How will the city respond when COVID-19 is confirmed in Richfield?
As the COVID-19 health crisis continues to expand, there is an abundance of information at the fingertips of most residents. Despite all the information, knowledge of local infections of the coronavirus (COVID-19) is confidential information.
And, according to health officials, it will remain confidential for the duration of this health crisis.
“For the general public, you are not going to know when a confirmed case of the coronavirus is identified at a local level. It is really the Minnesota Department of Health’s job to know who is sick and follow up with those people,” explained Jennifer Anderson, Community Health Services Administrator for the City of Richfield.
But just because that information is confidential doesn't mean residents will be left vulnerable from exposure to a confirmed case of COVID-19. That is where the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) begins their work on the ground in the community.
If a Richfield resident were to have a confirmed case of COVID-19, officials from MDH would contact Anderson with basic information. That resident, if not hospitalized, would then receive services from Bloomington Public Health, who administers public health services to residents. The public health workers would ensure that the resident remained quarantined and was provided with food, medicine or other necessities during that 14-day period, if needed.
In addition, MDH would begin a contact investigation. During the contact investigation, MDH talks with the patient about their activities leading up to their positive diagnosis. Using that information, MDH then reaches out to anyone who may have been exposed to the virus.
Currently in Minnesota, there are only three groups of people being tested for the COVID-19 virus: health care workers, those living in senior living facilities or nursing homes, and patients that are hospitalized.
“Our best advice is to continue following what the governor has asked everyone to do: stay close to home, only leave to provide for your essential needs, and take extra precautions if you are sick,” added Anderson. “The more people that abide by these orders, the better we will all come out of this.”
More information about Richfield’s response to the COVID-19 health crisis can be found online at: http://www.richfieldmn.gov/covid19.