maintain 6 feet social distance
• Visitors must stay in designated visitation locations
• If visitors and/or residents do not comply with visitation guidelines and/or infection control guidance, or if there is a risk of abuse/harm to the visitor or resident, future outdoor visitor requests may be denied


Update May 21, 2020

Greetings! We continue to follow all of our implemented precautions. We also encourage residents to only leave the facility for medically necessary appointments. Additionally, residents are encouraged to wear a mask when outside of their apartment. Activities are conducted on a 1:1 basis and some “doorway” activities.

As businesses begin to open up and restrictions decreasing across the state, as a congregate living provider, we continue to follow the guidance of the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH). At this time MDH continues to recommend visitor restrictions for all congregate living and long term care providers. We look forward to the time we are able to welcome you back into our buildings, but until then, we are happy to arrange phone calls and/or video chats with you and your loved one. Please feel free to reach out to our communities directly to set up a phone call or video chat.

We hope you stay safe and healthy!


Update May 8, 2020

We recognize COVID-19 is likely on the forefront of may people’s minds. Our top priority during this pandemic is the health and safety of our staff and residents.

We continue to actively follow infection control  guidelines provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Minnesota Department of Health and our public health agencies, with the goal of reducing the risk of occurrence and transmission of COVID-19.

Precautions we have implemented include:

  • Visitor restrictions
  • Activity outings and large group activities cancelled
  • Apartment meal service, no congregate dining
  • All staff temperature and symptom screen upon arrival to work
  • Staff following universal masking while on duty
  • Routine resident symptom screens, including temperature and oxygen levels
  • Frequent cleaning and disinfecting of high touch areas
  • Routine cleaning and disinfecting of the facility