CentraCare Spokesman Dr. George Morris joined me on WJON today. He says St. Cloud Hospital is “beyond full” this week due to a flood of Covid-19 cases in St. Cloud hospital and in their ICU. Morris says due to Covid-19 infections and quarantines of staff they are at the point where they will be challenged to meet the level of care needed. He says they are not turning away people who have emergency needs whether they be Covid-19 related or not. He says all of the regional CentraCare hospitals are helping with Covid-19 patients and all have seen an increase in Covid-19 patients within the last week. Listen to parts 1 and 2 of my conversation with Dr. Morris below.
I asked Dr. Morris how long someone is contagious. He says people are typically contagious within the first 10 days of contracting the virus but can still be contagious after that point. Morris says a fever is an example of how active someone is fighting the virus and isn’t a sign of how contagious a person is. I listener wanted to know if anyone has died of influenza this season. Dr. Morris says no and that only 4 people in the state have been hospitalized for influenza so far. He says we are still early in the influenza season.
A positive this week has been the progress made on a vaccine for Covid-19. Dr. Morris says a vaccine will likely be approved before the end of 2020 and could be available for front-line workers and those most at risk early in 2021. A vaccine could be available for the general public as early as the spring. Morris says the vaccine are proving to be safe and effective.