The COVID-19 numbers at St. Cloud Hospital are about the same this week as last week but CentraCare spokesman Dr. George Morris is optimistic our local COVID numbers will decrease dramatically over the next 6 to 8 weeks. Morris says they have 74 people at St. Cloud Hospital with COVID with 22 of those in the ICU/critical care unit.  Those numbers are identical to the numbers reported last week by Dr. Mark Matthias at CentraCare.  Morris says 90 to 95 percent of the positive COVID-19 patients at St. Cloud Hospital are the Omicron variant.

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Dr. Morris says the Delta variant has mostly run its course and almost all cases being reported now are the Omicron variant.  Morris says those who have had COVID-19 have hard fought immunity but that immunity isn't as good as those who have received the vaccination series plus a booster.  He says the trend with COVID is now new variants becoming more contagious but not as severe as the original COVID or the Delta variant.  Dr. Morris says he expects new variants to follow a similar pattern.  He says the Omicron variant as a sub type that is considered more contagious but a less severe disease.  Dr. Morris says this new variant is similar in severity to the flu.  He says they have 2 people hospitalized with the flu at St. Cloud Hospital.

Dr. Morris says an endemic isn't far away where COVID-19 will still be apart of our lives but it won't threaten society like it has for the past 2 years.  He says it is likely that a COVID-19 booster shot will be offered yearly.

If you'd information about a vaccination through CentraCare it is available at or call 320-200-3200. If you'd like to listen to my 2-part conversation with Dr. Morris it is available below.




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