NW counties vaccination rates between 18-28%
See if you might be eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine with the state's expanded access.
Area counties along with the state are working to vaccinate people who are eligible. Wadena County has 23.2% of the population that's received at least one dose; Todd County 18.3%; Otter Tail County 24.6%; Hubbard County 22.5%; and Becker County 28.1%.
The vaccines are safe, and effective in preventing serious illness from COVID-19, according to the Centers for Disease Control.
As vaccinations are working, helping protect others and yourself is important until more people have been vaccinated. The Centers for Disease Control list several ways you can help: wear a mask, keep a social distance of 6 feet or more, wash your hands well and often and stay home and consider getting tested if you have COVID-19 symptoms or are a close contact of someone who has tested positive for COVID-19.
"While we're pleased to see things moving in the right direction we need to keep an eye on the fact that there's still a lot of viral activity around our state. Our cases, on a population basis, are high and picking back up a bit," Health Department Commissioner Jan Malcolm said in a press call on March 15 .
Have questions about the COVID-19 vaccines? Hear from Lakewood Health System Family Medicine Dr. Alex Harsha in Spanish:
The COVID-19 vaccine is available based on priority groups. Minnesota has opened vaccine access to people with preexisting conditions and front-line workers . People with sickle cell disease, Down Syndrome, or oxygen-dependent chronic lung or heart conditions, and those in active cancer treatment or immunocompromised from organ transplant are eligible. Also, if you are 45 years old and above with at least one underlying condition or 16 years old and above with at least two conditions, you are in the priority group. The general public is not in the current priority group.
Find out more about the current priority groups: Minnesota to expand into next wave of COVID-19 vaccinations, shots for all could start in April
As of March 16, the Minnesota Department of Health reports the following cumulative positive cases of COVID-19:
- Becker County: 3,192 cases
- Hubbard County: 1,618
- Otter Tail County: 4,945
- Todd County: 2,529
- Wadena County: 1,336
Some patients who tested positive for COVID-19 may no longer need to be in isolation. As of March 11, Becker County had 3,071 cases not requiring isolation, Hubbard County 1,570, Otter Tail County 4,760, Todd County 2,449 and Wadena County 1,293.
Area counties saw one additional death from COVID-19 and its complications from March 9-16. The person in Becker County was in the 75-79 years old age range, according to MDH.
The newly reported deaths statewide included two people on March 16 with a total of 6,749 deaths from COVID-19 and its complications, according to MDH.
New CDC guidelines for vaccinated people are 'a step toward normalcy'
There is free COVID-19 saliva testing available at the Wadena Armory , whether you have symptoms or are asymptomatic. The saliva test requires no eating, drinking or smoking for 30 minutes prior. Make sure to be well hydrated the night before or even the hours before your test. The site is open Mondays and Tuesdays from noon-6 p.m. Testing helps bring better understanding to the spread of the virus in the community.
For mental wellbeing, Otter Tail County encourages purposeful self-care activities such as resting, taking a walk, reading, being creative, doing yoga or talking to a friend over video chat or phone.
Lakewood Health System COVID-19 website: www.lakewoodhealthsystem.com/coronaviruscovid-19/ or 218-894-1515
Perham Health COVID-19 website: www.perhamhealth.org/covid19/ or 218-347-4500
Tri-County Health Care COVID-19 website: www.tchc.org/coronavirus or 218-631-3510
Minnesota Department of Health COVID-19 hotline: 651-201-3920 or 1-800-657-3903, which is available seven days a week from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Minnesota Department of Health COVID-19 website: www.health.state.mn.us/diseases/coronavirus/index.html