Public Health Supporters:
Looking for the latest data on the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak?
A reminder to get news from reliable, trustworthy sources and avoid the "infodemic" of misinformation. Help us elevate good public health messages by sharing these resources as widely as possible. Local, national, and global recommended sources are listed below.
Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) https://www.health.state.mn.us/diseases/coronavirus/index.html
MDH public hotlines
School and child care questions: 1-800-657-3504
Health questions: 651-201-3920 or 1-800-657-3903
Discrimination helpline: 1-833-454-0148
This information is also available on the Minnesota Department of Health Situation Update for Coronavirus Disease 2019 webpage, which is updated daily at 11 a.m. with data current as of 4 p.m. the previous day.
COVID-19: Should you get tested?
courtesy of Dakota County Public Health Department - 5/11/20
As testing capabilities increase in Minnesota, and across the county, it’s important to know if, where and how you should get tested for COVID-19.
Who should get tested▪ The people who should be tested now are those who have symptoms of COVID-19, especially hospitalized patients, health care workers, patients and staff in congregate care settings, dialysis and other patients including outpatients.
▪ The Minnesota Department of Health also recommends that people get tested in certain situations, such as a setting where an outbreak is occurring.
▪ People who do not have symptoms should generally not be tested for COVID-19.
The state offers an easy-to-use online testing tool to help determine if you should be tested.
Where to get tested
To find a COVID-19 testing location near you, use this interactive map that shows coronavirus clinics in your area. Testing sites are designed to keep you and health care workers safe. Sometimes you may stay in your car. Other sites will screen you before you go indoors. Many sites will require an appointment before you arrive to ensure they’ve collected your contact and insurance information.
Know before you go
The federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act requires that COVID-19 testing is provided at no cost to the patient. This applies to all health insurance coverage in Minnesota. It is important to know that this applies to the test only. Office visits are not covered through the CARES Act. Some insurance carriers have agreed to waive copays and deductibles for in-network visits associated with the COVID-19 test.
Check with your health insurance to find out what will be covered and what is in network. If you have questions, call your insurance company prior to getting tested. If you don't have a doctor or health care provider, or are uninsured, contact a federally qualified Community Health Center.
Waiting for test results
If you or a loved one gets tested, results will come from the testing clinic or provider. Test results generally take 3–7 days. If you have a fever and/or cough, shortness of breath or other symptoms while waiting for results, you should stay home and away from others as much as possible.
Family members and close contacts of people who have tested positive should limit their activities in public for 14 days and monitor for symptoms. Someone from the Minnesota Department of Health or the county where you live will call you if you’ve tested positive.
Resources for Underserved Communities
Low Income Energy Assistance Program Information shared by the U of MN Extension's Sustainable partnership. If you have any questions please contact Joel Haskar at email@example.com.
Since Covid-19, there have been some big changes in the federal Low Income Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) that helps people pay their energy bills or get a broken furnace repaired/replaced:
- The application deadline has been extended to July 1
- Income eligibility is based on the last month only (not a whole year) -- this to help the newly unemployed
- The annual crisis maximum has increased to $1200 instead of $600
You will also see in the eap-flier-english that there has been special attention paid to make sure people feel safe about applying regarding citizenship status. Translations in Hmong, Spanish & Somali available.
Sometimes LIHEAP runs out of money, but it sounds like more money has been pumped into the system AND getting signed up makes people eligible for some enhanced utility programming/ rebates and other CAP programming (Head Start etc.). Bottomline is we want people to sign up.
Avoid stigma or showing prejudice to Minnesotans of Asian descent or assuming someone of Asian descent is more likely to have COVID-19. Witness or experience discrimination? Call the helpline at 1-833-454-0148.
Resources like the Minnesota Crisis Response Line (952-891-7171) and the National Domestic Violence Hotline (1-800-799-7233) are also available for those in need.
Mental Health Resources
First Responder Toolkit app - released 5/14/20
The First Responder Toolkit app aids those deployed to emergency response events in maintaining their own physical, emotional, and social well-being.
In the future it will provide checklists for before, during, and after deployment that help responders pack for deployment, take care of daily needs, maintain important relationships, reflect on experiences, and more.
A variety of responders will find this app useful to help manage their self care while working in demanding situations, when caring for oneself is essential in order to help and care for others.
APHA sounds alarm over mental health in midst of COVID-19 pandemic, press release May 12, 2020
American Public Health Association
Centers for Disease Control https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html
- A COVID-19 page on apha.org for public health professionals that links to APHA resources as well as those from such trusted sources as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the World Health Organization.
World Health Organization https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019