Dr Catherine McCarty

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For the first time since the start of the pandemic, Minnesota is showing up as a hotspot.

For the first time since the start of the pandemic, we're hearing about hospitals being overwhelmed with patients and no beds available.

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Efforts to remedy one of the banes of 2020 fell victim to another one in Minnesota this month.

Public health workers, driving marked vehicles and wearing vests and identification, were tasked by the CDC and the Minnesota Department of Health to conduct Community Assessment for Public Health Emergency Response (CASPER) surveys this month.

Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) at Johns Hopkins University (JHU)

Dr. Catherine McCarty has been our guide through the thickets of COVID-19 since March.

She's an epidemiologist and Associate Dean for Research with the University of Minnesota Medical School, Duluth campus.

The idea of "herd immunity" is being floated again,  masks are not political - or shouldn't be, the new saliva-testing facility is good news for Minnesotans, and there's some encouraging news about a new use for an old medication (inexpensive and readily available) in fighting the coronavirus.

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Anyone who's ever watched a science fiction movie knows, when the mayor bursts into the lab and demands results right now because the Governor is on the line, something Bad is going to happen in the lab.

Luckily for us, despite the clamoring of the world for a COVID-19 vaccine, there are many layers of good science protecting us from something being rushed to market before it's been adequately tested.

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Flattening the curve of COVID-19 doesn't mean it's gone away.

That's one of several take-aways epidemiologist Dr. Catherine McCarty wants people to internalize.

Some others?

  • Wear a mask.  You wear it for other people; not yourself.
  • Make sure you distance physically, but not socially.  Stay connected with the people who matter to you.
  • Be kind.

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Sometimes you just can't win.

As public health officials watched the COVID-19 pandemic play out on the east and west coasts, they encouraged us here in the Midwest to social distance and wear masks.

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Last week's announcement by the World Health Organization that "there's no evidence shows that having coronavirus prevents a second infection" is a big deal, because almost all of our ideas of how "moving forward" looks are predicated on the assumption that people who have had the virus are "safe to resume normal life."

Coronavirus COVID-19 global cases Johns Hopkins

Epidemiologist Dr. Catherine McCarty joins us this morning for a half-hour of conversation about the two kinds of testing much of the world is anxiously waiting for: the test to see of someone has COVID-19 and the test to see if they have the antibodies.

CSSE/Johns Hopkins University

Stay home. Stay home, stay home, stay home.

Dr. Catherine McCarty says she can't say it often enough, and she repeated the message again this morning.

The University of Minnesota Medical School, Duluth Campus epidemiologist talked about what we've learned about the coronavirus so far (enough to start work on a vaccine), the projected death toll (100,000 only in the "best case scenario") and what lessons we've already learned to carry into the future: "We should never have gone to work sick."