COVID-19 weekly news: November 9 – November 15

Should college students go home for the holidays?

"If you're only going to be coming home for Thanksgiving holiday and then going straight back to school, this may not be a year to make that trip," says Dr. John O'Horo, a Mayo Clinic infectious diseases specialist. "If your school is in the middle of an outbreak, it becomes all the more important to really weigh what you can do."

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Have you gotten your flu vaccination?

"While we don't have a vaccine yet for COVID-19, we do have a flu vaccine," says Dr. Nipunie Rajapakse, a Mayo Clinic pediatric infectious diseases physician. "We are strongly recommending everyone over 6 months of age to get the flu vaccine this year as a way to decrease their risk of becoming ill, their need to become hospitalized, or from dying from influenza."

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COVID-19 testing hours extended in Southeast Minnesota to accommodate increased demand

Due to a sharp increase in COVID-19 cases and demand for COVID-19 tests, Mayo Clinic will extend the hours of operation at all COVID-19 testing locations across Southeast Minnesota.

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How Mayo Clinic is responding to the Midwest COVID-19 surge

Amy W. Williams, M.D., executive dean for practice, Mayo Clinic, is sharing plans that have been put in place at Mayo Clinic in Rochester and across Mayo Clinic Health System to respond to a spike in cases. She also answers these questions about the current situation with the surge and what the public needs to know to prevent them from becoming patients:

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Plan for COVID-19 safety during annual hunting seasons

Firearm and tree stand safety during the hunt is a core value for hunters and, this year, hunters also need to consider COVID-19 safety. The article below is written by Joshua Balts, M.D., an orthopedic surgeon (and avid hunter) at Mayo Clinic Health System in Barron and Rice Lake.

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Mayo Clinic Q&A podcast: Fighting COVID-19 with Mayo Clinic Laboratories

On the Mayo Clinic Q&A podcast, Dr. William Morice II, president of Mayo Clinic Laboratories and chair of the department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology at Mayo Clinic, explains how a reference lab works and how Mayo Clinic Laboratories quickly ramped up its testing capability to meet pandemic testing needs.

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Should you travel for the holidays?

Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and a White House coronavirus adviser, said during a recent webinar that his children, who live in separate states across the country, won't be coming home for Thanksgiving due to the fear of possibly spreading the virus.

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Mayo Clinic Q&A podcast: Cardiometabolic diseases increase COVID-19 risk

On the Mayo Clinic Q&A podcast, Dr. Stephen Kopecky, a Mayo Clinic cardiologist, discusses lifestyle factors that affect cardiometabolic diseases and how COVID-19 can damage the heart.

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Link between extra pounds, severe COVID-19 illness grows stronger

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has expanded its coronavirus risk warning to include people who are considered overweight. Obesity and severe obesity have been included on the CDC's list of conditions that put people at in increased risk of severe illness from the virus that causes COVID-19. However, now, the CDC is saying adults of any age who are simply overweight might be at increased risk of severe illness from COVID-19.

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Samantha Rossi (@samantharossi)

Samantha Rossi

Samantha Rossi is a Digital Marketing Manager at Mayo Clinic Laboratories. She supports marketing strategies for product management and specialty testing. Samantha has worked at Mayo Clinic since 2019.