COVID-19 numbers are back up at St. Cloud Hospital this month but only slightly.  Dr. George Morris from CentraCare joined me on WJON this week.  He says they have 12 positive COVID patients within their CentraCare facilities with 2 of those in the St. Cloud Hospital ICU/Critical Care Unit. Morris says there are more than 400 confirmed cases in the St. Cloud area this week.  He says those who are older or more vulnerable continue to be more affected.  My last conversation with Dr. Morris was a month ago and at that time CentraCare had just 2 people with COVID at St. Cloud Hospital.

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Dr. Morris says these cases are a sub variant of the Omicron COVID-19 variant.  He says this sub variant is proving to be more contagious but usually shows less severe symptoms in those who are infected. This current surge according to Morris could be aided by nicer weather this spring and summer which put more people outside and away from poor ventilated indoor settings.  Dr. Morris says most people who test positive have a sore throat, cough and/or fever.  He says those who have received a vaccine and/or booster are less likely to receive severe symptoms or to even get the virus.

Those individuals who are 50 plus years of age or have some preexisting medical conditions are recommended for a 4th shot or a booster of their booster according to Morris. Dr. Morris says CentraCare is planning on a COVID-19 booster shot along with a flu shot this fall.  He says the current sub variant of the Omicron virus in our community is considered more dangerous than influenza.  Morris says don't think of COVID as just the flu because it is more severe than that.

CentraCare is no longer offering vaccines at what was called their South Point location.  Instead COVID-19 vaccines and boosters are available with primary care doctors and at many pharmacies.

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




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