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Make a Plan Minnesota

This Child Safety and Permanency Update was published by the Minnesota Department of Human Services on June 8, 2020.

As Minnesota perseveres through the COVID-19 public health crises, we know that more people will become sick and require hospitalization. We need families to be prepared. In other states, countries, and communities in Minnesota, there have been parents who have become too ill with COVID-19 to care for their children for short periods of time. These circumstances present a need to identify alternate caregivers who can step in to help care for chldren who have likely been exposed to the virus. Unfortunatley, this virus doesn't always leave time for people to make plans.

We're urging all Minnesotans who are responsible for the care of a child to make a plan now for alternate short term care for their children in the event parents or guardians become ill. To support families in this process, we've developed Make a Plan, Minnesota. Make a Plan, Minnesota helps guide families through a process to identify possible caregivers, gather vital family and child information, and share their plan with others. A fillable form is included to help families gather information that an alternate caregiver might need to know while caring for their children.

It's never too early to make a plan. Before the emergency is upon a family, we urge families to talk now with their support networks about who will be able to step in and help provide care for their children or other supports, such as dropping off meals or checking in with the children daily if a parent is quarantined at home.

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What to do if You’re Waiting for COVID-19 Test Results

Published by Minnesota Department of Health on 5/21/2020

If you are waiting for results from a COVID-19 test, you must separate yourself from others and watch yourself for symptoms such as fever, cough, shortness of breath, chills, headache, muscle pain, sore throat, or loss of taste or smell. This is to protect yourself, your family, and your community.

GETTING YOUR TEST RESULTS

The clinic that did your testing will get the results to you. It can take several days for test results to come back. Do not call the Minnesota Department of Health to get your test results.

Separate yourself from others

  • Stay home. Do not go to work, school, or any other place outside the home. If you need medical care, follow the instructions below.

  • Stay away from other people in your home. As much as possible, stay in a separate room and use a separate bathroom, if available.

  • Wear a facemask if you need to be around other people, and cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Wash hands thoroughly afterward.

  • Avoid sharing personal household items. Do not share food, dishes, drinking glasses, eating utensils, towels, or bedding with other people in your home. After using these items, wash them thoroughly with soap and water. Clean all frequently touched surfaces in your home daily, including door knobs, light switches, and faucets.

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer containing 60% to 95% alcohol. Avoid touching your face with unwashed hands.

Please carefully review additional information provided to you by the Minnesota Department of Health.

Monitor your symptoms

IF YOUR SYMPTOMS GET WORSE, YOU HAVE DIFFICULTY BREATHING, OR YOU NEED MEDICAL CARE:

  1. Contact your health care provider. Call ahead. Do not use public transportation, ride-sharing (such as Uber or Lyft), or taxis if you need to go to a clinic or hospital.

  2. If you need to be around other people in your home, wear a facemask.

  3. Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough and sneeze. Wash your hands. If you need emergency medical attention any time during the isolation period, call 911 and let them know that you have been diagnosed with COVID-19.

Notify people you’ve been in contact with

Make a list of the people you have been in close contact with, from two days before you started feeling sick until the time you were tested. Tell these people that you may have COVID-19 and that they may have it, too. Tell them you will let them know when you get your test results. Tell them to stay home and away from others until they hear from you. If your test results are positive, they should continue to stay home and away from others for 14 days from their last contact with you. If your test results are negative, and they do not feel sick, they do not have to keep staying apart from others.

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Minnesotans with Low Incomes Now Able to Purchase Food Online Using SNAP Benefits

May 28, 2020 Minnesota Department of Human Services News Release

Almost 400,000 people who use the federally funded Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program in Minnesota now have more options to buy food safely. Starting May 28, 2020, they can purchase groceries online using their Electronic Benefit Transfer cards.

For now, Walmart and Amazon are the only online retailers approved by the United States Department of Agriculture for SNAP purchases and available in Minnesota. The Minnesota Department of Human Services is encouraging other retailers to seek approval from the USDA so that SNAP recipients have more options. DHS oversees SNAP, which counties and tribal governments administer.

 “Safe access to healthy food is important for all of us,” said Human Services Commissioner Jodi Harpstead. “By enabling SNAP recipients to purchase food online, we are increasing access to food and enabling safe purchasing. This is vital to maintain social distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic while helping Minnesotans put healthy food on their tables.”

SNAP helps Minnesotans meet their food needs and avoid hunger. The average monthly SNAP benefit for each household member is $109 in Minnesota.

To be eligible to receive SNAP benefits, Minnesotans have to have an annual income below 165% of the federal poverty level. In fiscal year 2019, that was about $34,000 a year for a family of three. Of SNAP recipients in that year:

  • 45% were children. 
  • 44% were in Greater Minnesota. 
  • 13% were people with disabilities. 
  • 13% were older adults. 

To apply for SNAP benefits, contact us at Lac qui Parle County Family Services at 320-598-7594, or go to ApplyMN (applymn.dhs.mn.gov), or call the Minnesota Food helpline at 888-711-1151 for Greater Minnesota.

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COVID-19 Emergency Food Support

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many Minnesota families face difficult times. It may be hard to pay bills and find food to stay healthy. If you or someone you know has been laid off from work or seen work hours cut, help may be available. The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) can help you buy food while budgets are tight.

SNAP offers monthly cash assistance toward food purchases. Monthly benefits are loaded on an Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) card, which works similarly to a debit card. This card can be used to buy groceries at authorized food stores and retailers.

You can fill out an application on-line at ApplyMN.dhs.mn.gov. After applying online, most applicants must complete a phone interview with your county or tribal human service office. 

For help applying or additional food resources, contact the Food Helpline at 1-888-711-1151 or visit Hunger Solutions.

You can check out the Minnesota Department of Human Services website for more resources related to food support here: https://mn.gov/dhs/food-emergency/.

 

 

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Making Phone Calls Easier for People With Hearing Loss

from the Minnesota Department of Human Services, Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services Division 

Minnesotans are facing changes in how they do business and how they connect with each other in an effort to slow the spread of COVID-19. 

Many services typically provided face to face are now being provided over the phone or online. It is important to remember that one in five people has a hearing loss and may struggle to understand on the phone. 

You may also receive telephone calls through video relay service (VRS), captioned phone relay, or other types of relay services. Do not hang up on these callers; they are calling for information or services.

Learn more about communicating clearly on the phone

Having a hard time using the phone? The Telephone Equipment Distribution Program can help

Many people who find it difficult to use a traditional phone are isolated from their friends and family. It is especially important now that people have ways to connect even when they cannot see each other face to face.

If you or someone you care for is having a hard time using the phone, the Telephone Equipment (TED) Program can help! The TED Program provides phone equipment to people who have a hearing loss, speech, or physical disability that limits their use of a standard telephone.

Phones and other devices to bridge phone access are provided at no cost to eligible Minnesotans. Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services Division staff are continuing to provide phones to those who need them. Phones can be shipped directly to your home.

TED Program application forms are available in English, Spanish, Somali and other languages on Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services Division's website.

You may also call 1-800-657-3663 to request an application for yourself or someone else.

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Family Services Board Meeting – Change in Location

NOTICE CHANGE OF LOCATION: EOC Room at Annex

The Lac qui Parle County Family Services board meeting that is scheduled for Tuesday, March 17, 2020 at 9:00am will not be held in the board room at the Family Service Center building. It will be held in the Emergency Operations Center located in the Annex. This change is being made to remain in compliance with the Center of Disease Control (CDC) recommendations of social distancing.