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Grand Portage healthcare official talks about COVID-19 contact tracing

Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, local medical facilities in Grand Marais have made major changes to how services are offered. The same thing is happening at the Grand Portage Clinic.

In addition to changes in the clinic building and procedures for patients coming for appointments, the Grand Portage Clinic is also involved in the COVID-19 contact tracing.

As of Nov. 4, Grand Portage has had only one person with a positive COVID-19 result. However, Jenn Sorenson, Grand Portage health director, noted that COVID-19 cases are growing on the North Shore and she said her employees know that could change rapidly.

While continuing to see patients under new COVID-19 guidelines and preparing for future positive cases, Grand Portage Health Services is assisting the Grand Marais hospital and clinic with their contact tracing program.

Sorenson, along with nurses Alexis Eliasen and Dani Riley, are helping reach out to those who may have had a high-risk exposure to the coronavirus.

Day-to-day Grand Portage Clinic activities are funded through federal Indian Health Services, but the additional hours for contract tracing are reimbursed through the federal COVID-19 CARES funding.

WTIP’s Rhonda Silence spoke with Grand Portage Health Director Jenn Sorenson to learn more about how the community health clinic is working to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and about contact tracing.