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COVID-19

Information & Resources

Updated 03-08-2021

Aitkin County strives to keep the citizens up to date about COVID-19 and meet the needs of our community members during this historic and unsettling time. If you have any questions or concerns about COVID-19, call 218-927-7200 or 800-328-3744, and ask for the Public Health COVID-19 Response Team.

Public Health has vaccine and appointments are currently available for a clinic scheduled on Wednesday, March 10th at First Lutheran Church. If you are a healthcare worker, work in PK-12 education or licensed childcare or are 65+ years of age and are interested in a vaccination, please call 218-927-7200 to schedule an appointment.

Stay Safe COVID-19 Resource Newsletter 03-05-2021

Updated Requirements and Recommendations

Includes information on the following categories and more.

  • Childcare Programs & Summer Camps
  • Businesses and Employers
  • Community and Faith Based Communities
  • K-12 Schools and Youth Sports
  • Worker Safety and Support
  • Face Masks and Face Mask Equipment

COVID-19 RESOURCES & ASSISTANCE


FAQ's

The Minnesota Department of reviews CDC guidelines for vaccine distribution and then creates a statewide plan specific to Minnesota. The Department of Health first allocated vaccine to those in Phase 1a: healthcare providers, long term care residents, emergency medical providers (whether EMS, first responders, or those that render care first on the scene of an accident or fire), congregate care providers and assisted living providers. More recently, they have allocated vaccine for daycare providers, school staff and individuals 65+ years old.

Initial vaccine allocated to Local Public Health Departments was intended to ensure that those eligible and not provided for through hospitals (hospital staff) or pharmacies (Long Term Care Facilities) were covered. Aitkin County Public Health Nurses have been providing vaccination clinics to groups throughout Aitkin County. First, Public Health Staff contacted each organization to find out how many of their members were interested in being vaccinated. As vaccine is allocated and received a clinic site is set up and coordinated. Each organization is again contacted to inform them of the site and date and how members can register for an appointment time. Using this process, Public Health has immunized Aitkin County First Responders, Emergency Medical Services, Fire Departments, Search & Rescue and Law Enforcement personnel who respond to health emergencies, accidents and fires. They also provided vaccination to interested dental, eyecare, chiropractic, morticians and mental healthcare providers, as well as personal care attendants, essential service providers who assist in nursing facilities, adult foster care providers and other congregate care providers.

Next MDH allocated vaccine for childcare providers, school staff, and those 65+. Selected Aitkin County childcare and school staff that were offered the opportunity to attend an MDH pilot site located in Mountain Iron. MDH also opened several sites in the state for 65+. Registration was made available online and later by random drawing of those registered.

Aitkin County Public Health, Riverwood Healthcare Center, and GuidePoint Pharmacy have been working together to coordinate delivery of vaccine to target populations according to ability and allotments. Aitkin County Public Health provided vaccinations to all school staff and childcare providers at the end of January and beginning of February, more recently, along with Riverwood Healthcare and GuidePoint Pharmacy, they began serving individuals 65+. Further information and registration opportunities will be messaged when more vaccine is allocated. As the Department of Health defines and determines eligibly for new target groups, information will be provided via media outlet sources.

There is currently no vaccine to prevent coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends everyday preventive actions to help prevent the spread of respiratory diseases, including:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe. Remember light switches and cell phones too.

Public Health's core functions during this time are communication, advocacy, education and ensuring needs are met. Risk communication is a core public health intervention in any disease outreach or health emergency. It refers to the exchange of information, advice and opinions between experts, officials and people who face the concerns to their well-being, to enable informed decision-making. Public Health is continually monitoring the quickly changing landscape of the pandemic to best educate our communities, our businesses and organizations. We attempt to quickly identify gaps in services and collaborate to consider how best to meet those needs.

  • Stay home from work and school. Stay away from other public places. If you must go out, avoid any kind of public transportation or ride sharing. Household members should also stay home and monitor for symptoms.
  • Monitor you symptoms carefully. If your symptoms get worse, call your healthcare provider.
  • Get rest and stay hydrated
  • If you have a medical appointment, call the healthcare provider ahead of time and tell them that you have or may have COVID-19.
  • For medical emergencies, call 911 and notify dispatch that you have or may have COVID-19.
  • Cover your cough and sneezes
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or clean your hands with an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
  • As much as possible, stay in a specific room and away from other people in your home. Also, you should use a separate bathroom, if available. If you need to be around other people in or outside of the home, wear a facemask.
  • Avoid sharing personal items with other people in your household, like dishes, towels, or bedding.
  • Clean all surfaces that are touched often, like counters, tabletops, and doorknobs. Use household cleaning sprays or wipes according to the label instructions

If you have confirmed COVID-19 or are symptomatic but do not seek testing, you must isolate at home until all three of the following are true:

  • It has been at least 10 days since you first began feeling sick (symptom onset)
  • AND
  • Your cough, shortness of breath, or other symptoms have improved
  • AND
  • You are fever free for at least 24 hours without the use of medication that reduces fever.

If your COVID-19 test is negative, you may return to normal activity once you are feeling better and you are fever free for at least 24 hours without the use of medication that reduces fever.

Riverwood Healthcare Center is testing all symptomatic individuals and asymptomatic individuals that request to be tested. Testing is available at the Aitkin and McGregor clinics by appointment. Call 218-927-2157 to schedule. For COVID specific information, you can call the Riverwood COVID hotline at 218-927-1323.


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