Aitkin County Public Health and Riverwood Healthcare Center are partnering to offer a joint community clinic to offer both the influenza (flu) vaccine and a third dose or booster shot for COVID-19.

The clinic will be held Tuesday, Oct. 19, from 11 a.m.-2 p.m., at the St. James Catholic Church in Aitkin.

Appointments are required for COVID-19 booster shots. To register, click here or call Riverwood’s coronavirus line at 844-428-1323, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m.

Registration is requested for flu shots, but walk-ins are also welcome. To register for a flu shot, go here.

A registration link can also be found on the Aitkin County website, click on the blue “register here for your 2021 flu shot” button, and then select the St. James clinic Oct. 19.

Please bring insurance cards to the vaccination appointments.

To be eligible for a COVID-19 booster shot, you must have received the Pfizer vaccine and be six months or more past getting your second shot.

Other eligibility criteria are: 1) People age 65 and older; 2) Residents in long-term care settings; 3) People ages 50 to 64 with certain underlying medical conditions; 4) People ages 18-49 who are at high risk for severe COVID-19 due to certain underlying medical conditions; and 5) People ages 18-64 who are at increased risk for COVID-19 exposure and transmission because of where they live or work.

For more information on underlying health conditions or high-risk settings for COVID-19, click here.

“Everyone 6 months of age and older should get an influenza vaccine every season, with rare exceptions,” said Erin Melz, Aitkin County Public Health supervisor. “Our upcoming community clinic offers an opportunity to protect yourself and your family from two major threats to health and wellbeing in one convenient stop.”

If you have any questions or concerns, contact Aitkin County Public Health at 218-927-7200.

COVID-19 visitor restrictions back in place

Both Riverwood Healthcare and Cuyuna Regional Medical Center announced last week that COVID-19 restrictions are back in place.

At Riverwood, no visitors will be allowed facility-wide for Riverwood’s hospital and clinic with a few exceptions. For obstetrics patients, only one visitor will be permitted.  For inpatient, surgery and emergency care patients, no visitors will be allowed except when compassionate care exceptions are indicated.

For Riverwood hospital patients, iPads are available for face-to-face virtual online visits with family members or others.

For outpatient appointments for children under age 18 and those with dementia or other mental impairment, one person (spouse, parent of a minor or health care decision-maker) may escort a patient to an appointment.

Anyone who is sick or displaying symptoms of COVID-19 is not allowed to visit hospital patients or accompany clinic patients to appointments.

CRMC announced at the end of September that it, too, would restrict visitors.

No visitors are being allowed in the clinics, obstetrics, emergency room or hospital. The only exception is for instances of compassionate care and those must be arranged.

Surgery patients are asked to bring a responsible individual with them to surgery, no more than one at this time.

CRMC continues to allow one support individual/guardian for minors, people who require extensive mobility support, and those needing support due to memory loss or impaired decision making. Patients meeting one of these exceptions, need to communicate this at the time of scheduling.

Everyone entering a facility will be required to wear a mask, which is the same policy as Riverwood.

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