COVID-19 Update 3/16/20

MLHS COVID-19 update

by Mary Rains

Mille Lacs Health System


The Mille Lacs Health System COVID-19 Taskforce meets daily, and these updates are current as of 3/16/2020. As of that date, there were no cases of COVID-19 in our area.


Kim Kucera, MLHS COO, said, “We at MLHS are following the CDC and MDH guidelines and we have measures put in place to protect patients and visitors. But be aware, this changes daily.”


The facility has implemented new rules about sharing food, and healthcare employees with school age children should communicate with schools about arrangements. Employees who are sick should not come to work. Both workers and patients are encouraged to call the COVID-19 Nurse Hotline (number below) if they are concerned they’re at risk for/or have coronavirus. Cleaning protocols are being followed, with increased disinfecting measures. Shared objects like group puzzles or magazines on the racks are off limits right now.


Infection Control continues to get regular updates from the CDC and MDH.


No visitors are allowed in the Emergency Room. In Acute Care (hospital), only one person is allowed and no children under 18.


In Long Term Care (nursing home) there are no visitors allowed at this time. “This level of restriction is appropriate right now,” Kucera said.


Mille Lacs Health System will post its updates on their website,, and there is a link there to a Center for Disease Control “microsite” with up-to-date news and changes.


Any person having questions about testing should call the MLHS COVID-19 Nurse Hotline, also anyone worried that they may have coronavirus needs to call the number before showing up in Onamia. That number is 320-532-2989.


Right now, everyone has a role to play in slowing the spread of COVID-19. All Minnesotans are encouraged to limit time spent in locations that do not allow social distancing of six feet per person. Hospital capacity is dependent on the intensity, duration, and severity of an outbreak. So all health systems need their patients to help “flatten the curve.” People can also do that by practicing good hand hygiene.


Hospitals and healthcare providers are trained to manage infectious diseases, including new diseases like COVID-19. Our hospital and healthcare providers are working with each other, the Minnesota Department of Health, and emergency preparedness officials.