ST. CLOUD -- As the state enters the next phase of Governor Tim Walz' plans to reopen the state, local health officials are reminding you COVID-19 hasn't fully left our communities.

CentraCare Spokesperson Dr. George Morris says there is a lot of focus regarding if Stearns County has seen the peak of the virus.

He suggests instead of looking at it as a climb to the top of just one mountain, consider looking at it as a mountain range.

The next couple of months for us will see some of those small waves or small peaks as part of the whole mountain range.That's what we are going to be responding to locally and realizing our role within the state is to help out with those larger outbreaks where ever they pop up.

Morris says he feels Stearns County has seen its peak of the virus, but as things reopen, doesn't mean we can't see another spike in cases.

There has also been some misconceptions surrounding asymptomatic spread of COVID-19. An article published by the World Health Organization has made it seem like there wasn't a risk of spread in asymptomatic people, which was shared a lot on social media.

Morris says there was some clarification made to that article.

They came out with another clarification saying there is still a risk of spread in  asymptomatic, pre-symptomatic and symptomatic people.

Morris says COVID-19 is a global problem and there is many different guidelines and rules for the virus.

He stresses it's important to continue to practice good hand hygiene, wear a mask, continue social distancing and stay home when you're sick.

Morris is also reminding residents that as more businesses open back up, CentraCare has expanded their testing abilities to offer COVID-19 tests to anyone who wants one per the Governor's orders.

We are prepared to offer testing for anyone who wants it. We want people to be assured they can get testing and we think that will help as we safely open up our state and return to a new normal.

Morris says if you want a test you can call their CentraCare Connect line at 320-200-3200.

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