Coronavirus Updates

Sleepy Eye Medical Center’s Dr. John Pelzel visiting with Craig Hansen on Community Accent September 2

COVID-19 Community Testing

The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) works in partnership with communities to provide safe and free on-site COVID-19 testing in areas with outbreaks, increasing cases, or other barriers to access existing test sites.

Visit COVID-19 Community Testing to sign up for an appointment or learn more.

Blue Earth County

Wednesday, September 2
& Thursday, September 3
12 p.m. – 7 p.m.
Minnesota State Univeristy, Mankato
Myers Field House
190 Stadium Road
Mankato, MN 56001

Springfield City Hall
Closed to the Public – Reopening Sept. 2nd
City Hall is closed to the public in the interest of public safety
due to a team member testing positive for COVID-19.
Those in recent prolonged contact with the individual were identified swiftly and isolated according to the recommendations provided by public health.
The public is encouraged to continue using the drop box for services and contact The City at 507-723-3500 if you need immediate assistance.
Please note that Title Transfers will not be completed until the office reopens and that you may experience processing delays during this period.
Everyone in the community is reminded to actively practice social
distancing to help slow the spread of COVID-19 in the community and
follow current guidelines provided by the Minnesota Department of Health.
We thank you for your patience and understanding as The City takes the necessary steps to keep employees safe and continue providing services.


Stay Safe MN logo
Minnesota Department of Health COVID-19 Update

Minnesota Department of Health
COVID-19 Community Testing

The Minnesota Department of Health works in partnership with communities to provide safe and free on-site COVID-19 testing in areas with outbreaks, increasing cases, or other barriers to access existing test sites.

Visit COVID-19 Community Testing to sign up for an appointment or learn more.

McLeod County

Thursday, August 20
2 – 9 p.m.
Glencoe City Center
1107 11th Street East
Glencoe, MN 55336
Get tested for COVID-19. Stay Safe MN

We strongly encourage you to sign up for an appointment using the registration link on COVID-19 Community Testing. Signing up ahead of time helps avoid long lines. People who walk in without an appointment might have to come back later or another day. https://www.primarybio.com/r/mcleod

Brown County Public Health Interview on August 13

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 are required to 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 use of face coverings can greatly reduce the risk of infection when combined with other prevention efforts such as social distancing and hand hygiene.

For more information about face coverings and the Executive Order, please see the Frequently Asked Questions About the Requirement to Wear Face Coverings.
Types of Face Coverings

Types of face coverings can include a paper or disposable mask, a cloth mask, a neck gaiter, a scarf, a bandanna, or a religious face covering.
A face covering must cover the nose and mouth completely. The covering should not be overly tight or restrictive and should feel comfortable to wear.
Any mask that incorporates a valve that is designed to facilitate easy exhaling, mesh masks, or masks with openings, holes, visible gaps in the design or material, or vents are not sufficient face coverings because they allow droplets to be released from the mask.
A face covering is not a substitute for social distancing, but is especially important in situations when maintaining at least a 6-foot distance from other individuals not who are not members of the same household is not possible.
It is not known whether face shields (a clear plastic barrier that covers the face) provide the same source control for droplets as face masks, but they may be an option in situations where wearing a face mask is problematic. For optimal protection, the shield should extend below the chin and to the ears, and there should be no exposed gap between the forehead and the shield’s headpiece.
Although medical-grade masks (e.g., surgical face masks, N95 respirators) are sufficient face coverings, members of the public who do not work in health care or an occupation that requires medical-grade protective equipment (e.g., certain construction professions) are discouraged from wearing them as they should be reserved for those workers.

Persons exempted from the face covering requirement

Children under age 2 years must not wear face coverings. Children between the ages of 2 and 5 years old are not required to wear face coverings, but are encouraged to wear a face covering when in public if they can do so reliably in compliance with CDC guidance on How to Wear Cloth Face Coverings (i.e., without frequently touching or removing the face covering).
Persons who have medical or other health conditions, disabilities or mental health, developmental, or behavioral needs that make it difficult to tolerate wearing a face covering.
Any person who has trouble breathing, is unconscious, sleeping, incapacitated, or is otherwise unable to remove the face covering without assistance.
Persons at their workplace when wearing a face covering would create a safety hazard to the person or others as determined by local, state, or federal regulators or workplace safety guidelines.
Alternatives to masks such as clear face shields may be considered for those with health conditions or situations where wearing a mask is problematic. Face shields may also be used as an alternative to face coverings when specifically permitted in the applicable Industry Guidance available at Stay Safe Minnesota.

When it is required to wear a face covering

In all public indoor spaces and businesses, including when waiting outside to enter the public indoor space or business.
When riding on public transportation such as buses or trains, or in a taxi, ride-sharing vehicle, or vehicle that is being used for a business purpose.
For workers only: When working outdoors in situations where social distancing (i.e., maintaining physical distance of at least six feet from other individuals who are not in the same household) cannot be maintained.
When present in a business, whether indoor or outdoor, that has elected to require face coverings. Businesses are allowed to require face coverings even in situations where face coverings are not otherwise required by Executive Order 20-81.
When applicable industry guidance, available at Stay Safe Minnesota, specifically requires face coverings (refer to the industry-specific guidance section, below).

When a face covering is not required

When at home or in an assigned room or living unit in a place of temporary lodging (e.g., hotel or motel room) or other place whether a person may reside short- or long-term (e.g., shelter, dormitory, residential treatment facility, long-term care facility, correctional facility).
However, workers who enter a person’s home or assigned living unit for purposes of their job—for example, home health care aides or staff in a residential treatment, long-term care, or correctional facility—must wear face coverings when doing so. Certain facilities—including hospitals, shelters, long-term care facilities, residential programs licensed under Minnesota Statutes chapter 245D, residential treatment facilities, or correctional facilities—may also require visitors and residents, patients, or inmates to wear face coverings even when in a living unit.
When in a private vehicle being used for private (i.e., non-business) purposes.
When outdoors or participating in outdoor recreation (e.g., exercising, walking, gardening) for private purposes. However, workers are required to wear face coverings when working outdoors in situations where social distancing cannot be maintained.
Even in situations where face coverings are not required, all persons should carry a face covering to prepare for close interactions with others or to enter an indoor space.

When can a face covering can be temporarily removed

While eating or drinking, if you can maintain 6 feet of physical distance from others who are not a member of the same party.
When someone asks to verify an identity for lawful purposes, such as when ordering an alcoholic beverage or entering certain events.
When participating in an activity in which the face covering will get wet. For example, when swimming.
While communicating with someone who is deaf or hard of hearing, or who has a medical condition, disability, or mental health condition that makes communication with that individual while wearing a mask difficult, provided that social distancing is maintained to the extent possible between persons who are not members of the same household.
While receiving a service—including a dental examination or procedure, medical examination or procedure, or personal care service–that cannot be performed or would be difficult to perform when the individual receiving the service is wearing a face covering.
When alone, such as when working in an office or a cubicle with walls higher than face level when social distancing is maintained, in an enclosed indoor area, in a vehicle, or in the cab of heavy equipment or machinery. In such situations, persons should still carry face coverings to be prepared to wear when no longer alone.
When participating in organized sports where the level of exertion makes wearing a face covering difficult.
When participating in indoor physical exercise—such as in a gym or fitness center—where the level of exertion makes wearing a face covering difficult, as long as social distancing can be maintained at all times.
When testifying, speaking, singing, or performing in an indoor business or public indoor space, in situations or settings such as theaters, news conferences, courtroom proceedings, or lectures, provided that social distancing is always maintained. Face shields should be considered as an alternative in these situations.
During practices or performances in an indoor business or indoor public space when a face covering cannot be used while playing a musical instrument, provided that social distancing is always maintained.

When it is strongly recommended (but not required) to wear a face covering

In any public outdoor space or business when it is not possible to maintain 6 feet of physical distance from others or where close person-to-person interaction is possible or likely, such as when entering or exiting a business, moving around in a space with others present, using the restroom, ordering food, or waiting in line.
In private social gatherings—for example, when visiting in a private home with friends or relatives that do not reside in the same household—especially when it is not possible to maintain 6 feet of physical distance from others.
At home, for individuals experiencing symptoms of COVID-19. This will help protect other members of the same household from being infected.
During participation in organized sporting activities, if wearing a face covering is safe and pratical.
When at home or in a private vehicle when someone who is not a member of the same household is present, particularly when social distancing cannot be maintained.

Businesses’ obligations under the Executive Order

Under Executive Order 20-81, businesses must:

Require that all persons, including their workers, customers, and visitors, wear face coverings as required by Executive Order 20-81 and take reasonable steps to enforce the requirement.
Mitigate or eliminate worker and customer exposure to persons who cannot wear or refuse to wear a face covering.
Update their COVID-19 Preparedness Plans to include the face covering requirements of Executive Order 20-81, inform their workers how their plan has been updated, and make the revised plan available to their workers.
Post one or more signs that are visible to all persons—including workers, customers, and visitors—instructing them to wear face coverings as required by Executive Order 20-81.
When possible, provide accommodations to persons, including their workers and customers, who state they have a medical condition, mental health condition, or disability that makes it unreasonable for the person to maintain a face covering. Accommodations could include permitting use of an alternate form of face covering—a face shield, for example—or providing service options that do not require a customer to enter the business.

Executive Order 20-81 does not:

Require businesses or their workers to enforce face covering requirements when it is unsafe to do so.
Authorize businesses to restrain, assault, or physically remove workers or customers who refuse to comply with Executive Order 20-81 when it would not otherwise be legal to do so.
Authorize businesses and their workers to violate other laws, including anti-discrimination laws.

For additional information about the steps businesses can take to ensure compliance with Executive Order 20-81, refer to Executive Order 20-81 which is available at Executive Orders from Governor Walz, and the Frequently Asked Questions About the Requirement to Wear Face Coverings.

State, local health officials offering free COVID-19 testing in St. James July 8
Testing on Wednesday is free and open to all, with or without symptoms

Responding to an increase in COVID-19 cases in Watonwan County, the State of Minnesota is partnering with the City of St. James and Watonwan County Public Health to offer COVID-19 testing on July 8. Testing is free and available to anyone who wants to be tested.

Date: Wednesday, July 8
Time: Noon – 7 p.m.
Location:
St. James Middle/Senior High School
1001 10th Avenue North
St. James, MN 56081

Anyone who wants to be tested is encouraged to come, even if they don’t have symptoms of COVID-19. No insurance or identification is needed. Residents of Watonwan and neighboring counties are eligible to be tested, but we encourage those who live farther away to be tested at their local clinics. For help finding a nearby location, see Find Testing Locations.

To avoid long lines, we encourage you to pre-register for a time slot. Visit St. James Community COVID-19 Testing: Schedule Your Appointment for more information and to sign up for an appointment. https://www.primarybio.com/r/stjames

State, local health officials offering free COVID-19 testing in Madelia July 1
Testing is free and open to all, with or without symptoms

Responding to an increase in COVID-19 cases in Watonwan County, the State of Minnesota is partnering with the City of Madelia, Madelia Community Hospital and Clinic, and Watonwan County Public Health to offer COVID-19 testing on July 1. Testing is free and available to anyone who wants to be tested.

Date: Wednesday, July 1
Time: 12 p.m. – 7 p.m.
Location:
Madelia High School
320 Buck Ave SE, Madelia, MN 56062

“COVID-19 can spread easily in communities, and sometimes people can spread the infection when they don’t even know they are infected,” said Minnesota Commissioner of Health Jan Malcolm. “No one wants to pass this illness to their friends or family. Getting tested provides vital information and peace of mind on an individual level, and on a community level it helps us protect those providing essential services and slow the spread of the disease.”

Anyone who wants to be tested is encouraged to come, even if they don’t have symptoms of COVID-19. No insurance or identification is needed. Residents of Watonwan and neighboring counties are eligible to be tested, but we encourage those who live farther away to be tested at their local clinics. For help finding a nearby location, see Find Testing Locations https://mn.gov/covid19/for-minnesotans/if-sick/testing-locations/index.jsp.

To avoid long lines, we encourage you to pre-register for a time slot. Visit COVID-19 Testing at Madelia High School for more information and to sign up for an appointment https://www.primarybio.com/r/madelia .
The situation is changing rapidly. Visit Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) for the most up-to-date information and follow MDH on Facebook, Twitter, & Instagram to stay informed.

NUMC offers drive-thru testing

6/5/2020

New Ulm Medical Center (NUMC) announced they will offer appointments-only curbside COVID-19 testing starting Monday, June 8. NUMC can offer this service due to increased access to testing kits and positive reaction from our patients using curbside lab service. Patients who believe they may be experiencing symptoms can call 217-5011 to schedule a virtual visit with a provider to determine the need for testing. Curbside testing will be available 2:30 to 5 p.m. on weekdays. Curbside testing can be done within five minutes. Test results should be available within 24 to 48 hours. An appointment for curbside testing is required.

With the increased availability for testing, persons experiencing symptoms consistent with COVID-19 are encouraged to call their local healthcare provider who will determine if you should be tested. Symptoms consistent with COVID-19 include but are not limited to fever, new or worsening cough, new or worsening shortness of breath, chills, muscle pain, sore throat, and/or new loss of taste or smell.

It is also equally important to maintain good mental health and well-being during this challenging time.  There are many resources available if you are struggling with your mental health.  Check in with your family and friends often while practicing the protective recommendations listed above.  Control what you listen to and how often you are listening to the news and social media.  Spread kindness through positive messages or through a simply smile to a stranger.

Mental Health Hotline: South Central Mobile Crisis Services/Crisis Center (Horizon Homes)24 hour Crisis/Warm line 1-877-399-3040

MDH has set up a public hotline that is open 7:00am-7:00pm (M-F) and 8-4 weekends and that hotline number is 651-201-3920.

Essential Services Hotline for Residents of Brown County

Need assistance getting food, medicine, shelter, or transportation? Brown County Public Health’s essential service request line is available Monday-Friday from 10am-2pm. If it is before or after those hours, leave a message and we will get back to you as soon as we can.

Hours: Monday -Friday 10am to 2pm
Phone Number: (507) 233-6808

Additional information regarding COVID-19 can be found on the CDC and MDH websites:

https://www.cdc.gove/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html

Minnesota Department of Health

http://www.health.state.mn.us/diseases/coronavirus/index.html

 

Businesses have been watching for recommendations on how to make their workplaces as safe as possible for team members and customers, once the time is right. The State Chamber, working with federal officials, issued guidelines this week. Here is the link to the State Chamber’s recommendations:

 

Additional information regarding COVID-19 can be found on the CDC and MDH websites: https://www.cdc.gove/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html

Minnesota Cases found here:https://www.health.state.mn.us/diseases/coronavirus/situation.html

The Minnesota Department of Health coronavirus hotline for health questions is 651-201-3920. It is staffed 7am-7pm. Schools and Child Care questions: 651-297-1304……7am-7pm

If you are having difficulty with your mental well being from the stress of COVID 19 reach out and ask for help. You can find resources for that on our Brown County website
or call our essential services hotline for the resources at 233-6808 M-F 10:00 AM – 2:00 PM or
leave a message.