COVID precautions much different in Minnesota than a year ago

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Last year, in Minnesota, COVID cases were flooding hospitals and there were restrictions and recommendations across the state to help prevent the spread of the latest variant along with new vaccines emerging as well.

Masks, social distancing, vaccinations and testing were highly recommended this time a year ago.  In many public spaces, they were mandatory.

In 2022, things look much different as COVID hospitalizations and deaths have gone down dramatically and those restrictions and recommendations for social gatherings have also gone away, for the most part, as Thanksgiving and the holiday season approach this week.

Infectious disease physician, Dr. Peter Bornstein, with St. Paul Infectious Disease Associates, told 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS things have improved dramatically.

“We’re not seeing the ICU units full of COVID patients. I mean there are a few. There’s definitely some, but not like it was a year ago or even six or eight months ago,” said Bornstein. “So, it’s definitely much better than it was.”

Bornstein told KSTP, however, there are some common-sense precautions that should still be practiced as people gather indoors over the next month for holiday festivities.

“If they are going to spend a lot of time indoors with loved ones and family members and close friends who are elderly, or immuno-compromised that they maybe consider testing themselves before they go to that event,” said Bornstein.  “It’s just to make sure they’re not carrying COVID and likely to transmit it to these highly vulnerable people.”

Bornstein said, technically, there is still a COVID pandemic happening globally, but here in the United States we have been very effective in managing it with vaccinations and herd immunity minimizing the number of deaths and hospitalizations over the past year.