Mayo says they are ready for vaccine

The COVID-19 surge may be slowing down, but now is not the time to let your guard down, even with a vaccine on the horizon.

Amy Williams, MD, Executive Dean of Practice for Mayo Clinic announced that rates in Minnesota are decreasing as there were 381 positive tests Tuesday and 302 positive tests on Monday and good news is on the horizon.

Dr. Amy Williams

“We are ready to distribute that vaccine as soon as they can get it to us,” Williams said. “We have identified where we will be distributing it and who will be getting it. The first flush will be health care workers or people living in longterm care health facilities. We will be abiding by the state rules. Over the next couple of months, we will be able to vaccinate our staff and our community and we are very, very excited about this.”

Mayo in Southeast Minnesota has 17 patients with COVID-19 and four in the ICU, Rochester has 83 COVID-19 patients with 21 in the ICU, Northwest Wisconsin has 50 COVID-19 patients with seven in the ICU, and Southwest Wisconsin has 14 COVID-19 patients with four in the ICU.

Williams said that now is the time for anyone who was at a Thanksgiving gathering around someone who may be COVID-19 positive to get tested.

“We just cannot let our guard down. We have to stay focused on fighting this pandemic,” she said. “(The numbers are) still lower than we’ve seen in the past, especially during the surge. But it shows us that COVID is still in the community.”

Mayo’s staff is looking healthy again as just two percent are currently out with COVID-19.

“That is spectacular because we know that we need staff in order to care for the individuals in our hospitals with and without COVID-19,” Williams said. “Protecting our staff is very important.”

The vaccine will be given in two doses over a period of 21 days, meaning people who receive it will have to follow COVID-19 guidelines in between their doses.