October 2022 Q&A

Here are a few more questions received as feedback on the previous messages, answered by UMTC Campus Public Health Officer Dr, Jakub Tolar, MD, PhD.

How do I know how common COVID-19 is in my community?

Check the community transmission levels where you live and where you travel. These reflect the number of new hospitalizations and inpatient beds used due to COVID-19. Our best predictor of future COVID levels is regional wastewater testing, which can indicate trends for the next one to two weeks.

How do I use the CDC’s “community level”?

The CDC currently recommends these strategies for all levels (additional strategies are given for areas with medium or high levels) of infection:

Where can I get the COVID-19 vaccine and boosters?

COVID-19 vaccine is available statewide, find locations here. In Duluth, vaccine and boosters, including Pfizer bivalent updated booster shots, are available at a variety of locations. The St. Louis County Public Health department works with community partners to offer vaccine clinics several times a month.

Where can I get a flu shot?

The flu vaccine should be widely available without charge at pharmacies and clinics throughout the state. Flu vaccine is available in Duluth. Contact your health care professional or preferred walk-in clinic for details, or check out the Minnesota Department of Health website for flu vaccine resources.

What else might be helpful for me to know?

  • COVID-19 boosters and flu shots can be given at the same time.
  • This article from the Scientific American explores how experts assess individual risk.
  • If you experience long-term effects from a COVID-19 infection, now described as Post-COVID Conditions, you may want to contact your healthcare provider.
  • There is an association reported between having COVID-19 during pregnancy and an increased incidence of pre-eclampsia (the original article from the Washington Post is behind a paywall).
  • Please remember to respect other peoples’ decision whether they mask or not.
  • Want a weekly summary of U.S. COVID-19 statistics? See the CDC’s “COVID Data Tracker Weekly Review.”