As the world works diligently to manage and reduce the spread of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), Northwestern Mental Health Center (NWMHC) is taking steps aligned with the guidelines from the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), as well as recommendations from Minnesota Governor Tim Walz. We want to provide an update on NWMHC’s response to these health concerns.

• We ask staff and clients to stay home if you are ill. If you have any symptoms of respiratory illness, please reschedule your appointment to protect the health and safety of all our clients and staff. Symptoms of respiratory illness could include fever, cough, sore throat, runny nose, or shortness of breath.

• We ask all clients to wash their hands (or use hand sanitizer) when entering and leaving our facilities.

• We will screen all visitors to our facilities. We are working to establish the screening process and plan to implement it by Wednesday, March 18, 2020.

• We are enhancing our routine cleaning schedule and focusing on regularly touched surfaces. Hand sanitizer, disposable wipes, and masks are available at all clinic locations.

• Due to the closure of all K-12 schools in Minnesota, NWMHC is working with school administrators to determine the best way to support students while schools are closed. We anticipate further updates on this in the coming days.

• Support groups and gatherings of more than ten people are canceled or postponed.

• We will continue regular business operations for individual and small group clinic and community-based services with some additional precautions. During appointments, participants should remain six feet apart in accordance with MDH and CDC guidelines.

We are closely monitoring this evolving situation, and our leaders are meeting regularly to continue to prepare. We will provide regular updates on our website and Facebook account, so please check back often. Clients will receive direct communication regarding appointment changes via text, email, or phone call.

Our priority is the health and safety of our community, our country, and our world, especially those who are more at risk of contracting COVID-19.

The Minnesota Department of Health has a hotline for questions the general public has about COVID-19. The hotline is open Monday – Friday, 7 a.m. – 7 p.m. at 651-201-3920. You may also contact NWMHC with your COVID-19 questions and concerns at [email protected].

If you are feeling distressed or want additional support during this time, call our 24/7 Crisis Hotline at 800-282-5005 or contact a Trained Crisis Counselor by texting MN to 741741.