We were notified by the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) of two lab confirmed cases of COVID-19 (novel coronavirus), one in a member of the Prairie Wind Middle School and one at the Heart of the Lakes Elementary School.
The exposure date at the PWMS was October 20th and 21st, while the exposure dates of October 20th through the 22nd at the Heart of the Lakes Elementary School.
We have worked with the MDH/Otter Tail County Public Health to identify those who had close contact with the case, and have communicated with them individually. The risk of exposure for other individuals present in the building on that date is no greater than the risk of contracting the virus in the general community.
If you were not identified to have close contact with the positive case you should still monitor for symptoms of illness, but do not need to stay home unless symptoms develop. If symptoms develop, stay home and consult with your physician to determine if medical evaluation is needed.
We understand that this may create unease in our community. We have taken action to clean and sanitize the facility and are working closely with MDH to monitor the situation. We are asking all members of our community to minimize the spread of illness by taking the following actions:
- Protect yourself and others by wearing a face covering when it is hard to stay 6 feet away from people; washing your hands often with soap and water; covering your cough and sneeze; and avoiding touching your face with unwashed hands.
- If you are sick, stay home from child care and other activities.
- Be prepared in case you get sick and need to stay home. Keep enough food, regular prescription drugs, and other necessities on hand in case you need to stay home and are not able to go out easily.
- Frequently clean all commonly touched surfaces (e.g., telephones, doorknobs, countertops, etc.).
If symptoms develop, stay home and consult with your physician to determine if medical evaluation is needed. If you are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19, MDH recommends:
- Stay at home for at least 10 days, and for 24 hours with no fever and improvement of other symptoms (Your fever should be gone for 24 hours without using fever-reducing medicine).
- Use the CDC website on how to Care for yourself at Home with COVID-19.
- If your household contacts were exposed to you while you had symptoms, they should try to stay home as much as possible for 14 days.
This is a challenging time and I know many of you may be feeling stress or anxiety. We will get through this together as a community, and will be stronger when we emerge.
Resources that you may find valuable are:
- MDH Coronavirus: https://www.health.state.mn.us/diseases/coronavirus/index.html
- MDH If You Are Sick: https://www.health.state.mn.us/diseases/coronavirus/sick.html
- CDC Coronavirus: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html
- Otter Tail County Public Health: https://ottertailcountymn.us/department/public-health/
- COVID-19 Free Tests: https://www.health.state.mn.us/diseases/coronavirus/testsites/athome.html