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Got a dental emergency? Go to your dentist, not the E.R.

Blood drives are also in desperate need for more blood donations.

This past week, Gov. Tim Walz ordered that all elective surgeries and procedures at healthcare facilities in Minnesota be postponed in light of the growing number of novel coronavirus cases in the state, and since then there has been a surge in the number of Minnesotans showing up at hospital emergency rooms with dental issues. 

That has to stop, says Kris Ehresmann, infectious disease director with the Minnesota Department of Health. 

"We're hearing that because of the executive order that cancels elective surgeries and other operations and other operations and procedures that many people are going to the emergency room if they are experiencing a dental emergency," she said Sunday. 

"In an effort to keep people from overloading emergency departments and urgent care, if you are experiencing a dental emergency, please contact your dentist." 

In light of that, dentists are being asked to make their practice available to patients with dental emergencies, but to only provide care if they believe it is necessary based on their clinical judgement. 

Desperate need for blood donations in Minnesota

A negative result from mandatory business closures and many Minnesota employees working from home is a severe shortage in blood supply.

Blood banks are concerned that during the pandemic that there has been and there will be a dire situation related to blood and plasma. Many blood drives have been canceled because of social distancing and businesses not having staff physically present. There is a desperate need for blood.

Ehresmann says there is no danger in donating blood and that social distancing can be maintained while donating. 

"If you are someone who is currently at home, not working and can donate blood, please contact the blood centers in Minnesota because there is a desperate need for blood," she said. 

You can make an appointment to donate on the American Red Cross website

If you're sick in any way, stay home. Only people who don't feel sick should donate blood. 

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