Immanuel Lutheran Communities COVID 19 Update

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update

We have instituted an Immanuel Lutheran COVID-19 Task Force consisting of key staff members to discuss protocols daily. Click here to visit our Foundation website and donate to our COVID-19 Response Fund. 



August 12, 2020-

For Immediate Release:
Contact: John MacDonald, 406-465-3558 or

Immanuel Lutheran Confirms All Residents and Staff have Tested Negative for COVID-19 following Recent Positive

KALISPELL, MT – Following a positive test of COVID-19 for a resident at Buffalo Hill Terrace on July 29th, Immanuel Lutheran Communities followed the state’s recommendations to test all staff and residents in the Assisted Living facility. All residents were required to quarantine until our community received 14 days of negative tests since the positive was reported. After two rounds of weekly testing, we received word on August 12th that all of these results are negative for COVID-19.

This is great news, and our community continues to be diligent in protecting our residents against this pandemic. Our visitation restrictions on campus will continue as recommended by both CMS and the CDC, and our staff is continually working on new engagement activities and opportunities to prioritize human connection for residents, while performing extensive disinfecting, and proper social distancing.

Additionally, we are relieved to report that the resident who originally tested positive is doing well, and her test this week also came back negative. She was deemed “not contagious” by the state on August 7th, was relieved from the state’s isolation then, but remained in quarantine until today when we received word of all negative tests.

Jason Cronk, CEO of Immanuel Lutheran Communities said, “Our community is extremely appreciative of the support we have received after the unfortunate news a few weeks ago, and we are very blessed to have such amazing staff who acted quickly to prevent the spread of this positive throughout our community.”



July 29, 2020-

For Immediate Release:
Contact: John MacDonald, 406-465-3558 or

Immanuel Lutheran Assisted Living Resident Tests Positive for COVID-19

KALISPELL, MT – Immanuel Lutheran Communities received confirmation on Wednesday, July 29 that a female resident in assisted living at Buffalo Hill Terrace has tested positive for COVID-19 and is in isolation. She is stable and resting comfortably.

Jason Cronk, CEO of Immanuel Lutheran Communities, said the organization immediately initiated prepared response plans when the test was suspected positive on Tuesday, and has been working with the Flathead County Health Department on “contact tracing” to determine who the affected resident may have been in contact with. Any persons who were exposed to this resident have been informed by the Flathead County Health Department.

Immanuel Lutheran Communities also immediately informed residents and their families of the positive test and suspended activities at Buffalo Hill Terrace.

Cronk said the organization is cooperating fully with state and federal health officials to trace the source of the exposure, analyze potential contact to other residents and staff within our community, and prevent any potential spread. The community has been busy since March, implementing new procedures to prevent the spread of illness, and to respond in the event it did arise. These precautions include:

  • monitoring resident travel
  • asking residents who recently traveled to self-quarantine
  • cancelling Community activities and programs
  • closing dining venues and delivering meals
  • restricting visitors
  • quarantining any newly admitted health care residents
  • requiring staff to self-monitor for symptoms up to 14-days upon return from travel
  • screening all team members and essential vendors including daily temperature checks and COVID-19 testing
  • encouraging only medically necessary resident travel off-campus
  • developing and practicing response contingency plans

While it was hoped these actions hinder the virus, Immanuel Lutheran leadership has continued conscientiously planning and preparing to respond effectively for a time such as this.

“Our priorities are to provide aid and comfort to our resident and the resident’s family at this time, and to ensure that every possible measure has been taken to isolate this case to prevent further exposure.” Cronk said. “Since it is seemingly impossible to defend against this virus until we have timely and accurate testing and a vaccine, our COVID-19 Response Team has been in constant preparation. The past few months have equipped us for this very moment, and I am confident that our extensive training combined with our strong clinical team that will do all that we can to eliminate this virus from our Community.”

As Flathead County sees and escalation in cases of COVID-19, Immanuel Lutheran Communities continues to promote the importance of personal action to protect seniors and other vulnerable populations. Daily communications to the Immanuel Lutheran Community encourage all to follow CDC guidelines of practicing proper hand hygiene and social distancing to prevent the further spread of COVID.19.




June 26, 2020- 

Yesterday, the Governor lifted the order directing “no visitation” in nursing homes and assisted living facilities. Please click here to view a copy of his new directive on this subject which relies heavily on the guidance that has been issued by CMS and CDC. It also includes a general guidance document that was produced by the work group on this subject.

This order and guidance applies to both nursing homes and assisted living facilities. From the standpoint of this state executive order, all of the guidance is just that – guidance.

Each senior living community is asked to develop its own plan for allowing (or not) visitation, in consultation with our local public health authority, and considering the status of covid-19 in our community and our ability as a senior living community to meet applicable guidelines.

Protecting the wellbeing of all in our Community has always been our top priority, and thus far we have been successful in keeping the virus out. Upon Montana’s phased reopening which began in May, we have seen another spike in cases. In response to our current situation and the governor’s most recent directive, Immanuel will remain closed to visitors at this time.

In addition to the patio visits at Buffalo Hill Terrace, we are working with our local health department to allow scheduled visits outside with a protective barrier for Immanuel Skilled Care Center. Once finalized, we will share with you the policy and procedures to reserve your visitation.

In closing, we would like to thank you all for your patience, understanding and support as we navigate this pandemic. Our mission continues to be about putting the safety and well-being of our residents first. If there are further questions, please do not hesitate to reach out to:

Carla Wilton

Chief Operating Officer

(406) 309-5592

Dwight Shaffer

Clinical Administrator

(406) 250-5578


April 27, 2020-

Immanuel Foundation is participating in the Whitefish Community Foundation’s Day of Giving and Unity on May 5 – 6 as an emergency response to the unprecedented need caused by COVID-19.  Donations will help fund technology that will allow Immanuel residents to stay connected to their loved ones while keeping them safe as they socially isolate.  Learn more at If you would like to give, go to between 8am on May 5 and 12pm on May 6.  Thank you!

April 15, 2020-

Click the play button below to hear our CEO, Jason R. Cronk, featured on KGEZ Radio talking about Immanuel Lutheran’s preparedness for COVID-19!


March 25, 2020-

Click here to hear our CEO, Jason R. Cronk, featured on LeadingAge talking about Immanuel Lutheran’s preparedness for COVID-19!


March 25, 2020-

Protecting the well-being of all in our Community has always been our top priority. From the first COVID-19 Response Team meeting, we set out to take a proactive approach, and our efforts will continue until the last case of COVID-19 in the world has recovered. Our team has spent much time over these past weeks actively planning for resource needs, increasing infection control measures, implement travel and illness surveillance, screening team members, and communicating thoroughly and regularly. We continue our laser focus on preventing the introduction of coronavirus into our facility, and we are using every source of guidance from federal and state agencies and the senior living/long term care fields. As we increase our vigilance, we will do all we can to minimize the impact on day to day life while continuing our proactive approach.

Immanuel Lutheran Communities appreciates your incredible dedication to this cause. As we are now in a new phase of prevention, since having multiple reported cases of the coronavirus in the Flathead Valley, it’s time to implement new and more intensified measures.

  • Since March 13th, all visitors, groups and volunteers have been restricted from access to the building.
  • Any staff entering the building is being screened per Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services’ (DPHHS) suggestions.
  • All groups are restricted from meeting across campus, and any residents should practice appropriate social-distancing.
  • Any vendors with deliveries are also being screened if they need to enter the building, and any deliveries are being met at a designated location outdoors.
  • All staff have been asked not to travel out of the county, and if they do, are restricted from entering campus for 14-days following their return.
  • Dining services have been tailored to avoid group gatherings, and also accommodate any residents who are self-quarantining.
  • Any new admissions are being placed in a 14-day quarantine while also being monitored multiple times a day for signs of COVID-19.

We will see this through and emerge stronger. Again, we are appreciative of the understanding and efforts made by you all, and would like to encourage you to continue practicing hand washing measures as well as social distancing from others. We all need to do what we can to protect the well-being of the residents at most risk in our Community.

Additional Resources:
State of Montana COVID-19 Information
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention COVID-19 Information


March 19, 2020-

At Immanuel Lutheran Communities we are committed to providing a safe environment for our residents, their families, and our staff. It is natural to be concerned about the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) and in an effort to keep you all updated with the ever changing environment, we have developed this webpage where current updates will be posted.

This website will be updated daily with the most recent information from our Immanuel Lutheran COVID-19 Response Team, and features a form which allows you to ask questions, and receive a response from a qualified member of our clinical team.

At this time, we do not have any cases of coronavirus, and we are ever vigilant and remain on high alert to stay educated on this disease, and the precautions we need to take should it present itself. We will continue to follow recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), local and state health departments, and by our highly qualified and experienced Immanuel Lutheran Communities Clinical Team. 

Although faced with a challenging and ever-changing environment, we will continue to do what we feel is best for our residents and staff, to avoid the spread of this pandemic to our campus. It is our mission and ministry to provide an environment of support and loving care, and we intend to do just that, no matter the circumstances. We appreciate your ongoing support during this time, and look forward to a future, free of this pandemic.



If you have any questions regarding COVID-19 and Immanuel’s preparedness plan, please complete the below form and a member of staff will touch base with you shortly.



Immanuel Lutheran Communities' COVID-19 Preparedness Plan

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