Hospitals Urging Community Members To Follow Safety Guidelines

Recent statistics show about 40% of all COVID-19 related hospitalizations in this region were reported during the first three weeks of November.

DULUTH, Minn. – This fall has been a very active time for spikes in covid-19 cases around the Northland.

The latest numbers show September, October, and November with some of the highest rates for the transmission of the coronavirus since the start of the pandemic.

That’s why area health professionals are urging everyone to follow safety guidelines to help slow the spread of the virus as the holiday season approaches.

Recent statistics show about 40% of all COVID-19 related hospitalizations in this region were reported during the first three weeks of November.

St. Louis County health officials are working hard to get a better grip on virus transmission.

Health professionals agree it will take extra effort from community members to really bring down those case numbers and help take the strain off local healthcare workers.

“You are now the frontline against covid which is why it is so important you do everything possible to slow the spread, said Dr. Dawn Drotar, a hospitalist for Essentia Health.

Right now, St. Louis county is reporting about ten hospitalizations a day related to COVID-19.

and as more people are admitted for pandemic related issues, the impact goes way beyond just concern about hospital bed capacities.

“We are struggling like most health care systems with staff who have either been exposed or are in quarantine. We are struggling to staff to the level we really hope too,” said Dr. Van Deelan, the chief medical officer for St. Luke’s Hospital.

St. Luke’s officials say so far they have been able to handle this latest surge in cases, as time goes on finding the space and staff to deal with increased hospitalizations gets harder.

St. Louis County Public health experts are urging people to get tested so you can know your health status.

If you think you may have been exposed and you get a negative test result, there is still a chance you could be carrying the virus, making it important to isolate for 14 days after any close contact with a positive COVID-19 case.

“Your test result will tell you if infected with COVID-19 on the day you got tested. It won’t tell you if you are incubating the virus in your system and hasn’t been able to be detected,” said Amy Westbrook, the director for the St. Louis County Public Health Division.

Studies show the average age for hospitalizations for COVID-19 treatment is around 70, while deaths happen most often for people in their 80s.

The largest age group contracting the virus continues to be between 18-34 years old.

It is still strongly advised to continue social distancing, washing your hands, and wearing a mask.

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