COVID-19 Updates from Nye Health Services CEO Russ Peterson and Chief Operating Officer Kristin Harris

COVID-19 Updates from Nye Health Services CEO Russ Peterson and Chief Operating Officer Kristin Harris

It’s A New Day! What a day to celebrate: a long overdue “new day” for the senior living industry! We are finally moving beyond the pandemic in the eyes of the CDC and CMS as the Covid Public Health Emergency officially ended on May 11th.

COVID-19 Updates from Nye Health Services CEO Russ Peterson and Chief Operating Officer Kristin Harris

We are proud of everything our team members have accomplished over the past three years and two months. It has been emotionally challenging and difficult as our team members responded to regulations that seemed to change every day. We are also so thankful to our residents and their loved ones who endured the visitation limitations, masks, testing, and vaccinations. Your understanding and support were so meaningful to our team.

We are taking down the covid signage, and our team members no longer need masks unless there is an outbreak. We also will not be required to notify families of every positive Covid case. We are now treating residents with Covid as we do for any infectious disease like the flu or MRSA. 

It has been an emotional rollercoaster, but we are coming in at the ride’s end with all our hands up! Thank you to all our team members, residents, and families as we celebrate a “New Day” for Nye! 

Nye Strong, Nye Proud, Nye Passion

– Russ Peterson and Kristin Harris

Nye Health Services | Award-Winning Assisted Living Facilities

Nye Health Services’ mission is to celebrate life in environments we create by delivering exceptional service and superior value through innovative leadership in personalized care. We provide a complete continuum of healthcare services for older adults seeking independent and assisted living, state-of-the-art rehabilitation, traditional skilled care, or home health care services with campuses in Fremont, Lincoln, and Norfolk, Nebraska.

For more information about our employment opportunities, contact Mollie Cook, Director of Human Resources, at 402-753-1400. To learn more about Nye Health Services, visit us online at www.nyehealthservices.com.

Learn more about our open positions & apply today at: www.nyecareers.com.

COVID-19 Updates from Nye Health Services Chief Operating Officer, Kristin Harris

COVID-19 Updates from Nye Health Services Chief Operating Officer, Kristin Harris

Nye Health Services Residents, Family Members, and Team Members COVID-19 Updates

I am excited to reach out to you for the first time since the announcement of my new position as the Chief Operating Officer and share the new updates that have occurred with COVID-19 updates, management, and guidelines, creating a much less restrictive environment.

The first exciting change is from “active screening” to “passive screening.” We have been completing active screening, meaning you physically have to complete the screening process when you enter the campus. We will now be transitioning to passive screening, meaning you will complete a personal self-screen prior to entering the campus ensuring that you do not have any Covid-19 symptoms and have not been exposed to anyone with Covid-19. We will no longer require anyone to complete screening at the kiosk moving forward! We will have signs posted at the campus entrances to provide everyone with education on the passive screening steps.


The second exciting change is for flexibility of wearing a mask based on the CDC report of county covid transmission levels. When we are in a “high or red” county, or during an outbreak status, all visitors and team members must wear a mask. When we are in a low or moderate county, visitors and team members do not need to wear masks, with the exception of unvaccinated team members, based on the additional Covid-19 mitigating approach.

Family members may choose to unmask, regardless of county covid transmission levels, when in a private room with their loved one. We will post signs on our entrance doors when masks are required. Currently, all of our campuses are in a red or high county, so masks are still required in common areas. We are anxiously awaiting the celebration for when we are in a low or moderate covid transmission level, and we can see everyone’s smiles!

Visitors are no longer restricted from using our community spaces with their loved ones. We are so excited about this change. We value an environment with laughter, celebrations, and spending time with our Nye family members.

Today we celebrate with you! We realize the Covid restrictions on visitation have been difficult, to say the least. We are so thankful for the understanding and support we have received from our residents, family members, and team members. Reflecting back to the beginning of the pandemic, when introductions to new great-grandchildren occurred through the window of their family member, to now reopening our doors with a new spirit of hope and positivity that there truly is a light at the end of the tunnel.


Kristin Harris

Chief Operating Officer

COVID-19 Updates from Nye Health Services Chief Operating Officer, Kristin Harris

Response to Biden Administration Vaccination Mandate

Response to Biden Administration Vaccination Mandate from Nye Health Services CEO, Russ Peterson

President Biden announced recently that he is asking the Department of Health and Human Services to mandate vaccinations of all employees of nursing facilities.  There is much discussion going on behind the scenes on what this means, how it will be implemented, exceptions to vaccinations and timing of implementation.  What we know currently is that this only applies to staff in nursing facilities.  Assisted living and independent campuses were not included in this recommended mandate.

Vaccinations have proven to be a very effective way to protect yourself, your families, the team members on the campus and our residents.  We highly encourage everyone to get vaccinated.  While we also recognize an individual’s choice in making this decision for yourself, we will be required to comply with federal or state mandates as they are implemented.

Last week the FDA gave full approval to the Pfizer vaccine for anyone 16 and older and approval for the Moderna vaccine is expected to come soon.  Our campuses vaccination rates exceed the rate of vaccinations nationally.  Over 93% of our residents and 75% of our team members are currently vaccinated compared to the national average of 83% of residents and 61% of team members.   We are committed to protecting the safety of our residents and team members every day.   If the recent news raises questions, please reach out.  We will keep you informed as we hear more.

Thank you for being part of the Nye family.

COVID-19 Updates from Nye Health Services Chief Operating Officer, Kristin Harris

Covid-19 Visitation Update

Covid-19 Visitation Update from Nye Health Services VP of Operations, Kristin Harris

We have reached a historic time for our organization and country. We have passed the one-year anniversary of the pandemic. I will never forget the day I received the phone call back on Saturday, March 7th, 2020, and was notified that we had our first confirmed Covid-19 positive case in Nebraska. We learned that the individual had participated in a YMCA event with over 500 participants, located in a community where we have three of our Nye Health Services campuses. I will never forget the immediate action taken by our campus teams and leaders to secure our environments and restrict visitation at our three Fremont campus locations, fighting to keep the virus out of our campuses. There was heartache and anxiety felt by everyone because we didn’t really know what to expect.

Our team made personal phone calls to every family member, every team member, and spoke one on one with each of our residents. I clearly remember that our message was intended to be hopeful, that we anticipated a two-week timeline, until contact tracing and exposure risk within the community could be determined. Then two weeks turned into three, and three into four. Then one month turned into two, and so on. It seems completely unbelievable to me looking back at where we were one year ago compared to where we are now. An entire year later, and our guidance is to finally begin accommodating visitation! To say we are beyond excited is an understatement!

We have been hosting many compassionate care visits on our campuses, and the joy accompanied with such an emotional and significant moment for our residents, family members and team members is unparalleled. The love, laughter, and happy tears we get to witness every day create so much eagerness for the joy we have ahead!

As we begin opening the doors to our campuses and easing our visitation restrictions, we will be following the guidance received from CMS and DHHS. We ask for your patience and support as we once again implement new processes to ensure we can maintain the infection precautions in place to reduce the risk of any Covid-19 exposure.

Please review the below critical precautions related to visitation on our campuses to maintain safety and minimize the risk of Covid-19 exposure:

  1. Outdoor visitation is always the preferred method for any visitation due to the minimized risk of exposure to Covid-19, and will be prioritized as weather permits.
  2. Visitors will complete and pass the pre-visit screening on a kiosk located at the entry point to the campus.
  3. Visitors will wear a face mask at all times and complete hand hygiene before and after the visit.
  4. Visitors with any exposure to a Covid-19 positive individual, regardless of the visitor’s vaccination status, will have entry restricted for 14 days past the exposure date.
  5. Visitors will be escorted directly to the resident room at the beginning of the visit, and directly out of the campus at the end of the visit. Visitors may not congregate or gather in any public spaces, including livings rooms, nurses’ stations, dining rooms, hallways, or offices at any time. Since public spaces are prohibited to visitors, including restrooms, please plan accordingly prior to the visit.
  6. If a resident has been fully vaccinated and is 2 weeks post final vaccine, they may choose to have physical contact with a visitor. Yes, that means hugs!!!!  I am anticipating lots of happy tears! Please wear your face mask at all times and sanitize your hands before and after resident contact.
  7. Per the Center for Medicare and Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services, the quarantine period following a medical appointment or resident outing will be contingent upon the vaccination status of the resident, total vaccination status of the resident population, county positivity rate, and vaccination status of any close contacts during the outing. Please complete the Outing Education & Agreement document with a campus team member prior to taking a resident out of the campus for any reason.

Spring is a time of new beginnings and a time where farmers start planting their crops, gardens are planted, animals come out and everything comes back to life. How timely that it aligns with these significant changes and opportunities for our residents, family members and team members. We look forward to seeing you smile with your eyes as you begin celebrating within our environments again and appreciate your support and trust in our services. Our mission is to “Celebrate Life” and this is definitely a time for celebration!

COVID-19 Updates from Nye Health Services Chief Operating Officer, Kristin Harris

Covid-19 Vaccine & Visitation Update

Covid-19 Vaccine & Visitation Update from Nye Health Services VP of Operations, Kristin Harris

Thank you to our residents, family members, and team members for your continued support and patience as we navigate the ever-changing information related to Covid-19 management. We are nearing a year that we have been fighting this battle and the restrictions on visitation for our residents. Within the past few weeks, we have experienced a renewed energy amongst our residents and team members while receiving their Covid-19 vaccines. We are thankful to report we have completed all of our first and second vaccine clinics and are in the process of awaiting the third and final clinic date for anyone who attended the second clinic for their initial vaccine.


To those of you who have received your Covid-19 vaccine, thank you! You are part of the solution to this global pandemic. We appreciate your continued support to keep our community safe and healthy.


As we go back to our lives with the new vaccines on board, it is important to remember the following facts.


Information about your vaccination:

  • You must get two doses to attain the full effect of the vaccine.
  • It takes a few weeks after the second dose to build immunity.
  • The vaccine protects most people from getting ill or sick and becoming hospitalized, but it is still possible that you could carry the virus and be contagious to others.
  • We are still learning how long immunity will last with this vaccine.


Other information about the vaccination process:

  • Although people have begun to receive doses of the COVID-19 vaccine, experts say we’re still facing a long road with the virus.
  • Please expect many restrictions to remain in place for some time as we all work together to reduce COVID-19 transmission.
  • It will take a long time for the vaccine to make a big difference while the pandemic persists.
  • We need to see a large portion of the population get the vaccine- remember the long-term care staff and residents were the first to receive it in a 4–6-month long line.
  • COVID visitation and testing policies in all medical facilities, including long term care and assisted living, may stay the same for many months as researchers continue to learn more about the vaccine and the immunity gained from it.


As we continue to learn, we continue to improve and modify. We are committed to living our mission and creating an environment where “People Live & Work Happy Here.”


If you have questions, please contact the campus administration directly or send your questions to our COVID email: covid@nyehealthservices.com.

COVID-19 Updates from Nye Health Services Chief Operating Officer, Kristin Harris

Covid-19 Vaccine Update

Covid-19 Vaccine Update from Nye Health Services VP of Operations, Kristin Harris

We have received updates and timelines specific to the Covid-19 vaccine distribution plan from our pharmacy partner. The pharmacy staff will provide and administer the vaccines to all residents and team members who have consented to receive the vaccine. The pharmacy anticipates scheduling vaccine clinics for our residents and team members the week of 12/28/20. We will not know the specific date and time of the vaccine clinic until next week.

We know that there may be hesitancy about receiving the vaccine, but we are trusting the science and encourage participation to get us one step closer to hugs, singing and celebrations. We have attached multiple documents from our pharmacy for your review:

In order to ensure we are in compliance with the State Vaccine Plan, we have specific requirements that must be met in order to receive a vaccine, including obtaining verbal or written consent for every individual. Our team will be reaching out to the resident’s Responsible Party via phone to review the consent form.

This is definitely a hopeful time and reason to celebrate during the holiday season, but please be aware that our current guidelines including wearing face masks and personal protective equipment, social distancing and visitation processes will not change upon receipt of this vaccine without further guidance from the Department of Health and Human Services.

If you have questions, please contact the campus administration directly or send your questions to our COVID email: covid@nyehealthservices.com.