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Rochester, MN (KROC-AM News) - The Mayo Clinic is expecting a post-Thanksgiving spike in COVID-19 cases but right now "things look good."

Those were the words of Dr. Amy Williams, the chair of the Mayo Clinic Practice in the Midwest. She briefed the media this afternoon on the Mayo Clinic's current response to the pandemic and reported that, while the region is still in a surge of COVID-19 activity, it is currently in a steady state. Dr. Williams noted the testing positivity rate among Mayo Clinic patients in Rochester has pretty much leveled off at around 10-percent while the rate is still elevated at around 20-percent in most of the other areas served by Mayo hospitals. There is one exception. The positivity rate in southwestern Wisconsin has risen to around 25-percent.

Dr. Williams reported that COVID-19 related work absences by Mayo Clinic staff throughout the Midwest have been declining and now stands at about 2.2-percent or about 1200 of its 55,000 employees in the region. There are currently about 300 COVID-19 patients being treated in Mayo Clinic hospitals across the Midwest. As of today, there are 105 in Rochester and 31 of those COVID patients are in intensive care. William says the number of COVID hospitalizations in Rochester has been in a steady-state ranging from the mid-90s into the lower 100s for the past couple of weeks.

By constantly "juggling" staffing, space, and supplies, Dr. Williams says the Mayo Clinic in Rochester has only had to reduce its elective inpatient procedures by about 10-percent to care for the elevated number of COVID patients. She says the only limitation now in effect involves elective surgeries that would require the use of an ICU bed in recovery.

Dr. Williams says the post-Thanksgiving COVID activity spike is expected to begin showing up at the end of this week and continue through the next couple of weeks. She says the Mayo Clinic is prepared to delay additional elective procedures and reduce the number of outpatient visits to free up staff if they are needed to assist in the COVID-19 response.

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