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Avera Medical Minute: Coronavirus update

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Published: Feb. 24, 2022 at 10:23 PM CST
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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - Thor: Dr. Michael Elliott, the Chief Medical Officer at Avera joins us. You know we’ve seen Covid cases going down here in recent days. Hospitalizations are also going down. What are things looking like in your hospital system?

Dr. Elliott: “Yep same trends. The number of new cases are going down. The number of new hospitalizations are going down. And the weekly mortality is going down as well, so all of that is a good sign.”

Thor: Are we out of the woods yet do you see another variant coming?

Dr. Elliott: “We just have to know, it could come back. There could be another surge. Maybe omicron. Covid in general could continue to be a periodic surging illness. Maybe it becomes more seasonal like influenza. We will just have to wait and see.”

Thor: What should people do to ensure that they stay healthy?

Dr. Elliott: “When we look at the numbers in the hospital, vaccination, and certainly with a booster, is still very very protective. It will keep you out of the ICU 95 percent of the time. It will keep you off the ventilator almost 99 percent of the time. So vaccination is still a key mitigation strategy. And then all of the other mitigation strategies like the hand washing, the masking, the social distancing. They’re all in play to an extent.”

Thor: Is there anything else you would like to add?

Dr. Elliott: “You know what. For all the folks that have taken this seriously, that have gotten their vaccines, that have done those mitigation strategies. Thank you. You have made a difference. I don’t think we can ever claim victory with almost 900 thousand U.S. citizens losing their lives to Covid. Almost 6 million people across the globe have lost their lives to Covid. All of the long term health complications that we will be dealing with for decades as a result of Covid. There’s no victory here. But you know what, it could’ve been worse without a communities efforts to employ these mitigation strategies.”

Thor: Dr. Elliott, thanks for joining us today.

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