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Rochester, MN (KROC AM News) - "And if we don't get a hold of this virus, then we don't get to decide. The virus decides.”



Those are the words of well-known Mayo Clinic vaccine researcher Dr. Gregory Poland.

Poland addresses the growing concern about the COVID-19 surge in Minnesota and elsewhere in a Mayo Clinic interview.

According to the interview, Poland says the country is facing COVID-19 fatigue and it’s hard for some to continue following safety-related restrictions and protocols.

"And unfortunately, we're paying a terrible price for it. It wasn't too long ago we were looking at hot spots but it's everywhere, now. You know, just since Election Day, 1 in 400 Americans has gotten infected with this virus. So it's important to look at community transmission."

His thoughts on the dangers of small gatherings?

"You're sitting across the table from one another, having discussion, and sometimes alcohol is involved," says Dr. Poland. "Then people start speaking louder, and that's a transmitter."

He is also concerned about the impact the surge is having on contact tracing involving Covid patients.

"There are now so many cases in the U.S. that for all practical purposes, thorough contact tracing is no longer possible. The cat is out of the bag."

Poland is director of the Mayo Clinic's Vaccine Research Group.


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