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More than 900 Mayo Clinic staff members diagnosed with Covid-19 in Midwest over two weeks

More than 900 staff members across the Midwest Mayo Clinic system have been diagnosed with Covid-19 over the last 14 days, a spokesperson told CNN.Tha...

Posted: Nov 19, 2020 7:15 AM

More than 900 staff members across the Midwest Mayo Clinic system have been diagnosed with Covid-19 over the last 14 days, a spokesperson told CNN.

That's about 30% of the total number who have tested positive since March.

"Our staff are being infected mostly due to community spread (93% of staff infections), and this impacts our ability to care for patients," Kelley Luckstein wrote to CNN in a Wednesday email.

Across the Midwest, Mayo Clinic currently has about 1,500 staff members with work restrictions related to Covid-19 exposures or diagnosis, Luckstein said.

The Midwest Mayo Clinic system consists of clinics, hospitals and other facilities that serve patients in Iowa, Minnesota and Wisconsin. Midwestern states have been hit especially hard in the latest round of Covid-19 case surges -- with Minnesota's governor announcing new measures this week to help curb the spread and Wisconsin's governor declaring a new state of emergency.

In Iowa, Gov. Kim Reynolds overcame her previous resistance to mask mandates and announced a new health order requiring masks indoors, saying hospitals have been pushed to the brink by the spread of the virus.

Like other health care systems, Mayo Clinic hasn't been spared from the pandemic's devastating effects.

"There are three things you need to take care of any patient," Dr. Amy Williams, the executive dean of the Mayo Clinic practice said in a Covid-19 update this week. "Space, supplies and staff. And what we are most worried about is staff."

Staff members are getting exposed and infected with the virus mostly in the community, Williams said. And while some Americans may be getting tired of hearing about safety measures like wearing masks and regularly washing hands, it's important to continue taking those precautions as the virus continues spreading rampantly throughout the country, she said.

"We're doing this because we care about our communities," Williams said in the update. "We don't want families to be sick. We don't want families to lose loved ones. We want everyone to be safe. We will get through this, but we need to be safe, we need to protect each other."

'We need your help and we need it now'

Parts of the health system have already been overwhelmed by the surge in patients, while other facilities are preparing for what's to come.

In northwest Wisconsin, the Mayo Clinic Health System said last week that 100% of its hospital beds were full.

"The public urgently needs to treat COVID-19 as the health emergency it is to prevent the health care system from being overwhelmed," the health system said in last week's statement.

At the time, about 50% of the ICU capacity was occupied by Covid-19 patients, the system said in a statement, and added that Covid-19 patients that are treated in the hospital normally stay about two to three times longer than non-Covid-19 patients.

"While we are temporarily deferring elective procedures in order to free up beds for COVID-19 patients, the public needs to understand we continue to care for other patient populations in addition to COVID patients -- we remain open for trauma, emergency care, and urgent care needs while also caring for COVID patients."

"We need your help and we need it now."

Meanwhile, Williams said in a media briefing this week that Mayo Clinic was boosting its ICU capacity in a Rochester, Minnesota, hospital to be able to handle a surge in Covid-19 patients.

She added the system expects to see a jump in hospitalization rates over the next two to four weeks.

"We continue to see an increase in the number of patients in our communities that are getting Covid-19. We continue to see that translate to more and more hospitalizations," she said in a video update.

In the video update, Williams said they're also seeing more patients transferred from hospitals outside of the Mayo Clinic Health System.

"Which just tells us hospitals elsewhere, in Minnesota, in Iowa, in the Dakotas, in surrounding states, are overwhelmed because of this surge."

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 333626

Reported Deaths: 3843
CountyCasesDeaths
Hennepin700691145
Ramsey29459521
Dakota23564198
Anoka23541236
Washington14864125
Stearns14564125
St. Louis9549121
Scott896460
Wright847548
Olmsted714637
Sherburne618746
Clay529960
Carver509715
Kandiyohi440828
Rice432338
Blue Earth431217
Crow Wing383339
Otter Tail338925
Chisago334516
Benton322753
Nobles316032
Winona297832
Douglas283040
Mower274823
Polk271527
Morrison246731
McLeod233721
Lyon232812
Beltrami230718
Goodhue222932
Becker221521
Steele21038
Itasca206324
Isanti203917
Carlton201417
Todd190314
Nicollet172126
Mille Lacs164632
Freeborn16227
Le Sueur157012
Brown156115
Cass153511
Pine14498
Meeker144812
Waseca143411
Roseau13035
Martin124721
Hubbard119729
Wabasha11301
Redwood104620
Chippewa9808
Renville95530
Cottonwood9454
Dodge9311
Watonwan8944
Wadena8637
Sibley8404
Rock8249
Houston8004
Aitkin79930
Fillmore7690
Pipestone76518
Pennington7058
Yellow Medicine69612
Kanabec68614
Swift63610
Murray6124
Faribault6093
Pope5721
Clearwater55410
Marshall5459
Stevens5403
Jackson5321
Lake4518
Koochiching4216
Wilkin4175
Lac qui Parle4124
Lincoln3811
Unassigned38159
Norman3718
Big Stone3392
Mahnomen3225
Grant2986
Kittson2518
Red Lake2303
Traverse1531
Lake of the Woods1071
Cook800

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 237371

Reported Deaths: 2571
CountyCasesDeaths
Polk34873347
Linn14787169
Scott1184692
Black Hawk11288147
Woodbury10763137
Johnson985939
Dubuque947999
Story701924
Pottawattamie682474
Dallas661260
Sioux383829
Webster378339
Cerro Gordo373252
Marshall360950
Clinton345645
Buena Vista316614
Muscatine305172
Des Moines300623
Warren294115
Plymouth287044
Wapello265072
Jones237118
Jasper231546
Lee228719
Marion211922
Carroll204325
Bremer202713
Henry19367
Crawford183116
Benton175423
Tama157442
Jackson151117
Washington150216
Delaware147621
Dickinson145812
Boone144912
Mahaska133928
Wright13107
Clay12505
Buchanan123410
Hardin122812
Hamilton119514
Page11925
Kossuth11768
Clayton115510
Cedar114614
Harrison113432
Floyd111921
Mills11129
Calhoun10987
Fayette109812
Lyon10769
Butler10748
Winneshiek105513
Poweshiek103714
Iowa101414
Cherokee9674
Winnebago96325
Chickasaw9195
Hancock9138
Sac9068
Louisa90122
Grundy89514
Allamakee88413
Cass84725
Union8437
Mitchell8429
Appanoose81613
Humboldt8125
Shelby80511
Emmet79026
Guthrie78315
Franklin76421
Jefferson7635
Madison7265
Unassigned7090
Palo Alto6744
Keokuk6567
Pocahontas6024
Howard5859
Ida54915
Osceola5461
Greene5422
Montgomery51411
Clarke5064
Davis4839
Taylor4833
Monona4567
Adair4539
Monroe45113
Worth3881
Fremont3823
Van Buren3815
Decatur3410
Lucas3416
Audubon3112
Wayne3087
Ringgold2432
Adams1812
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