Local doctor speaks about concerns as COVID-19 hospitalizations rise

Richard Reeve
Updated: April 07, 2021 11:03 PM
Created: April 07, 2021 10:56 PM

ABC News is reporting this week that COVID-19-related deaths are rising in 21 states and that hospitalizations are up over 10% in 16 states, including in Minnesota. 

"This appears to be the potential start of a fourth wave, or the fourth increase in the number of cases," says Dr. John Smyrski, vice president of Medical Affairs at Abbott Northwestern Hospital. 

Allina Health says its daily census of COVID-19 cases across its facilities reached a low of 71 patients on March 7.

Today, Smyrski says, that number has more than doubled to 162.

Follow KSTP's complete COVID-19 coverage 

"People are out, trying to regain some sense of normalcy, schools are back in session," he explains. "Anytime individuals are gathering, there is an increased risk of exposure." 

Smyrski says patients currently being admitted are younger, a result, he says, of the vaccination effort so far that's focused partly on seniors. 

But he says there is some good news. 

"We are very confident that there is hope at the end. We are well below what our peak was in December," he said. 

Still, Smyrski warns about people being complacent. 

"There's still a risk," he says.  "So you can't say, 'I've received a vaccine, so I don't need to worry about taking any precautions.' We all need to remain vigilant."  

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