Covid-19 positive cases continue to surge in Minnesota and in the St. Cloud area.  CentraCare spokesman Dr. George Morris joined me on WJON today.  He says even though they are seeing a surge of cases they are not at capacity at St. Cloud Hospital or within CentraCare.  He says they have moved to two ICUs at St. Cloud Hospital accounting for the increase in Covid-19 ICU needs.  Dr. Morris says fever, shortness of breath and loss of taste or smell continue to be the most common early symptoms of Covid-19.  He says the fever most people get with Covid-19 doesn't tend to be as high a fever as compared to influenza.  Listen to parts 1 and 2 below.

 

 

Dr. Morris says St. Cloud Hospital is fighting some staffing issues.  These issues involve long hours and little time off for the personnel that are working.  They do have some with Covid-19 or quarantine requirements.  Dr. Morris says some nurses/staff have been asked to work in departments they haven't worked in a quite awhile because of need.

Dr. Morris says testing is still primarily for people with symptoms or known exposure to someone with a positive test. He says a throat swab, nasal swab and spit test can all be equally effective and the expectation of testing results being returned is 2-3 days.  Morris says they can do in-house testing for immediate needs but most of the test lab work that is done are sent to the Twin Cities or Rochester for evaluation.

A vaccine for Covid-19 is still in the works.  Morris says he still expects a vaccine to be approved by the end of 2020 with wide distribution happening within 6 to 18 months.

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