Moose Lake Star Gazette - Serving Carlton and Pine Counties Since 1895

By Press Release
Moose Lake Star-Gazette 

COVID-19: Flatten the curve


March 26, 2020

The Minnesota Department of Health believes that COVID-19 is spreading broadly across Minnesota. As testing capacity increases, we know that the number of confirmed cases in our area will increase. This is why we need to take seriously our role in slowing the spread of COVID-19 in our communities.

All Minnesotans are encouraged to limit time spent in locations that do not allow social distancing of six feet per person.

By making healthy choices and practicing social distancing, we each can help break the chain of transmission.

Community mitigation efforts – including staying home – will buy hospitals time to prepare for a future surge of COVID-19 patients. Staying home will help slow the spread of infection.

If you are concerned about your symptoms, call your health care provider.

Your provider will work with you to determine whether you should be screened for COVID-19. Because of testing capacity limits, you may not be given a test. MDH prioritizes testing for hospitalized patients and health care workers. If your health care provider determines that your course of treatment will not be different even if you are positive for COVID-19, you may not be tested.

We want to be sure you are receiving the right care in the right location. Based on your symptoms, you may not need to come to a hospital or clinic. Hospital care needs to be preserved for those who are acutely ill.

After a health care provider obtains a sample for COVID-19 testing, the sample is submitted to MDH or a private lab for testing. Test results can take several days due to the volume of samples being submitted.

You may be asked to isolate at home.

Mercy updates:

Single Entrance begins Friday: Beginning Friday, March 27, Mercy Hospital will close its Main Entrance until further notice. All patients should enter through the Emergency Entrance.

Updated Visitor Policy: No visitors will be allowed effective Friday, March 27, with the following exceptions:

Inpatient Unit: Visitors will be allowed only for compassionate care needs. Family members should call the hospital/unit before coming.

Communication Needs: One visitor will be allowed for pediatric, vulnerable adult, trauma or other patient needing help communicating to the health care team on their behalf.

Labor and Delivery: One adult support person will be allowed per patient.

No visitors who are ill will be allowed.

Elective surgeries and non-essential procedures: Elective surgeries and non-essential procedures are being postponed, in line with Gov. Walz’s executive order and guidance from the CDC and Centers for Medicare and Medicaid. This includes non-essential appointments in imaging and lab. Sleep lab studies are also cancelled. At the present time, we will continue to schedule certain PT, OT, Speech and Cardiopulmonary visits. The therapist/clinician will triage each situation and determine best direction for the patient.

More information

This is an evolving situation and additional changes are expected. For latest Mercy information, go to:

Stay informed

For up-to-date information and recommendations, go to:

Minnesota Department of Health

Centers for Disease Control:


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