Knutson COVID-19 Response
Minneapolis, MN – 05/15/2020
The outbreak of the coronavirus (COVID-19) is a significant global health concern. We all continue to be impacted by the unprecedented threat COVID-19 brings each and every day, and now more than ever, we are committed to the well-being of our employees, project partners and communities and are doing what we can to flatten the curve and slow the spread of COVID-19. We continue to follow the guidance of health experts in this rapidly changing situation and have teams meeting daily to closely monitor the situation, so we are able to quickly implement all necessary changes to protocols in accordance with the State Departments of Health and CDC.
While this has been a challenging time for a lot of companies, it has also pushed us to be do-ers and thinkers and come together to solve problems quickly while helping out where we can. Read below to learn a few ways of how Knutson has been able to adapt to our new norm and keep our projects running smoothly.
- Knutson is committed to the health and safety of everyone on our jobsites, from our project managers and field staff, to subcontractors and design professionals, and especially our healthcare clients. Our Minneapolis yard manager, Wayne Brown, saw an “ear saver” on social media that makes masks more comfortable for long term wear. He immediately passed the idea on to VDC Director, Katie Montag, to see if Knutson could produce some in house with our 3D printer. After finding a couple an open-source pattern online through the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, our VDC team went to work! The first round of ear savers was handed out to our field and office employees earlier this week, creating a huge demand for our project partners and owners. We are fortunate enough to have delivered these ear-savers to hospitals in our communities and to those outside our community—like our new detective friends in New York! To date we have delivered almost 900 ear savers from our various offices.
- Our project team out at Child and Adolescent Behavioral Health Services (CABHS) conducted a virtual inspection for the MN Department of Health (MDH). This took collaboration from several departments within Knutson from VDC and project management, to operations and marketing. Travis Brock, our VDC engineer completed a Matterport walkthrough over the weekend, reviewing specific areas of interest with project superintendent, Duane Morningstar ahead of time to ensure all areas of the inspection would be included in the scan. Once completed, the file was sent off to the MDH for review and a Microsoft Teams meeting was set up so the project team could walk the inspectors through the project virtually. Marketing coordinator, Lindsey Jones provided Duane with a phone stabilizer to minimize motion and make the virtual inspection run much smoother. As a result, the MDH was so impressed with the Matterport that they requested the inspection be a Teams meeting with the Matterport scan first and not a live walkthrough. Team Blue put their heads together to provide support with a quick turnaround.
- Another example of how project teams have had to get pretty innovative and creative with site tours was Knutson’s able to provide Northfield Public Schools with Matterport walkthrough videos of the first and second floors of Greenvale Elementary. Along with this, project engineer Byron Schmoker filmed a special sneak peek of the gymnasium that was included in the morning announcements from Principal Sam Richardson. We are thrilled we can help virtually build excitement for these projects and we look forward to the day when students can enjoy their new school in person!
We wanted to give a special thanks to those who are on the front lines and wanted to recognize and celebrate all the hard work that the essential workers of Team Blue have been doing over the last eight weeks. We are thankful that many of our field employees and subcontractors have been able to continue to maintain critical infrastructure while working on projects currently in progress, and breaking ground on several new facilities – they have done this while adapting to even higher safety standards in this unprecedented time. The efforts of Team Blue have ensured continuous functions that are critical to the safety, health, and wellbeing of our communities now and in the future.
More details, photos, and videos can be found on our social pages!