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Mayo Clinic Warns It May Soon Be Limited In Caring For COVID Patients Amid Surging Rates

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) -- One of the world's leading hospitals based here in Minnesota is warning people to take precautions against getting COVID-19. On Tuesday, the dean of Mayo Clinic Practice said that the surge in COVID cases is putting a strain on the hospital system in the Midwest.

Dr. Amy Williams said the biggest concern is staffing.

"Our ability to care or patients depends on staffing, supplies, and space," Williams said.

Williams warned that the Mayo Clinic could soon be limited in caring for patients with the surge in COVID 19 cases. Right now, more than 1,000 members of their staff are out due to having COVID, or being exposed to the disease.

"The most critical worry we have right now caring for patients is staffing we have an increase in staff absences," she said.

In the communities that the Mayo Clinic serves, positive COVID-19 tests have come back as high as 20% in Minnesota and 30% positive in Wisconsin. Williams said Gov. Tim Walz's new orders are a huge step in the right direction, but she said it doesn't stop people from not following basic guidelines.

"If you go to a small gathering, you have to be masked you have to be social distancing it is incredibly important," Williams said.

As of Midnight Sunday, the Mayo Clnic in Rochester was caring for close to 200 COVID-19 positive patients. The Mayo Clinic has again started delaying some elective surgeries, a move that was first taken when the pandemic made its way to Minnesota.

Williams pleaded with the public to take precautions to help hospitals help them.

There were some positive takeaways from the call. Williams said doctors now have a better understanding of how to treat COVID-19 patients. They also have seen a lower rate of flu cases in countries in the southern hemisphere to COVID-19 precautions that they anticipate could translate here as well.

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