Alternative health care sites could take pressure off Perham, Fergus Falls facilities

Perham Health 2020
Perham Health. (Submitted photo)
We are part of The Trust Project.

FERGUS FALLS -- The county is considering alternative health care sites that would take the pressure off heath care facilities in Perham and Fergus Falls during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Possible sites will be explored the week of April 12 by medical personnel in Otter Tail County, the Army Corps of Engineers and the Minnesota National Guard.

“This also involves work from an alternative health care site assessment team,” County Emergency Management Director Patrick Waletzko told commissioners during their April 9 online board meeting.

Waletzko said he and other emergency management partners also are discussing the possibility of finding temporary housing for people under quarantine who need to be closer to health care providers.

“Outreach to townships, communities and our rural areas is an ongoing process here in Otter Tail County,” he said. “We see this as public safety partnerships.”


County Board Chairman Lee Rogness of Fergus Falls said he and others in county government have accessed online meetings conducted by the Minnesota Inter-County Association (MICA).

COVID-19-related issues are being addressed on a weekly basis.

MICA is a voluntary organization of 14 Minnesota counties which include Otter Tail, Benton, Blue Earth, Carver, Crow Wing, Dakota, Olmsted, Rice, Scott, Sherburne, St. Louis, Stearns, Washington and Winona.

“Through MICA we work to solve problems common to our member counties and residents,” Rogness said. “During these trying times it’s good that we as member counties can address various options on how best to address COVID-19 challenges.”

What to read next
Availability of labor is becoming tighter and more competitive. Officials of the Farmers Cooperative Elevator at Rosholt, South Dakota, describe how in the spring of 2022 they offered $30 an hour for truck “tender” drivers, moving fertilizer and inputs to farms, but got no applicants. They were grateful for local trucking firms stepping up during the vital period, but understandably at a higher cost for the farmer-owned company.
Gary Tharaldson, North Dakota’s successful hotel developer and owner of Tharaldson Ethanol in Casselton, North Dakota, describes how his company will move forward after the death of chief operating officer Ryan Thorpe. Tharaldson urges people to check in on others but said there was no warning at work that would have predicted the tragedy of Thorpe's death by suicide.
Lida Farm grows for Community Support Agriculture customers, farmers markets and food stands, with a little going to a local food co-op. Since 2004, the west central Minnesota farm has changed how it operates to keep up with the times and what they can handle.
A legislative field event at Albert Lea Seed on July 26 highlighted the work that’s been done in the past decade by more than 50 researchers of the University of Minnesota’s Forever Green Initiative.