Franken: Hospitals have space to take care of COVID-19 patients Original

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — Local hospitals have the capacity to handle COVID-19 patients as of today which is why the Sioux Falls City Council was able to repeal its no mingling ordinance, local public health director Jill Franken said in a news briefing Wednesday morning.

“Based on the most recent modeling, the demand for hospitalization is far below the capacity of our health system locally,” Franken said.

Should anyone become sick, local hospitals will have the ability to care for them, Franken said.

But if the situation changes, the city and public health will respond, she said.

The pandemic is tracked on two fronts, Franken said. Public health has the role of monitoring the data which includes the number of cases, hospitalizations and related data. It’s role is to inform city officials and educate the public, Franken said.

The city’s role is to establish policies such as the no mingling ordinance and its repeal, Franken said.

Franken cited the 14-day trend which show a declining trajectory of COVID-19 cases in the Sioux Falls areas.

While the city’s pandemic situation has improved the community still needs to be mindful of using good hygiene, practicing six feet of social distancing and the vulnerable population also needs to continue safe practices, Franken said.

It will also be important for businesses to “make sure their staff is safe and protect their patrons,” Franken said.

The city council passed those recommendations as a resolution while public health passed those as a regulation, Franken said.

Franken said COVID-19 news briefings will now be held as necessary. The media will receive news releases with updates, Franken said.

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