Local health officials urge residents to practice everyday health habits as COVID-19 cases increase in region
MANKATO, June 25, 2020 — As the Mankato region is experiencing an increase in COVID-19 cases, the South Central Healthcare Coalition recommends practicing everyday health habits outlined by Minnesota Department of Health.
· Practice social distancing keeping 6 feet away from others when possible.
· Wear a face mask in public settings where distancing is difficult to maintain.
· Stay home when you are sick.
· Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds; use hand sanitizer when soap is not available.
· Routinely clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces.
· Contact your health care provider regarding symptoms and testing.
Mayo Clinic Health System and Mankato Clinic are seeing higher patient volumes in their respiratory clinics and testing tents. Blue Earth County reported 267 COVID-19 cases with a large majority of recent cases in the 19-25-year-old age range as of June 24.
“Minnesota Department of Health research shows that a significant number of Minnesotans infected with COVID-19 are spreading the virus before showing symptoms,” says Eric Gomez, M.D., infectious diseases specialist, Mayo Clinic Health System. “This reinforces the importance for all of us, regardless of symptoms, to wear masks, socially distance ourselves, and wash our hands thoroughly and frequently to slow the spread of the disease.”
Minnesota Department of Health recommends that people with symptoms should stay home until they feel better, it has been 10 days since they first felt sick; and they have had no fever for the last three days, without using medicine that lowers fevers. Individuals in close contact with coworkers or household members who have COVID-19 should self-isolate for 14 days (10 days for critical workers).
“Since symptoms can develop from 2 to 14 days after exposure, it’s important for people who have been in close contact with a coworker or household member to self-isolate for 14 days. A negative test does not mean an individual can return to work. A future test may be positive,” said James Dungan, M.D., occupational health, Mankato Clinic. “By self-isolating for 14 days, you can help keep our vulnerable neighbors and community safe.”
Blue Earth County Public Health coordinates essential services to residents diagnosed with COVID-19 or directed by a health care professional to self-isolate due to an exposure.
Minnesota Department of Health offers guidelines on COVID-19 and When to Return to Work and What to Do if an Employee has COVID-19. The CDC offers guidance to weigh the risks of going out or participating in public activities.
The South Central Healthcare Coalition is a collaboration of private and public partners who work together to prepare for, respond to, and recover from emergency events. Coalition members include healthcare organizations, hospitals, public health agencies, public safety, emergency management, long-term care facilities, educational institutions and others.