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SWHHS makes COVID-19 appeal

Staff Writer
Redwood Falls Gazette
Redwood Falls Gazette

The Southwest Health and Human Services (SWHHS) counties of Lincoln, Lyon, Murray, Pipestone, Redwood and Rock have dangerously high community transmission rates of COVID-19.

Due to that reality, SWHHS remains deeply committed to the health and well-being of its residents, employees and communities.

The SWHHS board urges all community members to take personal responsibility for the health of communities in the region.

The number of individuals infected, severe cases leading to hospitalization and individuals dying from COVID-19 related deaths continues to rise throughout Minnesota.

According to the most recent information provided by SWHHS, there have been 58 COVID-19-related deaths in SWHHS counties.

Higher rates of virus transmission in the community increase the risk for all members of area communities, including residents and staff in healthcare and long-term care facilities.

The rise in the number of cases has a significant impact on hospitals and the healthcare system. It overloads valuable resources like availability of beds, supplies, medications and staff.

The residents and staff in these facilities are at serious risk even as they take great action to limit infections. When community spread is this significant, all workforces are inevitably affected due to exposure or illness.

According to SWHHS, all citizens and employers need to take aggressive action to stop the spread of COVID-19. 

The SWHHS county commissioners unanimously voiced their support of the efforts to stop the spread of COVID-19 and urge communities, schools, businesses and patrons to follow these guidelines:

• Monitor your health daily. If you feel unwell please stay home.

• Get tested if you have symptoms or if you are a close contact. Follow isolation and quarantine guidelines. Identification can help stop the spread.

• Cover your mouth and nose with a mask when around others. Everyone must wear a mask in public settings and when around people who don’t live in your household, especially when other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain.

• Maintain social distance. When out in public, maintain six feet of distance between yourself and others who do not live in your home. Avoid any large gatherings. Stay home as much as possible. If someone in your home is ill, keep at least six feet of distance from them if possible.

• Limit gathering sizes to 10 or less. Do not attend events if you are high risk for complications associated with COVID-19. Remember seemingly uninfected family members and friends may be infected but asymptomatic. Exposure to asymptomatic cases can easily lead to spread.

• Wash your hands.

Until a safe and effective vaccine is approved and available in the area, there are limited tools to stop the spread of COVID-19. Reducing community spread is critical. This can be done by following the guidelines set forth by the Minnesota Department of Health and the Centers for Disease Control.

- Image courtesy of the Internet Public Domain