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NUMC, others take measures against COVID-19 virus

NEW ULM — New Ulm Medical Center (NUMC) ,through Allina Health, has placed new restrictions related to the coronavirus/ COVID-19.

Under the new restriction, sick people are not allowed to visit patients at the hospital, and all patients are limited to two visitors per day. Compassionate exceptions may be granted by a patient care manager. Children under 12-years-old are not allowed to visit.

Persons under investigation (PUI) for COVID-19 or who are confirmed to have COVID-19 are also restricted.

Loved ones are encouraged to use other ways to communicate with COVID-19 patients, which may include Skype, FaceTime, telephone, and other channels.

At Allina Health clinics, children or other family members of patients are not considered to be visitors. These individuals can be at the clinic with the patient.

The New Ulm Medical Center webpage has a list of screening guidelines for COVID-19. Providers are asking patients with symptoms such as fever, cough and/or respiratory difficulty and asking about recent travel.

Typical symptoms of coronavirus/COVID-19 include a fever, cough and respiratory difficulty. Avoiding COVID-19 is the same for avoiding the flu or any other virus. Wash hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds; avoid touching eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands; avoid close contact with people who are sick, cover mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing and clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces and objects.

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The Madelia Community Hospital and Clinic (MCHC) is also implementing visitor restrictions. With the increasing number of influenza cases and the threat of COVID-19, MCHC has started visitor restrictions in the hospital effective immediately. Visitation will be restricted as follows:

• Only immediate family members permitted (patient spouse or significant other, parent, sibling or child)

• No children under the age of 12

• Only two visitors per patient at a time

• No one who is ill will be permitted to visit.

These restrictions apply to all patients in all areas of the hospital, including staff members. There are certain circumstances in which we will make a “compassionate exception” to these restrictions. These will be made on a case-by-case basis.

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In other changes due to the coronavirus outbreak:

Bishop John M. LeVoir of the New Ulm Dioceses suspended the obligation for Catholics to attend Sunday Mass through the end of the month in light of the COVID-19/coronavirus.

In a statement, LeVoir said “Given the rapid spread of the COVID-19/coronavirus and to minimize the risk of contracting or spreading infection, I am dispensing the faithful from the obligation of attending Mass on Saturday evening or Sunday for the next three weeks in the Diocese of New Ulm,” LeVoir said.

“If the faithful decide that gathering for Sunday Mass would constitute a risk to themselves or others, they have the freedom not to attend. However, Masses will continue to be celebrated in our parishes as regularly scheduled.”

LeVoir reminded the faithful that Sunday is still the Lord’s Day and should be kept holy. Mass could still be viewed on television or listened to on the radio. Spiritual Communion, praying the Liturgy of the Hours, Praying the Rosary, Eucharistic adoration and other devotions are alternative options.

LeVoir encouraged ardent prayer and fasting during the penitential season of Lent to curb the tide of the spread of coronavirus.

He said “Please pray for healing and perseverance for those who are infected with the COVID-19/coronavirus, especially those with underlying health ailments and the ederly. If it is possible for us to reach out to those who are vulnerable, let us do so.”

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The New Ulm Area Chamber of Commerce has cancelled the New Ulm Home & Health Show that was scheduled to be held March 27, 28 and 29.

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The New Ulm Farm City Hub Club has cancelled the showings of the film “Silo” for the New Ulm and Sibley East FFA chapters. New dates for the film will be announced later.

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Oak Hills Living Center in New Ulm and the Gil-Mor Manor in Morgan are prohibiting visitors until further notice to protect residents from the virus.

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