Covid-19 positive cases at CentraCare and within St. Cloud hospital are on the rise from the week before.  That according to CentraCare Spokesman Dr. George Morris. Morris appeared on WJON with me today.  He says they have 35+ positive Covid-19 patients at St. Cloud Hospital with a third of them in the ICU/Critical care unit.  He says these numbers are alarming and remind him of the increase they saw last fall.  He says instead of seeing people in their 70s and 80s in the hospital with this they are now seeing many in the 40s, 50s and 60s that are hospitalized.  He says the U.K. variant that is spreading through the state has created more severe symptoms in some which has led to an increase in hospitalizations.  He says the spread is community spread.  Listen to our 2-part conversation below.



Dr. Morris says if we continue to see a rise in Covid-19 positive cases we could be right back to where we were locally in November and December.  He urges caution and following CDC guidelines until more and more people can receive a vaccine.  Morris says April is a critical month for more vaccines with the hope to stop the rise in positive cases and hospitalizations.  Morris predicts that if herd immunity can be achieved by mid summer masks could become voluntary and not mandatory.  He says he doesn't make the rules but says getting 70 to 90 percent of the population to get a vaccine would get us to herd immunity and make mask wearing not necessary.

This conversation with conducted on Wednesday this week without knowledge of the state's plan to make the vaccine available to 16+ people starting next Tuesday.

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