CentraCare is reporting 90-plus patients with COVID-19 throughout their facilities in Central Minnesota.  CentraCare Spokesman Dr. George Morris joined me on WJON this week.  He says more than 70 of those are at St. Cloud Hospital. These numbers are up from last week's numbers which saw 85 within CentraCare and 65 at St. Cloud Hospital.  Morris says 75% are unvaccinated this week.  Last week 85% were unvaccinated.  He says the test positive rate within the community is 13%.  Last week it  was 12%.

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Morris says they are at capacity with beds and continue to be understaffed.  He says they are up to 80% of their staff vaccinated.  Morris says he hopes to be at 100% either vaccinated or with an approved medical or religious exemption for staff by mid-December.

Morris was joined by Dr. Jill Amsberry and Dr. Kimberly Tjaden from CentraCare for this week's conversation.  Amsberry is a pediatrician and Tjaden is a family practice physician.  Amsberry says when final approval is given for kids ages 5-11 to receive a COVID-19 vaccine they will be ready to administer.  She says the doses for this age group will be less strong.  Amsberry says the vaccine is safe and effective for kids.

Approximately 70% of eligible people have received a COVID-19 vaccine.  Many people have chosen not to receive the vaccine.  Dr. Tjaden says reasons often given to not receive the vaccine include the vaccine is too new or they just don't want to be told what to do.  Dr. Morris says the negative effects of getting COVID-19 far outweigh the risks of getting a COVID-19 vaccine.

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

Part 1

Part 2


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