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Coronavirus

An outbreak of a new strain of Coronavirus, also known as COVID-19, has led to a worldwide pandemic. Tri-County Health Care has been working to ensure that our patients have a safe and reliable way to receive care during this crisis. We have developed new guidelines and measures to minimize the risk of COVID-19 transmission so patients have peace of mind and can focus on getting the care they need.

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

We are testing people with COVID-19 symptoms by appointment at our Wadena location.

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.

Your Health is Essential and Your Safety is Our Top Priority

Tri-County Health Care has a coordinated response team monitoring the COVID-19 situation. This includes working with the Minnesota Hospital Association and following guidelines from the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) and Centers for Disease Control (CDC). Postponing appointments and surgeries in March and April allowed time to increase testing capabilities, acquire personal protective equipment and develop and implement new safety precautions.

  • In-person appointments and procedures: Each patient’s circumstances are evaluated to determine if in-person care is required or if their care can be handled through eClinic or Video Visits.
  • Visitor Restrictions: To reduce the number of people in our facilities, we are currently restricting visitors to lower the risk of exposure between patients, visitors and staff.
  • Screening: All patients, visitors and staff are screened for COVID-19 symptoms and have their temperature checked before entering the building.
  • Masks and hand sanitizer: Everyone is required to wear face masks at Tri-County Health Care. Hand sanitizer is also available at all entrances and our health care staff sanitize their hands before and after each patient encounter.
  • Cleaning and disinfection: All high-touch surfaces and areas are thoroughly cleaned and disinfected after patient contact. Waiting rooms are cleaned hourly and all restrooms are cleaned every two hours. Exam rooms are disinfected after each appointment. Click here to learn how Tri-County Health Care is creating a safe environment for patients to meet with their providers.
  • Social distancing: New processes have been put in place to reduce the number of people in waiting rooms and at registration to create a safe distance between people.

As information about 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
How to make your own face covering
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 ofCOVID-19

Early detection

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

Symptoms can include:

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath
  • Sore throat

Click here to see a full list of COVID-19 symptoms and how it differs from influenza, the common cold and allergies.

Mitigation

There are ways people can slow how quickly the virus spreads, which includes limiting capacity in indoor spaces, asking employees to work from home, canceling large community events and gatherings, and wearing cloth masks in public.

These mitigation strategies are the most important in slowing the spread of the virus:

  • If you feel ill, stay home: Everyone is at risk of infection and if you feel sick, the best way to protect others is to reinforce the need to stay home. Monitor your health daily and be alert for symptoms.
  • Wear a mask: COVID-19 spreads through respiratory droplets. Masks can prevent infected droplets from entering your airway. Forty percent of people with COVID-19 are asymptomatic. That means you might have the virus and wearing a mask could prevent others from being infected by you.
  • Stay Six Feet Apart: Until there is a vaccine for COVID-19, limit your physical proximity to others. The CDC recommends maintaining a minimum of six feet between yourself and others.
  • Hand hygiene: Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after being in a public place, after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing. Use hand sanitizer that contains at least 60 percent alcohol if soap and water are not available.
  • Cover your cough: Always cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze.

When to seek emergency medical attention

Our Emergency Department is prepared to take care of critically sick or injured people in our community. We want to stress the importance of not delaying emergency care and to call 911 for any of the following symptoms: chest pain, compound fracture, difficulty breathing, heart attack, head injuries, major trauma, seizures, severe abdominal pain, severe burns, shock, stroke or uncontrollable breathing.

For COVID-19, look for emergency warning signs and seek medical attention immediately if you're having trouble breathing, persistent pain or pressure in the chest, new confusion, inability to wake or stay awake, or bluish lips or face.

What can I do to help?

We 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:
Cloth face masks (Click here for pattern and instructions)
Clear plastic face shields

Safety goggles
Safety glasses
Used scrubs
Sealed bottles of hand sanitizer
Encouragement for the health care staff!

Tri-County Health Care has partnered with The Creative Coalition, Association for Healthcare Philanthropy and the American Hospital Association to launch the "Protect the Heroes" campaign, which provides direct support to local health care workers. To donate to Tri-County Health Care, please click here.

Volunteers

We appreciate 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.

MDH COVID-19 Hotlines:

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


We are testing people with COVID-19 symptoms by appointment at our Wadena location.
Cost:
COVID-19 test - $125
COVID-19 antibody test - $79

ALL OTHER LAB APPOINTMENTS:
To reduce congestion, limit wait times and ensure proper sanitization between draws, appointments are now required for lab patients in Wadena. Schedule your appointment at 218-631-3510.

Clinic Lab Hours:
Monday - Friday
7:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.

Face Covering Requirements and Recommendations under Executive Order 20-81

As of July 25, 2020, per the Governor's Executive Order 20-81, people in Minnesota must wear a face covering in all public indoor spaces and businesses, unless alone. Additionally, workers are required to wear a face covering when working outdoors in situations where social distancing cannot be maintained. Research has shown that the use of face coverings can significantly reduce the risk of infection when combined with other prevention efforts such as social distancing and hand hygiene. Learn more here.

Tri-County Health Care requires everyone to wear a face covering while inside the building. There are limited exceptions to the Governor's Executive Order that must be supported by prior medical documentation. Click here for additional details.

Use of Cloth Face Coverings Among K-12 Students

As students begin to return to school, there are considerations regarding the use of face coverings. The CDC recommends that people, including teachers, staff and students wear cloth face coverings in public settings when around people who live outside of their household. It is especially important when other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain. This table provides examples of situations schools may encounter.

Multimedia Carousel

Virtual Town Hall - 7/7/20

This is the recorded version of the Town Hall event that took place on 7/7/20. Joel Beiswenger, CEO and Dr. Ben Hess, Chief Medical Officer provide an update on the Coronavirus situation.

Virtual Town Hall - 5/7/20

This is the recorded version of the Town Hall event that took place on 5/7/20. Joel Beiswenger, CEO and Dr. Ben Hess, Chief Medical Officer provide an update on the Coronavirus situation.

COVID-19 Conversation with Dr. Ben Hess of Tri-County Health Care

Eric Osberg with Otter Tail Lakes Country talks with Dr. Ben Hess of Tri-County Health Care to get his thoughts on the COVID-19 situation.

Virtual Town Hall - 4/7/20

This is the recorded version of the Town Hall event that took place on 4/7/20. Joel Beiswenger, CEO and Dr. Ben Hess, Chief Medical Officer provide an update on the Coronavirus situation.

Multimedia Carousel

Mental Health Through the COVID-19 Pandemic

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

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

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

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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Alfredmy Chessor, M.D., Navigating Through the COVID-19 Pandemic

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

Navigating Through the COVID-19 Pandemic

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