Officials urge caution as COVID cases rise in the county

By Cindy Urbaniak, Kittson County Public Health director
Last week, Kittson County is seeing the largest increase in COVID cases since the start of the pandemic. Kittson Healthcare diagnosed 20 new cases of COVID-19 so far in April, with 10 positive cases on Friday, April 9 alone.
Symptoms of COVID-19 mimic the average cold symptoms. In conversations with positive cases, they felt that they “just had cold.”
Do not assume you have a cold! You need to get tested. We are hearing reports of individuals with colds who continue to go to work or to school only to find out four to five days later that they are positive for COVID-19. Positive cases need to be in isolation to prevent the spread of the virus to others. Close contacts of positive cases need to be in quarantine. There is no testing out of quarantine. The only thing that excuses you from quarantine is being fully vaccinated for COVID-19.
Individuals presenting to Kittson Healthcare with symptoms of COVID-19 will be tested.
Symptoms of COVID-19 include: fever, chills, shortness of breath, cough, fatigue, muscle or body aches, headache, new loss of taste or smell, sore throat, nasal congestion, runny nose, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, difficulty breathing.
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Some of the “myths” that we are hearing about COVID testing:
• I’ve been vaccinated and I have symptoms, I do not need to be tested. FALSE: Even if you are fully vaccinated, you still need to be tested if you develop symptoms related to COVID-19.
• A family member has tested negative for COVID-19 and now I have the same symptoms so it’s just a cold and I do not need to be tested. FALSE: You still need to be tested.
• It’s just my allergies so I don’t need to be tested. FALSE: You still need to be tested.
• I’ve already had COVID-19 so I don’t need to be tested. FALSE: You still need to be tested as although reinfection is rare, it is still possible.
During this outbreak, we are asking all citizens to go back to strict practice of the public health recommendations: Wear a mask; wash your hands frequently; social distance and stay home if you are sick. Even if you have been vaccinated you need to continue with these recommendations.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has released new guidance stating that fully vaccinated people — meaning two weeks after their final COVID vaccination — do not have to quarantine following an exposure to a positive case of COVID-19.
Vaccinations are available by appointment only through Kittson Healthcare. Please call the facility at 218-843-3612 during business hours to schedule your appointment.
We need everyone in the county to do their part to stop the spread of this virus and protect others.

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