CentraCare and St. Cloud Hospital continue to see a surge of positive COVID-19 patients.  CentraCare Spokesman Dr. George Morris joined me on WJON.  He says they have 87 positive COVID-19 patients throughout CentraCare with 66 of them at St. Cloud Hospital.  The others are at CentraCare facilities in Long Prairie, Melrose, Paynesville, Monticello and Willmar.  Morris says they have 23 people this week in the ICU/Critical Care Unit with 15 on ventilators.  Willmar has one person in their ICU/Critical Care Unit.

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Dr. Morris says the good news is CentraCare has learned much about treating COVID and has a less than 1% mortality rate.  He says this is better than the national average.  80% of the people hospitalized are unvaccinated. Of the vaccinated people hospitalized 3 are under 50 years of age and 3 vaccinated people are in the ICU/Critical Care Unit.  Morris says these positive COVID-19 hospitalizations among vaccinated people are considered "break thru" cases.  He still urges vaccinated and unvaccinated people with wear masks when indoors and stay 6 feet apart.

To compare this week to last week... CentraCare had 75 positive COVID-19 patients  with more than 60 at St. Cloud Hospital.  20 people were in the ICU/Critical Care Unit with 19 of those on ventilators.

Morris says this current surge has only been surpassed locally by their largest surge last November/December.  The surge is still considered a Delta variant surge.

Morris says they continue to reach out to eligible people for a 3rd dose or booster of the COVID-19 vaccination.  He says they are moving through the list as fast as they can.  He says they started with their employees and have moved to community members. A booster of the Pfizer vaccine is the only one recommended right now.  Morris says both Moderna and Johnson and Johnson has applied for a booster.

Those interested in getting a vaccine can contact CentraCare online or call 320-200-3200.

Listen to my 2-part conversation with Dr. Morris below.




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