CentraCare Spokesman Dr. George Morris joined me on WJON today.  He says they have less than 20 people with Covid-19 at St. Cloud Hospital and within CentraCare facilities in the region.  He says they only have a few Covid-19 patients in the critical care/ICU.  Morris says the numbers are down for a variety of reasons which include safety precautions taken around the holidays, masking in public places, washing of hands, increase distribution of the vaccine and proper social distancing.  Listen to our conversation below.



Dr. Morris addressed some questions from listeners.  He says Covid-19 doesn't spread through sweat or in water.  He says Covid-19 spreads from the mouth and nose and close proximity to others.  Morris says because of the hygiene practices which includes masking that has reduced influenza rates and the common cold.  Dr. Morris addressed the issue of mutations of Covid-19.  He says they test for Covid-19 and not specific mutations or variants.  He says it's unclear if these mutations have been in this area.  Morris says it is very possible that Covid-19 was present in Central Minnesota prior to March of 2020.  He says it could have been in our area as early as December of 2019.

The vaccine rollout continues in the area.  Morris says CentraCare continues to focus on vaccinating health care workers, those in long-term care facilities, those who are 65+, educators and first responders.  He says their supply has limited them and they have also experienced a delay in shipment of  vaccine.  Morris says they've been in talks with local pharmacies and Stearns County Public Health when supplies of the vaccine increase where it can be more widely distributed.  Dr. Morris says the Johnson and Johnson vaccine will likely be available in more than a month and he expects it to be used in independent clinic, pharmacies, and by public health.

Dr. George Morris joins me weekly on WJON Saturday's at 7:10-7:50 a.m.  Those conversation are also posted here on wjon.com.

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