Physicians in infectious diseases in Minnesota are “cautiously optimistic” about the decline in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations over the past week.
“This is an equally good course that we have seen for some time,” said Dr. Mark Sannes at HealthPartners. “It really goes back to before the first of the year, in the period October-November, when we have seen the numbers develop positively.”
There were 130 COVID patients in intensive care units across the state on Wednesday – which is 32 fewer patients than a week ago – according to data from the Minnesota Department of Health. There were also 703 non-ICU patients on Wednesday, compared to 927 last week.
“I think what’s more important is that we see hospitals being emptied. When delta ended and omicron started, we really did not get much of a break in late 2021. And as 2022 develops, it seems, that the hospitals are finally starting to get a respite, ”said Sannes.
Hennepin Healthcare reports similar decreases in COVID-19 patients.
“Our admissions have dropped by almost half of what they were last week,” said Dr. Deepti Pandita, Hennepin Healthcare’s Health Information Manager. “Our pediatric admissions have dropped, which is good news. And in the clinic, we are seeing fewer and fewer patients who are acutely ill with COVID.”
Pandita said their hospitals are beginning to change COVID-19 policies and protocols.
“We have eased our visit restrictions so we can have more than one visitor at a time, which I think the support for inpatients is huge,” Pandita said. “And in terms of staff, we have relaxed some of the requirements. We were on standby manning and we have now gone back to our usual manning models. As healthcare providers, we take a sigh of relief because we need some time to decompress, to give our teams time to decompress. “
Pandita said elective surgeries, which had been delayed or canceled in recent months, are also beginning to return to their usual schedules.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Dr. Rochelle Walensky, during a briefing in the White House, suggested that the agency also consider changing its mask guidelines in the coming weeks.
Walensky said the CDC wants to “give people a break from things like wearing a mask” when circumstances improve.
Doctors in Minnesota said the public should look for updated guidance from the CDC and MDH when the virus recedes.
“Having some guidance from public health authorities would be helpful when we get to the better part of this pandemic, where we are finally reaching the downhill. And what are these thresholds for allowing us to reopen? I think , That what we are likely to see over the next few weeks is to loosen restrictions in many contexts, ”Sannes said.
Both Sannes and Pandita noted that the future of the virus is still uncertain.
“Stay tuned, get vaccinated and then enjoy this little bit of time because we do not know when the next wave will come, if it does,” Pandita said.
Sannes added: “We would like to see this track keep going down, but I think we have been conditioned to expect things to turn around at any time. I think cautious optimism really is where we are, but I think it’s appropriate to be optimistic right now. “
5 EYEWITNESS NEWS asked MDH to respond to the declining number of cases, hospitalizations and deaths seen across the state. A spokesman made the statement:
“The drop in admissions is very encouraging and we hope we will continue to see improvements. However, the number of people being admitted with COVID is still high and even though less viruses are circulating, the amount of virus in our community is too high, so we are not “clarified” yet.Because the virus will continue to develop and immunity that prevents infection does not appear to be lifelong with this virus, we need to be prepared for further waves of COVID in the future. “
MINNESOTA MINISTRY OF HEALTH