CentraCare has more than 100 positive COVID-19 patients this week.  More than 80 of those are at St. Cloud hospital.  These numbers are up slightly from last week where numbers were 97 within CentraCare and 70 at St. Cloud Hospital.  Dr. George Morris joined me on WJON this week.  He says they haven't seen COVID-19 numbers this high at St. Cloud Hospital since around Christmas time last year.  He says 25 people are in the ICU/Critical Care Unit with 24 of them at the St. Cloud ICU/Critical Care unit.  The other one is in Willmar at Rice Memorial Hospital.  Morris says most of the ICU patients are on ventilators.  He says 6 of the people on ventilators are under the age of 50. Morris says it takes a long time for people to get off ventilators due to the damage that severe COVID does to a person's lungs.

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Dr. Morris says the largest percentage of people spreading the virus is from unvaccinated people to other unvaccinated people.  He says breakthrough cases where vaccinated people get the virus still happens but at a lower percentage.  Morris says they have just 4 vaccinated people among the more than 80 people hospitalized in St. Cloud this week.  The test positive rate is up slightly from last week as well in the community and is now at 17%.  It was 15% last week.

Morris says they vaccinated many 5-11 year olds this past week and continue to do so.  He recommends people to contact their primary care providers or reach out to CentraCare to schedule an appointment for parents of kids interested in getting the vaccine.  For information about scheduling a vaccine within CentraCare call 320-200-3200.

If you'd like to listen to my 2-part conversation with Dr. Morris it is available below.




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