Aug 3, 2021 | By: Chris Burns

Vaccinations Urged Once Again as COVID-19 Cases Continue to Climb

COVID-19 cases have escalated in Minnesota and the rest of the country as the new delta variant continues to spread. Many states have offered incentives for people to get vaccinated, including giving $100 to unvaccinated individuals who get their first shot.

No matter what incentives are offered, though, the goal has been the same: stop the spread of COVID-19.

“We’re continuing to see increasing numbers of COVID positivity in the test results we’re seeing,” said Dr. Peter Henry, Essentia Health Chief Medical Officer in describing the increase in COVID-19 cases throughout the Brainerd Lakes area. Although Dr. Henry points out Crow Wing County is excelling in vaccination rates, he points out that surrounding areas are not up to par, causing this current wave of cases.

“Because we know that this pandemic now is really in unvaccinated individuals,” said Dr. Henry. A majority – 99.5% of those hospitalized, that are dying or become severely ill with this, are unvaccinated individuals.”

Although he doesn’t believe another shutdown is imminent, some colleges are being proactive in stopping the spread. Central Lakes College announced Tuesday that they’ll be going back to an indoor mask mandate starting Monday, August 9. This comes after a year where COVID-19 was one of the leading causes of death in Minnesota behind cancer and heart disease.

“[In] this country, I think the last statistic I read is 1 in 542 people in this country have died from COVID-19. That’s an astounding statistic,” said Dr. Henry.

One of the key reasons the COVID case rate continues to climb is because of the new delta variant. The new variant isn’t any less deadly than the original strain of the disease, but people with the vaccine can fight it off more easily.

“We are seeing more breakthrough case with this variant for vaccinated individuals, but it’s still important with those breakthrough cases that those individuals still do not have hospitalization and severe illness in almost all instances,” stated Dr. Henry.

With the delta variant being more contagious, Dr. Henry stresses the importance of getting educated on why medical staff want people to get the vaccine.

“The risk of this virus is exceedingly great. It has a much higher likelihood of morbidity and mortality associated with it, and that the risk of the vaccine [is] exceedingly low,” he concluded.

Lakeland News is member supported content, please consider supporting Lakeland PBS today.

Support the Businesses That Support Lakeland PBS

Related News