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Polk County Public Health: Stay home during the holidays

Times Report
A new home for the holidays

Polk County Public Health and Norman-Mahnomen Public Health are asking for the community’s help to slow the spread of COVID-19 while celebrating the holidays.

In the Minnesota Department of Health's situational update released Thursday, Polk County reported more than 100 confirmed or probable new cases of the virus, the worst day by a significant margin so far as far as new cases goes since the pandemic began.

In a joint release, they say, "Celebrations with family and friends are important. This year holiday celebrations and travel in Minnesota will look different to keep everyone safe and healthy. With the significant rise in COVID-19 cases and increased pressure on our community’s healthcare systems, the time to act is now." 

In accordance with Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz's executive order, starting on Friday, Nov. 20 at 11:59 pm, social gatherings will be limited to your own household, both in your home and outside. Out of state travel is highly discouraged. Incoming visitors and Minnesotans that travel out-of-state are asked to quarantine for 14 days. For more information review Emergency Executive Order 20-99: https://www.leg.mn.gov/archive/execorders/20-99.pdf 

Celebrating the holidays virtually or with members of your own household will pose the lowest risk for spread of COVID-19. Take this opportunity to start new a family tradition, the public health organizations say in their advisory. 

• Have a small dinner with only people who live in your household.

• Prepare traditional recipes for family and neighbors and deliver in a contactless way. 

• Have a virtual dinner and share recipes with friends and family.

• Support a local restaurant by ordering a meal to go.

• Play virtual board games with loved ones. 

• Watch sports events, parades, and movies from home. 

• Do a contactless goodie exchange.

• Get outside in nature.

Visit the Polk County Coronavirus Response Hub (https://coronavirus-response-pcg.hub.arcgis.com/), the Minnesota Department of Health (https://www.health.state.mn.us/) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (https://www.cdc.gov/) websites for more COVID-19 information. Follow Polk County Public Health and Norman-Mahnomen Public Health on social media for local updates.