COVID-19 weekly news: December 27-January 2

Consumer Health: Children and good hand-washing habits

If the COVID-19 pandemic has taught us anything, it's that frequent hand-washing is one of the best ways to avoid getting sick and spreading illness. Keeping hands clean can prevent 1 in 3 diarrhea-related illnesses and 1 in 5 respiratory infections, such as a cold or the flu, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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Mayo Clinic Q and A: Children and video games

DEAR MAYO CLINIC: My son began virtual learning when the COVID-19 pandemic shut down our local school system. He is 14 and enjoys school online, so we have continued this. Unfortunately, my son's only extracurricular activities are screen-based, as well. Should I limit his activities online, even though he's doing well in school?

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Mayo Clinic asks all patients and visitors to wear surgical/procedural masks

Due to the growing wave of infection from the omicron variant and the urgent need to strengthen all layers of protection against COVID-19, Mayo Clinic is asking all patients and visitors to wear surgical/procedural masks.

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Why some intubated COVID-19 patients may need tracheal reconstruction surgery

Added stress of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, coupled with the cold, dark days of winter on top of holiday stress, One of the long-term impacts observed during the COVID-19 pandemic stems from patients being intubated and breathing from a ventilator for an extended period of time. These patients usually undergo a procedure known as a tracheostomy.

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Mayo Clinic Q&A podcast: Covering COVID-19 in 2021

"I think the thing that I look back on is the amazing speed with which science moved," says Dr. Gregory Poland, head of Mayo Clinic's Vaccine Research Group. "When this all began in 2020, COVID-19 was absolutely blank slate. Now we have three vaccines in the U.S., and antiviral and monoclonal antibody treatments. That's really incredible."

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Hospital visitor restrictions to begin Jan. 3, 2022 in Rochester

To protect the health and safety of patients and staff amid a surge in COVID-19 cases, Mayo Clinic will implement stricter hospital visitor guidelines at Mayo Clinic in Rochester. One consistent visitor per patient will be allowed in Rochester for daytime visits, emergency department visits, and surgeries or procedures, effective Monday, Jan. 3, 2022. Designated visitors will be screened for symptoms of acute respiratory illness or communicable infection before being allowed to enter.

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Chantell Canfield

Chantell Canfield is a web content coordinator for Mayo Clinic Laboratories. She began working for Mayo Clinic in 2021.