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Dear Friends and Neighbors,

CentraCare care givers have been working around the clock for more than 20 months to care for you, your families and friends during COVID. We are committed to caring for every Minnesotan who needs us, and nothing will prevent us from doing so – even during these never-seen-before times.

The challenge of providing this level of care is that our hospital beds are often full. ERs in all of our hospitals are packed. And our clinical teams are exhausted. Early in the pandemic, our community stepped up in amazing ways to help us. We ask that you again join us in fighting this pandemic together.

How can you help?

  • Please get your COVID vaccines and booster shots. They are proven safe and effective in reducing COVID illness, keeping people out of the hospital, and preventing death.
  • If your situation is not an emergency, please use other care options, including:
  • If this is a medical emergency, call 9-1-1, or visit the ER.

Together, we can do this. Thank you for your support.

Ken Holmen, MD
President and CEO

Be extra vigilant on Halloween

Published in General, For the Health of It Author: Melissa Hjelle

Injury Prevention Specialist
CentraCare Health

Did you know that children are twice as likely to be hit by a car and killed on Halloween than on any other day of the year? According to a Centers for Disease Control study, the potential for automobile-related crashes with young pedestrians increases four times on Oct. 31.

When the streets are crawling with ghosts and goblins, drivers need to be extra cautious. Keep these tips in mind:

  • Anticipate heavy pedestrian traffic.
  • Popular trick-or-treating hours are 5:30-9:30 p.m. so be especially alert for kids during those hours.
  • Turn your headlights on earlier in the day so you can spot children from greater distances.
  • Slow down and be especially alert in residential neighborhoods. Children are excited on Halloween and may move in unpredictable ways.
  • Take extra time to look for kids at intersections, on medians and on curbs.
  • Broaden your scanning by looking for children left and right into yards and front porches.
  • Enter and exit driveways and alleys slowly and carefully.
  • Don’t pass stopped vehicles. The driver might be dropping off children.
  • Remember that costumes can limit children’s visibility and they may not be able to see your vehicle.
  • Eliminate any distractions inside your car so you can concentrate on the road and your surroundings.
  • If you are dressed in a costume, don’t wear your mask while you are driving.
  • Communicate with other drivers. Always use your turn signals. And if you have to pull over to drop off or pick up your kids, turn on your hazard lights.
  • Watch for traffic jams. In many areas, people drive their kids into subdivisions and let them out to walk from house to house. Usually, parents drive behind. This can cause confusion as kids dart between cars on the streets going from house to house. Drivers already are distracted because they are trying to keep an eye on their own kids and usually aren’t paying attention to much else.
  • If you are driving children around, make sure they are buckled up in child safety seats or vehicle seatbelts, each and every time they enter the vehicle.