Dr. Amy W. Williams, executive dean of practice for Mayo Clinic, says there are good signs that suggest the COVID-19 surge may be leveling off in Mayo Clinic's Midwest regions. However, it doesn't mean people should let their guard down.
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"Finally, we're seeing some positive signs. We're seeing them in our percent positivity rates. For the most part, we see them sliding down, which is what we want," says Dr. Williams.
"The other thing that we're seeing is that the number of patients needing to be hospitalized and the number of people who are testing positive each day is going down. It's a big drop from previous numbers, which is spectacular. We're hoping that this is a sign that all of the measures are helping."
Measures such as, masking, social distancing, hand hygiene and avoiding large gatherings are all important to keep up. As are the outpatient therapies, such as the monoclonal antibody treatments, Mayo Clinic is offering to help keep patients out of the hospitals.
"We still have positivity rates that are higher than they should be. That tells us that COVID-19 is absolutely in our communities. The pandemic is still here. With the therapies and the vaccine, we still can't let our guard down because there is enough COVID-19 out there that will keep the pandemic going despite all of these measures," says Dr. Williams.
COVID-19 vaccination plans for Mayo Clinic
Mayo Clinic is ready to start administering the first round of COVID-19 vaccinations later this month. Mayo Clinic will be following the state and federal recommendations for the first wave of vaccines, which will be available for those at highest risk of exposure to COVID-19. Dr. Williams says the second wave of vaccines is anticipated to be available shortly after the first, and each week Mayo Clinic will get more allocations of the vaccine.
"My greatest hope is that people understand the information [on the vaccine] and they see that all the information that we have shows us that it is a safe and effective vaccine and they will get vaccinated. That will decrease the spread of COVID-19 in our communities and help end the pandemic. My hope is that enough people will get the vaccine," says Dr. Williams.
Information in this report was accurate at the time of posting. Due to the fluid nature of the COVID-19 pandemic, scientific understanding, along with guidelines and recommendations, may have changed since the original publication date.
For the safety of its patients, staff and visitors, Mayo Clinic has strict masking policies in place. Anyone shown without a mask was recorded prior to COVID-19 or in an area not designated for patient care, where social distancing and other safety protocols were followed.