Covid-19 Cases On The Rise In Minnesota

DULUTH, Minn. — Wednesday morning drew in some alarming news to Essentia hospitals across the Midwest. Even though Michigan is the leading state in new covid cases, Minnesota is right behind after holding the number one spot last week.

This means added pressure on hospital systems like Essentia Health which saw 129 new positive covid cases on Wednesday morning across Essentia’s hospitals in Idaho, North Dakota, Minnesota and Wisconsin. Of that, around 60 patients are here in Duluth.

An Essentia critical care doctor tells us this is the largest spike they’ve seen in Duluth since last November, and most of these cases involve unvaccinated patients.

“We had more patients in the or 60-70s last year, but we also had young people in their 50s and 40s but less often, and now mostly 50’s and some in their 40s and even a couple of people on ventilators in their 30s today just looking at the list,” Dr. Christina Bastin Dejong, Critical Care Doctor At Essentia in Duluth said.

As the cases rise, the age group affected most is becoming younger and the ICU at Essentia Duluth is getting overwhelmed with patients who are having to go on ventilators.

“You know they’re pretty exhausted, we’ve been at this for twenty months and there are times when we have people that just need time off,” Dr. Bastin Dejong said, “we recognize how burnt out our staff are getting and that’s been one of the hardest challenges actually”.

Meanwhile, as booster shots are becoming more accessible and pediatric patients are able to be vaccinated, health care professionals urge people to seek out these options to help slow the spread.

“We’re seeing a pretty big surge in the area right now, and actually just overall in the state of Minnesota, so just helping people understand that if you are eligible for a booster we are here to help you guys out, and also really hoping to reduce that stress load on the hospitals,” Emily Lian, Saint Louis County Public Health Nurse, said.

Wednesday’s at the Shriners Center and Meeting Facility in Hermantown, booster shots, and pediatric doses have become available to receive, and they had 80 adults and 15 kids sign up right away.

“You know, it’s really important to get that booster just to kind of help your immune system continue to fight covid, we know that the vaccines initially when they rolled out, they didn’t have information on boosters because they were a newer vaccine, but in order to keep our immunity up, a lot of the data has shown that receiving that booster is going to help your immunity in the long run, not just in those two initial doses,” Lian said.

Professionals advise those looking to receive the vaccination to look on Saint Louis County’s website to find clinics near you, and when you can schedule your appointment too.

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