905 Mayo Clinic staff diagnosed with COVID-19 in the past 2 weeks

The multi-state healthcare giant has been hit hard by the virus.
Author:
Publish date:

Minnesota health officials have for weeks been stressing the importance of keeping healthcare workers healthy so they can staff hospital beds that are quickly filling up with COVID-19 patients, and an update Tuesday from the Mayo Clinic reveals just how fast hospitals can be backed into a corner when staff fall ill or have to quarantine due to exposure to the disease caused by the novel coronavirus. 

Dr. Amy Williams, dean of clinical practices at Mayo Clinic, said 905 Mayo staff members have tested positive for COVID-19 in just the last two weeks. 

Williams said 93% of infections weren't contracted from patients, but instead from the community. The majority of staff who were infected at work got it when their masks were off in a break room. 

“It shows you how easy it is to get COVID-19 in the Midwest,” said Williams.

The 905 new infections brings Mayo Clinic's total to 2,981 employees who have tested positive for COVID-19 since the beginning of the pandemic. 

The staff shortages have raised concerns about hospital capacity. No matter how many beds are available, a bed can only be occupied if trained staff are able to work it. 

"All of our hospitals are really stretched, many are absolutely full at this time and throughout Minnesota, we are seeing an increase of hospitalizations and the need to bring up more beds for patients," said Williams. 

Gov. Tim Walz is expected to take executive action during a televised speech Wednesday at 6 p.m. and place tighter restrictions on bars, restaurants, gyms and sports. 

Minnesota saw an average of approximately 2,500 new COVID-19 cases per day over the final two weeks of October, only to see the numbers spike significantly in November. Over the past week, there have been between 5,000 and 9,000 new cases confirmed each day. 

The fear – and reason for Walz's tighter restrictions – is that the explosion of new cases will lead to a similar spike in the number of people who will require hospital care in the next few weeks. There is generally a lag time of 2-3 weeks from a positive test to the point that a person requires hospitalization. 

Forecast with Novak Weather

Next Up

U of M police

U of M tells students to be alert after spate of robberies, thefts near campus

The incidents occurred in the Dinkytown and Stadium Village neighborhoods.

the mayo clinic - edit

Mayo Clinic study details 'severe negative impacts' of long COVID

Most participants were under 65 and had no preexisting conditions.

derek chauvin

Judge will consider longer prison sentence for Derek Chauvin

The judge ruled there were aggravating factors in Floyd's death.

Justin Jefferson

Vikings to visit the Bengals in Week 1 of 2021 NFL season

The rest of the schedule will be released Wednesday evening.

emily sands jeopardy

Chanhassen woman wins $73,000 on 'Jeopardy!'

She called it the "coolest experience" of her life.

Anthony Edwards

Where the Wolves' lottery odds stand with 3 games to go

It's likely that Golden State will have a 72.4% chance to get Minnesota's pick.

Kenta Maeda

Twins pull Maeda early, White Sox pummel bullpen

Jose Abreu's two-run homer gave the White Sox a 9-3 victory.

boys volleyball

Girls wrestling sanctioned as MSHSL activity; boys volleyball 2 votes shy

There will be section and state tournaments for girls-only wrestling next school year.

P.J. Fleck

Gopher players defend PJ Fleck after WCCO-TV report

"The public has made our statement," a U of M spokesperson said.

vaccine, covid

Twin Cities police investigating COVID vaccine thefts in viral videos

Videos of both incidents were recorded and shared online.

Related

Screen Shot 2020-09-17 at 8.35.22 AM

Mayo Clinic launches COVID-19 tracking, modeling tool

The tool will help Minnesotans better understand current trends in their county of residence.

coronavirus, covid-19

Mayo Clinic experts discuss high COVID-19 death toll projections

Just how far out can the models accurately predict the future?

vaccine, shot

Mayo Clinic: Vaccine distribution likely limited until 'well into the new year'

"People need to continue to mask," a Mayo Clinic spokesperson said.

coronavirus, covid-19, doctor

U of M, Mayo Clinic testing provides hope for Minnesota in COVID-19 fight

Both institutions are in the process of preparing to deploy the tests to the public.

the mayo clinic - edit

Mayo Clinic study details 'severe negative impacts' of long COVID

Most participants were under 65 and had no preexisting conditions.

Mayo Belle Plaine

Mayo temporarily closes 5 clinics in southern MN amid COVID surge

The Mayo is reallocating staff to other sites as it deals with the COVID outbreak.

Mayo clinic

Coronavirus: Mayo Clinic set to roll out antibody test next week

But it will be a while before the test is broadly available.