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Kandiyohi County officials urging public to stay home to help slow the spread of COVID-19

Kandiyohi County Health and Human Services officials are asking everyone in the community to do their part to slow the spread of COVID-19 by staying home if at all possible. Confirmed positive cases of the disease are skyrocketing across the local region.

Kandiyohi County is urging everyone to staff home if they can, as cases of COVID-19 are increasing rapidly. Art courtesy of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

WILLMAR β€” With Kandiyohi County now reporting 2,476 confirmed positive cases of COVID-19 as of Friday, 421 of them active, the county's Health and Human Services department is sending out a plea to community members β€” if you don't need to go out, please stay home.

In a press release Friday, the department is asking all businesses, places of worship and community groups/clubs/organizations to limit unnecessary activities, meetings and events, as much as possible and to also follow the governor's new executive order guidance.

"We need our community to step up and help slow the spread," said the press release. "It is critical that we all do our part in assuring this active community transmission doesn't continue to grow."

Kandiyohi County HHS has reported a significant rise in the county's positivity rate, or the number of individuals testing positive for COVID-19. This increase also means more people are needing medical assistance at hospitals and clinics.

"There is an immediate concern that, without changes, our hospitals may reach capacity," the release said. "We must do all we can to prevent that from happening and ensure that every person who needs a hospital bed can get one."

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In addition to a possible shortage of beds, health care providers are also facing a decrease in available staff, as they too are being infected or have come in contact with the virus, the release said.

The release added that local public health continues to work with the state as they contact trace and investigate positive cases. There are delays in test results and those who have been tested but have not gotten results still need to self-isolate until results are known. Information and guidance can be found on the Minnesota Department of Health website.

Those who are experiencing symptoms such as fever, cough, shortness of breath, chills, headache, muscle pain, sore throat, new loss of taste or smell or had potential exposure to a person with COVID-19 should call the Carris Health Nurse Line for further direction on what to do. The number is 320-441-5361.

"With the very steep increase of widespread confirmed COVID-19 cases in our community and the associated increase in COVID-related deaths, it is critical that the residents of Kandiyohi County continue to stay home, wear a mask, practice social distancing and continue good hand washing," the release said.

Shelby Lindrud is a reporter with the West Central Tribune of Willmar. Her focus areas are arts and entertainment, agriculture, features writing and the Kandiyohi County Board.

She can be reached via email slindrud@wctrib.com or direct 320-214-4373.


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