CentraCare is reporting 38 people hospitalized with COVID-19 this week. Those numbers are up from 15 from 2 weeks ago. CentraCare spokesman Dr. George Morris says 33 of the 38 are at St. Cloud Hospital and 9 of those are in the ICU/Critical Care unit. Morris says 15 of the 38 hospitalized people are under 50 years old.

He says they have people under 18 years of age hospitalized as well. Morris says the majority of hospitalized people are unvaccinated. He says those who have been vaccinated and are hospitalized are over 65 years of age.

Morris says this recent surge is attributed to the Delta variant which he says is more contagious and has been causing severe symptoms in many.  He says vaccinations typically keep people from getting COVID-19 but in cases where they do still acquire the virus the symptoms are typically mild.

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Morris urges people questioning the safety and effectiveness of the COVID-19 vaccinations to talk with local trusted health care professionals. He says the Moderna vaccine is proving to be the most effective followed by the Pfizer vaccine and then the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. He expects a booster vaccination to be recommended to at risk individuals within the next couple of weeks.

Many Government agencies, business and schools are requiring vaccinations.  Morris says they are looking for ways to increase the vaccination rate within CentraCare.  He says CentraCare's vaccination rate is at about 60% and he'd like it to be 90%.  Morris says they do not currently have a vaccination mandate but that and other ways to increase their vaccination rate is being considered.

To hear the my complete conversation with Dr. Morris it is available below.

 

 

 

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