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Published on January 11, 2022

man wearing protective face mask

You Still Need to Take COVID-19 Seriously

Mutations of COVID-19 – Delta and Omicron – mean the pandemic is still here, two years later, and leading to more and more cases across the nation and around the world.

Nobody wants to keep dealing with this disease. Fear and frustration remain as high as the caseload and the number of patients in Avera’s hospitals and ICUs continue at high levels.

Reasons to Stay Vigilant

Why stay vigilant? The facts are simple. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, people who are unvaccinated are:

  • 10 times more likely to die of COVID
  • 10 times more likely to be hospitalized
  • 5 times more likely to get COVID

“Due to variants including Delta and Omicron, the waves of COVID keep coming. We’re still in the midst of this dangerous situation, so it’s important for all of us to stay vigilant and do what we can to protect ourselves and others,” said David Basel, MD, Vice President of Clinical Quality for Avera Medical Group.

Get vaccinated, and if the timing’s right, get your booster. Don’t give up on all the other guardrails that can help:

  • Wash your hands
  • Wear your mask every time you’re out in public
  • Stay home when you’re sick and get tested
  • Stay at least 6 feet from others
  • Limit or refrain from indoor gatherings
  • The Pandemic Has Not Ended

More weapons in the fight against COVID-19, including vaccines and boosters, testing kits and treatments, make now different than the start of the pandemic. While infections have decreased at times, they have bounced back up in the last weeks.

As new daily case records of COVID-19 are being set, we all need to chip in to stop it. Studies show these only are the reported cases; actual rates of the disease may be considerably higher.

A period where pandemic becomes “endemic” – meaning it’s isolated to only certain areas or countries – has not yet come. It will when we can predict the severity of the spread.

Vaccination Can Stop Variants

Viruses are tiny living things. They live to spread and can change – or mutate. The appearance of new COVID variants is not surprising. Scientists fully expect variants to appear as long as the virus is circulating.

If enough people get vaccinations and boosters, it can help stop variants.

“Even if you’ve had COVID, you should get vaccinated and boosted,” Basel said. “Boosters are especially important in preventing severe cases of the Omicron variant,” Basel said.

Learn more about the COVID vaccine and boosters at or find a location at

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Avera is a health ministry rooted in the Gospel. Our mission is to make a positive impact in the lives and health of persons and communities by providing quality services guided by Christian values.

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