COVID-19 positive cases at St. Cloud Hospital continue to rise.  CentraCare spokesman Dr. George Morris joined me on WJON this week.  He says 44 people are hospitalized with 18 of those in the ICU/Critical Care Unit.  Of the 44 people hospitalized 42 of them are unvaccinated and all 18 in the ICU/Critical Care Unit are unvaccinated. The increase of ICU cases has caused St. Cloud Hospital to expand the space they have been using for COVID-19 ICU cases.

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Morris says vaccinated people can still contract the virus but rarely see severe symptoms that would cause them to be hospitalized.  He says those who are older with compromised immune systems are most vulnerable to get he virus after a vaccination.

Morris says the numbers are similar to the surge of cases they saw back in March/April.  He says 1/3 of the cases are people less than 60 years old.  Morris says they have 170 people hospitalized with COVID-19 at their peak in back in December.

Morris says they have seen an uptick in COVID-19 vaccinations and requests in the past couple of weeks. He says they are still offering all 3 types of vaccinations and anticipates reaching out to eligible people soon for a third dose of Pfizer and Moderna vaccine.  A 2nd dose or booster of the Johnson and Johnson vaccine has been testing with recent findings indicating 9 times additional protection from the COVID-19 virus.  He says that booster or 2nd dose hasn't been recommended yet.

If people are interested in getting the COVID-19 vaccine through CentraCare Dr. Morris encourages you to contact them online or call 320-200-3200.


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