Breaking News
More () »

Mayo Clinic expert warns of new COVID wave

Dr. Gregory Poland, a vaccinologist at Mayo Clinic, believes the rise in COVID cases in the U.K., New York and Washington D.C. will soon reach Minnesota.

GOLDEN VALLEY, Minn. — Despite low case numbers and hospitalizations in Minnesota, a Mayo Clinic expert is issuing a warning about what's coming.

A handful of lawmakers and celebrities tested positive for COVID-19 amid a swift rise in cases in New York and Washington D.C.

New Twin Cities wastewater sampling shows a slight increase in viral load over the past two weeks, though they say they are still mostly detecting the omicron subvariant BA.2.

But statewide, COVID hospitalizations and deaths remain near pandemic lows.

“We are pretending, nationally right now, as if the pandemic is over and it is certainly not over,” said Dr. Gregory Poland, a vaccinologist with Mayo Clinic.

He predicts the surges seen in other regions and countries will arrive here, as they have time after time, with the virus showing no signs of slowing its rampant mutations.

“There's great concern that we are going to have another surge on the medical system and all the complications and deaths attendant with that,” said Poland. “Right behind BA.2 is XE, XD, and XF, and don't discount those. XE is already causing chains of transmission in the U.K., and nothing that has happened in the U.K. vis-à-vis COVID has failed to be reflected eventually in the U.S.," he said.

Last month, the FDA approved a second Pfizer or Moderna booster for adults over 50 and immunocompromised people 12 and up.

That was based on a new large Israeli study that showed a second booster reduced death risk in older people from .1 percent to .03 percent.

Watch more on the coronavirus:

Watch the latest reports and updates on the coronavirus pandemic in Minnesota with our YouTube playlist:

Before You Leave, Check This Out