PARK RAPIDS, MN (March 19, 2020) To protect the public’s health and the health of our employees in response to the COVID-19, CHI St. Joseph’s Health is following guidelines from the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
On March 17, 2020, MDH announced a shortage of COVID-19 laboratory testing materials, forcing the state of Minnesota to adjust its testing criteria. Testing now focuses on the highest priority specimens, including hospitalized patients, health care workers, and those in congregate living settings such as long- term care facilities. As of today, March 19, 2020, there are no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Hubbard county.
Respiratory illnesses are circulating in our community that have similar symptoms to COVID-19. There is also confirmed community spread of COVID-19 in the state of Minnesota. Most COVID-19 cases (and other respiratory illnesses) are mild and can be managed at home. The symptoms of COVID-19 include fever, cough, and shortness of breath. Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure. Those who are older, have weakened or compromised immune systems, and those with chronic health conditions are at greater risk for severe illness.
Community mitigation and social distancing are crucial during this time to prevent the spread of illness in our community. With limited testing, these are our best tools to keep our community safe, especially those who are most vulnerable. Please follow these guidelines to keep yourself and your neighbors safe and healthy:
- Stay home as much as possible, leaving only for essential needs.
- Practice social distancing, staying 6 feet away from others.
- Avoid gatherings of 10 or more.
- Wash your hands frequently, clean frequently touched surfaces, avoid contact with sick people, cover your cough, and avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
- Refer to the MDH website link for Strategies to Slow the Spread of COVID-19 https://www.health.state.mn.us/diseases/coronavirus/action.html
If you are ill, please follow this guidance:
- If you have symptoms and can manage those symptoms at home, you don’t have to seek health care or be tested for COVID-19. Just stay home while you are sick.
- If you are older or have underlying medical conditions, it may be helpful to let your health care provider know you are sick. They may have specific advice for you.
- Some people with COVID-19 have worsened during the second week of illness. If your symptoms worsen at any point, and you do need to go see a doctor, call ahead before going in.
- If you are ill, you need to remain in isolation from others who are healthy.
- Refer to the MDH website link for What To Do if You Are Sick. This link also has a “Self-Checker” option available as a helpful resource. https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/if-you-are-sick/steps-when-sick.html
Working together as a community to limit the spread of COVID-19 is essential to protect our most vulnerable. More resources and latest local updates are available on our website: https://chisjh.org/
Effective 3/19/20, CHI St. Joseph’s Health, in partnership with Essentia Health, will be screening all patients, visitors, contractors, and vendors entering the building. Patient visitors are limited to immediate family only, two visitors at a time.