First@4: Sanford social media calls for masks; first flu-related death; Parade of Lights canceled Original

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — Here is a look at the day’s top stories as of 4 p.m.

The official Sanford Health Twitter account posted about the importance of wearing masks and physical distancing to slow the spread of COVID-19 and reduce stress on the health care system Friday morning.

The tweets come two days after Sanford Health’s President and CEO Kelby Krabbenhoft sent an email to all Sanford employees explaining his experience with having COVID-19 and why he doesn’t need to wear a mask.

Krabbenhoft told employees Sanford has the equipment and staff it needs to handle the current surge in COVID-19 cases.

Thirty-six new COVID-19 deaths were reported in today’s update from the South Dakota Department of Health. The death toll is now at 741.

On Friday the state announced 1,328 new total coronavirus cases, 769 new recoveries and 523 new active cases. Current hospitalizations are at 574, down from Thursday (578).

The Sturgis Rally, an annual motorcycle rally in the Black Hills, was a coronavirus spreader and study of cases in Minnesota shows, a newly released report by the Centers for Disease Control says.

The study showed that 86 Minnesota COVID-19 cases were associated with the South Dakota motorcycle rally. Cases were identified in people who worked at the rally and attended the rally and then, spread COVID-19 to others.

South Dakota Department of Health officials announced the first flu-related death of the 2020-21 season.

According Vickie Horan, influenza surveillance coordinator for the SD DOH, the death was someone in Potter County. There was also one influenza-associated hospitalization in Potter County last week. In total, there’s been two hospitalizations for the flu reported for the 2020-21 season. 

The 2020 Parade of Lights won’t be happening.

On Friday, Downtown Sioux Falls announced the annual parade will be canceled to “ensure public safety during the COVID-19 pandemic.”

The parade was scheduled for Friday, November 27th.

DTSF is still promoting a safe and healthy holiday shopping season. More information about Small Business Saturday will be released next week.

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