Public Health

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Coronavirus (COVID-19)

If you would like information about Coronavirus or COVID-19, please go to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website.

View information from Mayo Clinic Health System

For COVID-19 testing, patients must call their provider to be assessed (see numbers below). They will be directed to the next step that is appropriate for their symptoms.

Albert Lea: 507-668-2121,  Austin: 507-433-8758,  Owatonna: 507-451-1120,  Faribault: 507-333-3300,  Red Wing: 651-267-5500,  Cannon Falls: 507-263-6001,  Lake City: 651-345-1100

If you are calling MCHS-Albert Lea after 5 pm, please call 507-373-2384 and ask for the COVID Triage Nurse Line.

People SHOULD NOT go directly to Emergency Room, Urgent Care or show up at the clinic if they think they were exposed to COVID-19. Call the numbers above.  Expect delays while on hold.

If a person has a sudden change in their health such as sudden onset of chest pain, difficulty breathing etc., call 911.

Remember stay home if you are sick and avoid contact with people who are sick. Wash your hands and avoid touching your face. Cover your cough or sneeze and clean frequently touched surfaces.

View information from Minnesota Department of Health.

COVID-19 Hotline:  Questions about COVID-19?  Call the MDH COVID-19 Hotlines:   1)  School and Child Care Questions: 651-297-1304 or 1-800-657-3504, 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.        2)  Health Questions: 651-201-3920 or 1-800-657-3903,  7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.

Patient Health

How do I know if I have COVID-19? I think I have coronavirus, what should I do? 

  • If you haven’t traveled outside of MN or been notified of an exposure to a confirmed case, your risk is likely low
  • If you are ill, you should stay home from work/school, and all other activities
  • Symptoms are similar to other respiratory illnesses, so it is important to think about those too – you might actually have something else
  • Regardless of what your symptoms are, if you are concerned about your health you should call your provider and they can help determine what you should do and what testing you may need
  •  If you would like to be tested for coronavirus, call ahead to your doctor’s office
  • Have your doctor also assess you for influenza or other viral respiratory illnesses, we are currently seeing a lot of influenza in Minnesota
  • If you do not currently have any symptoms, it is not appropriate to be tested for coronavirus

What can I do to protect myself? 

  • The most important thing Minnesotans can do right now to help protect themselves, their families and their communities is to take those tried and true, everyday steps to prevent respiratory illnesses. Those include:

Covering your coughs and sneezes with a tissue and then throwing the tissue in the trash.

Washing your hands often with soap and water for 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom or before eating. If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.

Avoid touching your face – especially your eyes, nose and mouth - with unwashed hands.

Stay home if you have cold or flu-like symptoms, and avoid close contact with people who are sick.

Should I wear a mask? 

  • Surgical masks and/or dust masks that are readily available to the public are not effective at protecting you from illness ‒ Surgical masks are designed to protect droplets from spreading from the person wearing the mask, and won’t protect you from droplets from others

‒ Dust masks will not filter droplets or illness in either direction

Community Health Improvement Plan

Read the Community Health Improvement Plan (PDF).

Mission, Vision and Values

View the Freeborn County Public Health Mission, Vision and Values (PDF).