Dear Friends and Neighbors,

CentraCare and Carris Health 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 helps 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

Water-Related Illnesses and Safe Swimming Practices

Published in Wellness

Summertime brings fun and sunshine. With this hot weather many of us are seeking to cool off in the local swimming pool or lake. We need to remember that recreational water illnesses also increase in summer and early fall.


Cryptosporidium is one of the most common waterborne diseases in our country, and is most often found in recreational water and drinking water.

Symptoms of this disease include:

  • watery diarrhea
  • vomiting
  • stomach cramps
  • loss of appetite
  • weight loss
  • slight fever

Symptoms usually occur three-14 days after exposure and for most people, shedding of this germ ceases within two weeks after symptoms go away. Most healthy people can recover without any treatment. However, if vomiting and diarrhea continue, you should contact your healthcare provider.

Swimming Safety

Remember to try to not swallow water or get water in your mouth while swimming whenever possible. You should take a shower before and after swimming. Do not swim if you have diarrhea. If you are diagnosed with Crypto, do not go swimming for at least two weeks after your diarrhea stops. You can pass Crypto in your stool and contaminate water for several weeks after your symptoms have ended.

I have to go…

While swimming, take kids on frequent bathroom breaks. Waiting until you hear, “I have to go” may mean it is already too late. Finally, change diapers in changing rooms, not poolside or on the beach. Always wash your hands after changing diapers. And remember, if you have someone in your house who is sick, wash your hands more often and clean and disinfect surfaces immediately after vomiting or diarrheal accidents.

Have a fun summer, and remember to be safe out there!