COVID-19 Hospitalizations Remain Steady at Essentia Health

Dr. Jon Pryor, President of Essentia Health, Talks Hospitalizations, Vaccinations, and Summer Safety

DULUTH, Minn. – Over 46 percent of the eligible population in Minnesota is fully vaccinated against COVID-19. In Wisconsin, over 44 percent of the eligible population is fully vaccinated.

While the numbers continue to climb, health officials say there is still plenty of work to be done.

Dr. Jon Pryor is the President of Essentia Health in Duluth. Pryor says as of Thursday, June 3, hospitalizations continue to remain steady at their Duluth campus.

“Over the past four to six weeks, unfortunately, it’s been pretty steady. We have little ups and downs, but we’ve had about 15 to 30 people on any given day hospitalized, and a third of them are currently in the ICU,” said Pryor.

Pryor says he’s not aware of a single patient hospitalized for COVID-19 that has been vaccinated.

“These are people who have not been vaccinated. There’s about 20-30 percent of people in Minnesota who just don’t want to get vaccinated. We all have to do our part to make sure they get vaccinated,” said Pryor.

Pryor says doctors and nurses at Essentia are extremely frustrated and exhausted more than a year into the ongoing pandemic.

“It’s been a long year. Our staff has been amazing. They work long hours and deliver great care, but it’s really hard to watching somebody with severe symptoms — it’s like they’re being tortured with COVID, it’s like they’re being waterboarded with COVID, not for a few minutes, but for days. It’s hard to watch that and it is taking a toll on our staff,” said Pryor.

Pryor says COVID-19 vaccines are now moving into primary care clinics at Essentia, making it easier for those still unvaccinated to get the shot.

“You can pretty much do what you want if you’re vaccinated. If you’re not vaccinated, I strongly recommend wearing a mask if you’re in a crowded space. Basically, if you’re not vaccinated, don’t go indoors unless it’s your own home,” said Pryor.

Click here to sign up for a COVID-19 vaccine from Essentia Health, or contact (833) 494-0836.

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