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MN Department of Health Officials announce new strategies to slow COVID-19

Mar 13, 2020 01:30PM ● By Editor
Photo:  WDIO-TV

From WDIO-TV - March 13, 2020

Minnesota health officials announced new community level strategies to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in the state Friday.

Some of these strategies include:

  • Event organizers cancelling or postponing gatherings with 250 or more people, including concerts, conferences, professional and amateur performances or sporting events.
  •  Event organizers cancelling or postponing smaller events (those with less than 250 people) that are held in settings that do not allow social distancing of 6 feet per person.
  • Event organizers limiting attendance to no more than 10 people for events where the majority of participants are at higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19.
  •  People and families at higher risk of severe COVID-19 illness staying at home and avoiding gatherings or other situations of potential exposures, including travel.
  • Employers making telework arrangements for workers whose duties can be done remotely.
  • Employers staggering work schedules and limiting non-essential work travel.
  • Health care facilities and assisted-living facilities more strictly limiting visitors.
  • Faith-based organizations offering video or audio events.
  • Hospitals and other health care facilities implementing triage before entering facilities (for example, parking lot triage, phone triage, and telemedicine to limit unnecessary visits).

The full set of recommendations is available on the MDH Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) website.

The Minnesota Department of Health has not recommended that K-12 schools close unless specifically advised to do so by health officials. However, as the situation evolves there may be points where specific or broad closures would be ordered. Parents of children and teens with underlying health conditions should consider distance learning as a precaution.

According to the Minnesota Department of Health, shopping for groceries and other items is not affected by these recommendations, although it is a good idea to limit close contact when doing so – and people who are sick should not be shopping or using transit. They should stay home until they recover.

“We know these strategies will impact the lives of all Minnesotans, but we are hopeful we can reduce the impacts of this outbreak by working together,” Commissioner Malcolm said. “All Minnesotans share the risks and the responsibilities now.”

"For everyone, the responsibility first and foremost is to stay home when you are sick,” Commissioner Malcolm said. “I want to make it clear that this applies to everyone – no exceptions during a serious outbreak like this. For communities and organizations, the responsibility means making temporary adjustments to events, operations and activities to help make person-to-person transmission less likely.”

To read the original article and see related reporting, follow this link to the WDIO-TV website.

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