St. Luke’s Infectious Disease Doctor on Public Preparedness: “I Think There’s Room For Improvement”

St. Luke's Infectious Disease Physician Dr. Andrew Thompson Speaks on COVID-19 Preparedness in the Northland

DULUTH, Minn. – “I think there’s room for improvement, at least here in our local community,” said Dr. Andrew Thompson, Infectious Disease Specialist with St. Luke’s Hospital in Duluth.

Dr. Thompson made this statement when asked about his personal view on how safe and cautious residents in the Northland have been during the COVID-19 pandemic.

As Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Michigan among many other states in the nation begin to lift coronavirus restrictions, Dr. Thompson believes the Northland is prepared if there were to be a surge in COVID-19 cases at local hospitals.

“We’ve had months to prepare for this. Both Essentia and St. Luke’s started to prepare for a surge of patients back in mid-March,” said Thompson. “From a healthcare standpoint, we are ready for more cases in hospitals. But as a nation, we are sort of in uncharted waters.”

Health officials know COVID-19 is transmitted through close contact with an infected individual.

Dr. Thompson says we need to remember to social distance and limit group size to help avoid breathing the same air as someone who is infected with COVID-19.

With recent mass gatherings and demonstrations from coast to coast, Dr. Thompson says so far health experts have not noticed a huge increase in COVID-19 cases. He says many states are seeing a slight decline in positive cases.

He says this could be due to the mass gatherings taking place outdoors.

“I encouraged everyone to wear a face-covering when out in public. It doesn’t have to be a face mask, it could be a shield instead,” said Dr. Thompson.

Click here for a link to the CDC’s guidelines regarding safety and coronavirus.

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