FERGUS FALLS -- County Human Services, which provides more than 27 different programs to residents in Otter Tail County, says that neighbors helping neighbors is more important than ever in light of the coronavirus.

“We all can reach out to our neighbors in order to relieve stress,” county Human Services Director Deb Sjostrom said Tuesday, April 14, during an online meeting of the Otter Tail County Board of Commissioners.

“We can do a lot for each other and at the same time keep our social distancing,” she said. “As examples, a person can help a neighbor by delivering groceries or doing other errands.”

Otter Tail County Human Services Director Deb Sjostrom
Otter Tail County Human Services Director Deb Sjostrom

Sjostrom echoes county public health by saying a person can leave the groceries at a neighbor’s front door or make sure to maintain a distance when entering a front door.

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“Wash your hands before and after making a delivery,” she added.

Otter Tail County Human Services, headed by Sjostrom, is in place to provide an array of financial and social services to families and individuals.

“We as a department do our best to help maintain the quality of life for all the people who we serve,” Sjostrom said. “Obviously, we are forced to do things differently during this trying time related to COVID-19.”

Otter Tail County Human Services includes social workers, financial workers, child support officers, case aides, office support staff and accounting technicians.

On April 14 the five-person county board, on the recommendation of Sjostrom, proclaimed this month as Child Abuse Prevention Month in Otter Tail County.

The county board of commissioners stated the following in its proclamation: “We call upon all citizens, community agencies, religious organizations, medical facilities, and businesses to increase their participation in efforts to prevent child abuse and neglect, thereby strengthening the communities and rural areas in which we live.”