Numbers prompt TenHaken to urge mask wearing

KELOLAND.com Original

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — New daily coronavirus cases were more than six times higher in the two weeks between October pandemic news conferences in the city of Sioux Falls.

The Sioux Falls area had 30 new COVID-19 cases on Oct. 5 and 202 on Oct. 19, according to the city of Sioux Falls COVID-19 dashboard.

Mayor Paul TenHaken had a news conference on Oct. 5 and Oct. 19. In both, he asked the public to be more vigilant in helping to reduce the spread of COVID-19. He was more pointed in his request on Oct. 19.

TenHaken spoke with some urgency on Oct. 19 about the need to curb the spread of the coronavirus and specifically cited the need to wear masks. He said he was not proud of the COVID-19 numbers in the Sioux Falls area.

Sioux Falls had about 1,400 more active cases on Oct. 19 (2,477) than on Oct. 5. (1,096).

30 more people were hospitalized on Oct. 19 than on Oct. 5.

Hospitalizations and death rates typically follow new reported COVID-19 cases and death rates, so those numbers could increase after new daily cases decrease, according to health and data experts.

Two health officials from Avera and Sanford said their systems are implementing plans for surges, Dr. David Basel of Avera said there was a limit.

TenHaken has had two coronavirus pandemic news conferences in October. The most recent before Oct. 5 was on Aug. 17 in which he said he was “fairly comfortable” with the COVID-19 case count.

He pointed out on Aug. 17 that the area’s hospitalization rate remained low and was not increasing at the rate of the percentage of positive cases in testing.

The increases in COVID-19 in the Sioux Falls area have happened as the state has also had increases.

The number of active cases nearly doubled from Oct. 5 (4,274) to Oct. 19 (8,388). The state had 1,194 active cases on Aug. 17.

There were 241 individuals hospitalized in the state with COVID-19 on Oct. 5 and 304 on Oct. 19.

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