County is Open for Business During COVID

Did you Know:

Although the COVID emergency appears to be all we hear and talk about, the county is still operating all of its functions  in addition to meeting the needs of the COVID pandemic.  I continue to support all of the county’s functions.  Here are just some of the functions associated with the Health, Housing and Human Services Division.  This does not include the services that are provided by Public Works and General Government.

  • Our Veterans continue to receive services in spite of the difficulties created by COVID
  • The County’s Emergency Operations Center has met bimonthly for many years; consequently, Olmsted County was much better prepared for the pandemic response than other counties.
  • Since COVID began in March the county has responded to 216 mental health related calls and 163 substance use calls. This is a slight increase from last year at this time.
  • County services have contacted more than 60 elderly individuals that have been referred by to us by the Falls Coalition and Rochester Fire Department.
  • Since April 1, 76 long-term care assessments have been completed electronically.
  • Behavioral Health has completed 229 individual and 34 group therapy sessions using new electronic health records and telehealth.
  • The Social Worker liaison with the Sheriff’s department continues to provide support to law enforcement via phone.  An increase in psychological and domestic violence has been noted.  The liaison has also provided de-escalation training locally and nationally.
  • 1,500boxes of food and essential supplies have been delivered.
  • For Meals on Wheels recipients, the county, since COVID, has been paying for a second meal since mid-March.
  • Child and Family Services continue to serve.  Much of this service remains face-to-face.
  • Waivers from the state have allowed Olmsted to use more electronic and distance protocols to provide services.  It has been found that this new way of providing services has created efficiencies; I am hopeful that the state will allow the waivers to continue beyond the COVID episode.  Face-to-face services are still being used when required.
  • Community Corrections, as of May 11, has conducted 514 video visits with clients.  Victim Services has conduced 15 video calls.
  • Community corrections programs continue to operate to prepare clients on probation to a successful return to the community.
  • Approximately 80%of the public health staff is contributing to the COVID emergency response in some capacity.
  • Child and Family Services continue to operate efficiently and effectively.  CFS has added Connecting families to distance learning now that children are schooling from home.  This is helping to remove learning barriers.
  • Medical Assistance and MnCare enrollments are trending up.
  • Family Support and Assistance call center is averaging 1140 calls per week.   Those who have questions or need assistance can use the call center:  507-328-6500 (interpreters are also available).  Email questions and attaching documents to this address:  PAQ@co.olmsted.mn.us
    For Child Support Questions, email them to:  ChildSupportQuestion@co.olmsted.mn.us
    FAX number is 507.326.7956
  • Over 90%of Family Support and Assistance staff are working remotely
  • About 100 homeless people use the Civic Center during the day.  The average during the night is 43.
  • Catholic Charities operates the homeless shelters
  • HRA (Housing and Redevelopment Authority created a temporary rental assistance program to provide three months of rental assistance for people who lost income due to the pandemic.
  • HRA is in the process of leasing 30units of single room occupancy housing to provide stable housing units for those who use the warming center.

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