One Year Later, Precautions Still Needed
It has been a year since the coronavirus pandemic began. While scientists and medical professionals have learned a lot about the virus, it’s still here, along with the threat of new strains. Taking precautions is essential to keep the number of positive cases and illnesses low in our community and the U.S. as the vaccines are slowly rolling out.
Experts continue to study how the vaccines work in real-world conditions. It’s not known yet whether getting a COVID-19 vaccine will prevent you from spreading the virus to other people, even if you don’t get sick yourself. Even if vaccinated, please continue to wait 6 feet apart, wear a face covering, and wash your hands for 20 seconds to help slow the spread of COVID-19, influenza, and other illnesses.
Many people infected with COVID-19 will have mild to moderate symptoms and can recover at home. The CDC recommends basic measures such as rest, hydration, and over-the-counter medicines such as acetaminophen. Illness, death, or long-term health conditions from COVID can affect anyone.
Visit GRHS’ COVID-19 Resource Hub for the latest information regarding testing, vaccination, getting care, and more.
COVID-19 testing is available for people who have symptoms of COVID-19. Individuals without symptoms may also get tested. You may want to get tested if you have had close contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19 or have taken part in activities where social distancing was not possible.
Call the GRHS COVID-19 Hotline at 320.334.5481 for screening and further instructions. Self-quarantine at home pending notification of your test result. Even if you test negative, you still should take steps to protect yourself and others.
Treatments for COVID Remain Accessible at Glacial Ridge
For several months, Glacial Ridge Hospital has successfully provided monoclonal antibody treatment to patients meeting the FDA criteria. The antibodies need to be given early on in the illness to be beneficial. Unlike the vaccines that stimulate a person’s immune system to produce antibodies, monoclonal antibodies can be given to high-risk patients with COVID-19 to help prevent the illness from becoming severe. All eligible patients testing positive are offered this treatment option.
Patients hospitalized with COVID-19 are not eligible for monoclonal antibodies because their illness is beyond the point where monoclonal antibodies could be beneficial. However, doctors caring for patients at Glacial Ridge Hospital can use various FDA-approved treatments specifically for this virus. These include antiviral drugs, steroids, and other existing medications.
How can I get a COVID vaccine?
If you are 65+ and would like the vaccine, please call Glenwood Medical Center at 320-634-5157 to be scheduled.
If you have an opportunity to get vaccinated, you can and should do that. GRHS continues to do what it can to get doses for our community from the state. GRHS will communicate eligibility criteria and steps to get a vaccine through the web, social media, radio, and print.
Vaccine Connector Tool Now Available from the State of Minnesota
The Minnesota COVID-19 Vaccine Connector is a new tool to help Minnesotans find out when, where, and how to get a vaccine. Whether you are eligible for a vaccine now or later – the Vaccine Connector will notify you when it’s your turn for a shot. To sign up, visit https://mn.gov/covid19/vaccine/connector/. If you have questions about the Vaccine Connector or need assistance filling it out online, the Minnesota COVID-19 Vaccine Connector Hotline number at 833-431-2053.