The number of COVID-19 positive patients within CentraCare hospitals in Central Minnesota continue to be high. CentraCare Spokesman Dr. George Morris joined me on WJON today.  He says the the number can vary slightly each day or even each hour but they've been pretty steady with 80 to 85 patients with approximately 65 of them at St. Cloud hospital.  Last week's numbers were nearly identical with 85 in CentraCare hospitals and 66 at St. Cloud Hospital.  Morris says they have 21 in the ICU/Critical Care unit.  Last week's numbers showed 23 in the ICU/Critical Care Unit.  He says 85% of the people hospitalized are unvaccinated with no unvaccinated people in the ICU/Critical care unit this week.

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The good news is the St. Cloud community test positive rate is dropping. Dr. Morris says the community test rate has dropped from 12% to 15% and that means instead of 1 out of every 6 people walking around with COVID-19 it's now 1 out of every 8 people. He says a decrease in the test positive rate is often an indicator that the hospitalization numbers will go down.

Dr. Morris says the hospital is still at capacity with this surge. He says 21 of the 32 ICU/Critical Care Unit beds are occupied by COVID-19 patients.  Morris says other Central Minnesota CentraCare hospitals are also at capacity including Carris Health - Rice Memorial Hospital in Willmar.

Morris says COVID-19 vaccinated people can still get the virus and get very sick.  He says these are called break through cases and they can happen with any vaccination or virus but they are rare.  Morris says underlying immunocompromised individuals are most vulnerable for this.

If people are eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine or booster CentraCare is still offering vaccines.  Go online or call 320-200-3200.  My 2-part conversation with Dr. Morris is available below.




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