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Olmsted County experts answer COVID-19 questions

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OLMSTED CO. Minn. (KTTC) -- Masking policies, policies relating to children under the age of 12, and increasing vaccine uptake were some of the concerns addressed on Thursday by Olmsted County Public Health Services, Mayo Clinic and Olmsted Medical Center.

"While we are seeing breakthrough cases, generally we are seeing positive tests in people that are getting screened for, while they're going into the hospital to say, give birth, or a knee replacement, or things like that. We are seeing a piece of the population testing positive with mild symptoms, similar to what we call a common cold," said Graham Briggs of Olmsted County public health.

Schooling for children not eligible to be vaccinated is also a hot topic, but experts remain confident that such risk could be alleviated.

"There's going to be risk in school for unvaccinated children as long as we have virus moving around in the community," said Briggs.

"It's important for the parents to be vaccinated. It's important for maybe the staff to be vaccinated. Those factors, beyond what we do with our children, will be helpful," said Dr. Randy Hemann of Olmsted Medical Center.

Another suggestion advised that vaccination can help bolster immunity even in those previously infected.

"I think there's emerging research out there that people have actually the best response when they've had the infection and they get the vaccine. Or possibly, vice versa if they get the vaccine and they would have a breakthrough infection," said Hemann.

They emphasized individuals have the ability to determine their own level of risk in a given situation.

"It's really up to each individual to understand, to try to best understand how much risk is there and how much risk are you comfortable taking with yourself and with your family," said Briggs.

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Noah Caplan

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