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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 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.
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.

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 set by 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 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
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 2 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. This includes closing schools, restaurants and other common 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:

  • Social distancing: Stay at least 6 feet away from other people if you are in public and avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Hand hygiene: Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after you have been 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.
  • Avoid travel: Stay at home and avoid situations that could result in exposure, especially if you are 65 or older or have underlying medical conditions.

Frequently Asked Questions

We at Tri-County Health Care understand this is a stressful time for our patients, families and communities. Please know we want to help you stay well and recover from any illness. We offer answers to several frequently asked questions about this COVID-19 crisis here.

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:
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 make a donation to Tri-County Health Care, please click here.

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.

Facility updates

Tri-County Health Care is temporarily restructuring its locations during the COVID-19 crisis. See below for changes:

Wadena Clinic & ReadyCare - Normal operations with a few exceptions.

NOTE: Obstetrics and Chemotherapy outpatient care has transitioned to our rehabilitation building. Lab and ultrasound available. By appointment and healthy/non-respiratory patients only.

Verndale Clinic - A specialty clinic for Orthopedics, GYN and General Surgery patients. Limited appointments available for non-respiratory issue patients only.

Bertha Clinic - Currently limited to seeing healthy/non-respiratory patients by appointment only.

Henning Clinic - Currently limited to seeing healthy/non-respiratory patients by appointment only.

Ottertail, Sebeka and Rehabilitation Clinics - Closed for the duration of the crisis.

MDH COVID-19 Hotlines:

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

Guidance for Businesses and Employers to Plan, Prepare and Respond to COVID-19

Governor Walz is going to begin to allow non-customer facing businesses to re-open providing there is a plan to screen employees and keep the sick at home. The CDC has guidelines for preparing workplaces to reduce transmission among employees, and maintaining healthy business operations and work environments. Click here for more information.

Graduation/Commencement Celebration Guidance From the MDH

Multimedia Carousel

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.