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As COVID cases in the US decline, Mayo Clinic doctor recommends continuing to take precautions

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“Let us not lose this hard-fought ground which we have won by abandoning these precautions,” said Dr Greg Poland.

ST PAUL, Minnesota. In Minnesota, COVID-19 cases continue to decline.

On Tuesday, the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) reported two deaths and 456 positive cases. The number of infections fell to their lowest level since September 15. MDH noted that the test volume of 9,333 was one of the lowest lab numbers they have seen, but added that not too long ago they were excited about a day of testing. 10,000.

MDH added that the average seven-day test positivity rate is 3.8%, remaining below the health department’s caution level of 5%.

RELATED: Live Updates: New Minnesota COVID-19 Cases Dip Below 500

Cases and hospitalizations are down in the United States. In recent days, the seven-day average of new daily cases fell below 100,000 for the first time since November.

“We’re definitely going in the right direction. I think it’s kind of a lull before our fourth wave depending on what America is doing here,” said Dr Greg Poland, professor of medicine and infectious diseases. at the Mayo Clinic and director of Mayo’s Vaccine Research Group. “We’re seeing a drop in cases, but remember one in almost 12 Americans has been infected. One in nearly 650 Americans has now died from COVID. So, generally speaking, people who didn’t want to wear a mask and didn’t. t want to take a step back, a good number of them were infected and either cured or unfortunately died. “

But Dr Poland said he also believes the message of wearing masks, social distancing and taking other safety precautions is now being passed on to the vast majority of people.

RELATED: Study: Researchers Identify 7 New US-Based Coronavirus Variants

The decline comes after a wave of vacations.

“That’s part of it. As expected, we definitely had a flare up after the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays. So that helps. I think two, in a weird way, the severity of the cold has kept people in there. ‘inside and maybe not blend together in a way they might otherwise have been,’ said Dr Poland.

He went on to say, “As with any transmitted respiratory virus, there tends to be seasonality associated with it. So winter is when we expect to see more coronavirus. But it doesn’t. is just one factor. Overcrowding, not wearing masks, etc. these are actually more important factors and I think the reason we are seeing this lull right now is that most of the United States has understood this message. . “

More and more Americans are also starting to get vaccinated. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 55.2 million vaccines have been administered in the United States so far. In Minnesota, just over 12% of the state’s 5.6 million people have received at least one dose of the vaccine.

RELATED: Vax Facts: What You Need To Know About COVID-19 Vaccines

“It’s a multi-component thing. It’s the masking. It’s the distance. It’s the vaccine. It’s the lull after the holidays. That’s before the variants became widespread. All of these things overlap to create the level of transmission that we have now, ”said Dr Poland.

But as new, more contagious variants emerge, many are suffering from COVID-19 fatigue.

“People don’t want to keep doing this or they get their doses of the vaccine and they think, ‘I don’t have to take these precautions.’ It would be a mistake. What we all need to do is get our vaccine when we are eligible to get it and continue to mask and distance ourselves physically. This is what will help us overcome this. This is what has dramatically diminished that, “Dr. Poland mentioned.” Let us not lose this hard-fought ground that we have gained by abandoning these precautions. “

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