MARSHALL – The number of people in the region in need of COVID-19 testing is rising again, and Avera Marshall will reopen its drive-thru sample collection station in response.
Avera Marshall announced Friday that the Carlson Street Clinic’s collection site will open on Monday. Sample collection times will be 9 a.m. to noon, Monday to Friday.
âWe are currently seeing an increase in the number of patients looking for COVID-19 tests. Temporarily offering sample collection outside of our clinic will allow faster access to testing during this peak period and restore our walk-in clinic’s ability to see patients â, said Bobbi Jo Vandendriessche, vice president of Avera Medical Group.
âWe encourage people to get tested if they develop symptoms like fever, cough, sore throat, diarrhea, runny nose or body aches. Don’t pass it off as a cold or the flu. Get tested – it could be COVID-19 â, said Vandendriessche.
“It is especially important to stay at home if you are sick to avoid passing the disease on to others” she said.
People tested for COVID-19 do not need to make an appointment for drive-through sample collection. Individuals are requested to bring a driver’s license and insurance card if possible. Test turnaround times can vary, but it could likely be around 48 hours, Avera Marshall said.
âIf you have symptoms, you should self-isolate at home until the test results are returned. “ said Dr Timothy Mok, emergency care physician at Avera Medical Group Marshall.
“If positive, you should self-isolate at home for at least 10 days from the onset of symptoms and until you have no fever for 24 hours without using fever medication and your symptoms are complete. ‘improve. “he said.
Mok urged people to call the emergency department or 911 if they have emergency symptoms such as bluish lips or skin, difficulty breathing, or a fever above 104 degrees that does not respond to treatment.
Carol Biren, director of public health for Southwest Health and Human Services, said the number of COVID cases in the region had increased.
âIt got a bit slow over the summer, and with the new Delta variant, it’s going back up. “ said Biren.
There are a variety of factors affecting the spread of COVID this fall, Biren said. In addition to the existence of a new variant of the COVID-19 virus, people are again spending more time indoors, wearing masks less often, and holding larger celebrations and gatherings.
Biren said the recommendations to help slow the spread of COVID are still the same, including staying home if you’re sick, practicing social distancing, wearing masks in indoor public places and getting vaccinated. Spokesmen for Biren and Avera Marshall urged those eligible to get the vaccine.
“People vaccinated are less likely to contract COVID, be hospitalized or need intensive care for COVID”, Mok said. âRevolutionary cases are possible – no vaccine prevents 100% disease. COVID vaccines do a great job of preventing cases, hospitalizations and deaths across our population. The majority of COVID-19 cases requiring ICU care are among the unvaccinated, as are deaths from the virus. The more people who are vaccinated, the more cases will be avoided. “
The Minnesota Department of Health reported a total of 2,478 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 statewide on Friday, including 13 cases among residents of Lyon County. Since the start of the pandemic, there have been a total of 3,790 confirmed cases of COVID and 54 deaths among residents of Lyon County.
The number of reported COVID cases in Minnesota schools is increasing this fall, according to the MDH. Data on the MDH website on Thursday showed a total of 94 schools across the state that had confirmed cases and exposures. The list included Minneota Secondary and Redwood Valley Middle School. The MDH is reporting schools that have had at least five confirmed cases of COVID-19 in students or staff during a two-week period.
Other schools in Lyon County are also reporting students or staff who have tested positive or have been exposed to COVID-19. Marshall, Lakeview, Minneota, Lynd, Russell-Tyler-Ruthton, and Tracy Area school districts all have COVID dashboards on their websites.
The Marshall Public Schools COVID-19 dashboard on Friday indicated that five staff members and 26 students had tested positive for COVID and were in home quarantine. The majority of active cases, 17, were reported to Marshall Middle School. District-wide, a total of 146 people were in quarantine due to close contact with someone who tested positive for COVID. A total of 84 people from the MMS were in quarantine in close contact, according to the dashboard.
RTR public schools on Thursday were reporting an active positive case of COVID and a total of 10 students in quarantine, according to the district’s online dashboard.
On Friday, public schools in Minneota were reporting 14 active positive cases of COVID – four among staff, eight among elementary students and two among high school students. Tracy Area public schools were reporting seven active positive cases of COVID among staff and students.
Lakeview Public Schools were reporting eight positive cases of COVID among students and two among staff. Lynd Public School reported that it had no active cases on Friday, but that there were 15 people in quarantine.