Mankato Clinic physicians and Minnesota Department of Health officials encourage families to make a plan in case a family member becomes ill or hospitalized with COVID-19, especially if the family member is a parent, guardian, or caregiver. 

As part of Stay Safe MN, The Minnesota Department of Health offers a step-by-step guide and planning kit on how families can develop an emergency plan. Click here. MDH encourages families to identify people who can care for their children for at least 14 days or more since critical cases can last even longer. 

“It’s always stressful when a parent or caregiver becomes ill, but COVID-19 is more complex than the usual virus. Families may not be able to rely on their children’s grandparents to care for their children because our older adults are at a higher risk for serious illness from this virus,” said Dr. Kendra Finn, Mankato Clinic Family Medicine. 

The “Make a plan Minnesota!” step-by-step guide from MN Department of Health includes these tips: 1. Plan: Talk with your family, identify your support people, choose other caregivers, think about children’s comfort items and routines, document medical and special needs, know child care and school contacts and passwords, and gather legal and custody documents. 2. Prepare: Put your plan on paper. Use the COVID-19 Family Planning and Information Kit which gathers all the key information in one location and can be saved and printed. 3. Share: Share your emergency plan with your alternate caregivers and other close family members or friends who need to know this information. Plans may also be reviewed with children depending on their age. 

“Parents and caregivers should also think about who can help care for them if they are very ill with COVID-19. Before you are sick, check in with a friend, neighbor or family member who may be willing to help,” said Dr. Finn said. “Your county public health department also coordinates essential services, such as food and medication, to people who are diagnosed with COVID-19.” 

For more information on COVID-19 in Minnesota, visit staysafe.mn.gov. To learn what Mankato Clinic is doing to keep you safe, visit safemankatoclinic.com.