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Health notes: Medical needs beyond COVID-19

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Survey: Young adults take COVID-19 seriously

You saw the images of college students partying on the Florida beaches, maintaining not even 6 inches of social distance, despite warnings about the spread of the new coronavirus.

They represented the exception, not the norm, suggests a survey by the Kaiser Family Foundation.

It found that 95% of adults ages 18-24 in the survey reported practicing at least some forms of social distancing, such as canceling or changing travel plans; staying at home instead of going to work, school or other regular activities; and canceling plans to attend large gatherings.

More than three out of four said they are observing “shelter-in-place” guidelines, staying home except for essential services such as food, medicine and health care.

Doctors: Don’t ignore ongoing health needs

Minnesota’s doctors want residents to pay attention to their other health needs even as so much attention is placed on COVID-19.


“If you have diabetes, high blood pressure, congestive heart failure or other acute or chronic conditions, don’t ignore them,” said Dr. Keith Stelter, president of the 10,000-member Minnesota Medical Association , in a news release. “Continue to take your medications and reach out to your doctor by phone or e-visit options. Your doctor or clinic will contact you if a face-to-face visit is necessary.”

The MMA applauded the extension of Gov. Tim Walz’s stay-at-home order through May 4. Stelter encouraged Minnesotans to stay active, but to always maintain a 6-foot buffer when doing so.

Researchers tracking COVID-19 hospitalizations

Two University of Minnesota researchers are tracking hospitalizations for COVID-19 in the U.S., according to a news release from the university.

Pinar Karaca-Mandic and Soumya Sen of the Carlson School of Management created the COVID-19 Hospitalization Tracking Project , which as of late last week reported data from 37 states.

The online site captures and tracks daily data on the number of COVID-19 hospitalizations — as recorded by state departments of health — along with each state’s hospital bed and intensive care unit capacity.

It can be found at z.umn.edu/COVIDtrackingproject.

How to get health insurance

With so many people recently out of work, MNsure is reminding Minnesotans that it’s set up to help people get connected.

A special enrollment period continues through April 21.


Hours reduced? An individual earning up to $24,980 per year or a family of four with a combined income of $51,500 or less per year can qualify for low-cost or no-cost health insurance through MinnesotaCare or Medical Assistance, the state’s version of Medicaid. Enrollment in these programs is open year-round.

Those who recently lost or will lose insurance through an employer also may qualify for enrollment at any point during the year.

Learn the details at the MNsure.org website or call the contact center at 651-539-2099 or 855-366-7873 from 8 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday through Friday.

St. Luke’s program earns accreditation

The acute rehabilitation program at St. Luke’s has earned a three-year accreditation, the health provider said in a news release.

The accreditation is by the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities , an international body, and recognizes both the hospital’s inpatient rehabilitation program and the rehab branch of the hospital’s stroke specialty program.

Addiction treatment goes online

NUWAY, an addiction treatment center with an office in Duluth, moved more than 900 clients in Minnesota from in-person to telehealth treatment in a week, the nonprofit reported in a news release.

Technical staff who are familiar with privacy safeguard are supporting the switch to remote service, according to the news release.

Hours spent with clients have increased, it said, “possibly because telehealth is easier than traveling to a treatment facility.”


NUWAY also has offices in Minneapolis, St. Paul and Rochester.

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