To the Editor,
Perham Health had been experiencing a significant rise in hospitalizations – mostly due to general increase in demand – even prior to this recent COVID-19 spike. But the fast rise in COVID-19 cases over the last two months is stretching our resources and placing an incredible stress on our healthcare staff. There are several things the community can do to help.
• Please get vaccinated. The vast majority of people we are treating are unvaccinated. While we admit patients who are vaccinated and tested positive for COVID-19, they are mainly admitted for secondary symptom management (diarrhea, dehydration, loss of appetite, nausea or vomiting) and are not as sick as to require additional high levels of oxygen or a transfer to a higher level of care.
• When eligible, please get your booster vaccine.
• Stay current on health appointments – see your healthcare team when you are scheduled. Staying on track with your well visits and screenings helps avoid small things becoming bigger issues. Many of the non-COVID-19 patients we are seeing are patients who avoided their routine care over the last year and a half and are coming to us much sicker than they would have if their symptoms had been caught early. We want to see you for your routine care.
• Please use the emergency department for emergencies. Seek the right care from the right place. For all mild illnesses or routine COVID-19 testing, visit your local clinic.
• asking in public locations, regardless of vaccination status.
• If you have symptoms or have had a close COVID-19 contact, please get tested. In addition to the Perham Health Clinic, there are several testing sites and pharmacies throughout the area that offer testing. An at-home test can be obtained through the Minnesota Department of Health at https://www.health.state.mn.us/diseases/coronavirus/test sites/athome.html.
• If you test positive for COVID-19, contact your provider to see if you are eligible to get monoclonal antibody treatment.
• Please stay home if you do not feel well, and parents, please keep your kids home from school if they are not feeling well.
Our job is to care for the people of our communities when they need us – and there is nothing that will stop us from doing that. We ask that you will join us in keeping our communities safe and healthy.
Dr. Tim Studer
Dr. Roza Glessing Hospitalist