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Coronavirus

The worldwide pandemic of a new strain of coronavirus, also know as COVID-19, has been declared a National Emergency. Travel restrictions are in place, schools and businesses are closing, and people are encouraged to avoid unnecessary travel. Tri-County Health Care has restricted all visitors and is screening all patients and employees prior to entering the facility.

REMINDER: IF YOU ARE DISPLAYING SYMPTOMS PLEASE CALL AHEAD BEFORE VISITING ANY MEDICAL FACILITY.

If you believe your symptoms might resemble COVID-19 and want to know if you should be tested, you can complete a free virtual eClinic coronavirus screening here.
For any health questions regarding the Coronavirus, please call the Minnesota Department of Health hotline at 651-201-3920 or toll free at 1-800-657-3903. For additional information, please visit the MDH or CDC websites.

Tri-County Health Care has a coordinated response team monitoring the situation with COVID-19. This includes weekly calls with the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) and the Minnesota Hospital Association (MHA). They coordinate with the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and provide us with the most up to date and accurate information available.

As information on this virus evolves, the CDC updates their guidance. These are helpful links to more information from the CDC and MDH.

10 ways to manage respiratory symptoms at home
Disinfecting your home if someone is sick
How to properly wash your hands
Self-Isolation for Individuals Being Evaluated for COVID-19
Steps to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 if you are sick
Steps to prevent illness
Treatments for common symptoms of COVID-19

Early detection

The CDC believes at this time that symptoms of COVID-19 may appear in as few as 2 days or up to 14 days after exposure.

Symptoms can include:

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath
  • Sore throat

These symptoms also correlate with people who have traveled to infected areas or have come in close contact with infected persons.

Mitigation

The US government has placed travel restrictions on some countries. US citizens that return to the US from infected areas are monitored by health officials. The MDH, in conjunction with the CDC, will test any cases we have in MN.

If a person is sick with COVID-19 or suspect they are infected, follow the steps below to help prevent the disease from spreading.

***CALL AHEAD BEFORE VISITING A MEDICAL FACILITY!***

  • Restrict activities outside of the home, except for getting medical care.
  • Do not go to work, school, or public areas.
  • Separate from other people and animals and stay in a specific room in the home.
  • Cover coughs and sneezes.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I get tested for COVID-19?

Due to a shortage of testing capabilities, only patients experiencing symptoms severe enough to be admitted to the hospital, patients who have known direct contact with someone with COVID-19, or certain health care workers are being tested at this time.

How does COVID-19 spread?

Current understanding about how this Coronavirus spreads is largely based on what is known about similar Coronaviruses.

Person-to-person spread:
This Coronavirus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person.

  • Between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet).
  • Via respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes.
  • These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs.

Spread from contact with infected surfaces or objects:
It may be possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes, but this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads. Good hand hygiene is critical to prevent self-contamination.

When does the spread happen?

People are thought to be most contagious when they are most symptomatic (the sickest).
Spread might be possible before people show symptoms; there have been reports with this new Coronavirus, but this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads.

Can I get immunized?

Three companies are working on a vaccine. The CDC estimates the vaccine is 14 to 16 months away from production.

What can I do to stay healthy?

The MDH suggests taking the same precautions recommended for avoiding colds and flu. These include:
Washing your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.

  • Avoiding contact with people who are sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Staying home when you are sick.
  • Covering your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.

What can I do to help?

We really appreciate all of the community support pouring in to provide our front line staff with more personal protective equipment (PPE)! As we plan for the possible times ahead, we are specifically in need of manufactured N95 masks.

Additional needs include:
Clear plastic face shields
Safety goggles
Safety glasses
Used scrubs
Sealed bottles of hand sanitizer
Encouragement for the health care staff!

However, we will be accepting all donations at this time. Donations may be dropped off on the table located outside the front entrance of the Wadena Clinic.

Volunteers

We are very appreciative of all of our community volunteers who have been helping manufacture health care PPE such as gowns and fabric masks. If you are interested in volunteering, please call 218-632-8796. We will provide instructions for specific designs from our staff and infection control experts. Gowns are calf length and long-sleeved with cuffs. Ideal masks have pockets to place the provided filters.

How do I stay informed?

We will continue to update this website. Alternatively, the CDC is a good source for accurate information.

Multimedia Carousel

Ben Hess, M.D., Navigating Through the COVID-19 Pandemic

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Betty Klingaman, Environmental Services Supervisor, Best Practices for Preventing the Spread of Germs

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Jill Wilkens, PA, Navigating Through the COVID-19 Pandemic

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Theresa Mack, RN, Navigating Through the COVID-19 Pandemic

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Navigating Through the COVID-19 Pandemic

SCROLL (BY CLICKING "PREV" or "NEXT") FOR MORE COVID-19 VIDEOS.

MDH COVID-19 Hotlines:

Toll-Free: 1-800-657-3903
Phone: 651-201-3920

Do You Have Questions about the Governor’s Stay At Home Executive Order?

The State Emergency Operations Center (SEOC) Hotline is now also activated to answer questions regarding Minnesota Governor Tim Walz’s Executive Stay At Home order. Staff from the Departments of Education and Human Services will answer calls from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. The hotline number is 651-297-1304 or toll-free at
800-657-3504.