South Dakota joins other states with increases in COVID-19 hospitalizations; Facilities in Sioux Falls, Watertown and Huron all have some increase

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FILE – This undated electron microscope image made available by the U.S. National Institutes of Health in February 2020 shows the Novel Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, yellow, emerging from the surface of cells, blue/pink, cultured in the lab. The sample was isolated from a patient in the U.S. According to an analysis by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention published Tuesday, April 6, 2021 in JAMA Pediatrics, most children with a serious inflammatory illness linked to the coronavirus had initial COVID-19 infections with no symptoms or only mild ones, new U.S. research shows. (NIAID-RML via AP, File)

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — Hospitalizations from the coronavirus have been trending up in the past seven days in several states, South Dakota is one of them.

The Centers for Disease Control and South Dakota Department of Health all show increases in COVID-19 hospitalizations in the state. The recent number in South Dakota are the highest since 133 people were hospitalized on Feb. 3.

Most of those increased hospitalizations in the U.S. are in adults younger than 65, according to the CDC.

As of April 16, 106 people were hospitalized with COVID-19, according to the DOH. The state had 109 the day before.

The numbers were above 100 until at least Feb. 10 when 109 people were hospitalized. The number dropped to 86 on Feb. 15. But hospitalized was back up to 102 on Feb. 24 with a drop to 89 on Feb. 28.

On March 13, 64 people were in the hospital. The number was 104 on April 1.

South Dakota appears to be following the national trend.

The CDC said on April 16 that the seven-day moving average for hospitalizations had been increasing for about three weeks. The current seven -day average for April 7–April 13 was 5,507. This is a 4.5% increase from the prior 7-day average (5,269) from March 31–April 6, the CDC said.

According to Bloomberg on March 29, Michigan’s surge in hospital admissions was the most dramatic in late March with an average of 379 hospitalizations per day. The next worst was South Dakota with an average of 28 admissions per day. Bloomberg was using Health and Human Services data.

Increased hospitalizations have also been reported in counties in Kentucky, areas of Colorado, Florida and Minnesota and other areas, according to multiple media reports.

South Dakota is spreading its increases in hospitalizations around the state.

Prairie Lakes Healthcare System in Watertown had a census of 1 to 3 COVID-19 patients hospitalized each day for the past several months, chief nursing officer Shelly Turbak said in an email to KELOLAND News.

“We have five COVID inpatients today,” Turbak said.

The Huron Regional Medical Center in Huron had “not had a COVID inpatient for a while,” until one person was admitted on April 16, said Kim Rieger, the vice president of marketing and communication for the medical center.

Before April 16, the “last admit was March 25,” Rieger said. “Two weeks before that we had maybe one. Over February and March we had just a couple (each day).

Although Minnehaha County accounted for many of the COVID-19 hospitalizations earlier this year and in fall and early winter in 2020, the county had 27 hospitalizations as of April 16, according to the COVID-19 dashboard for the city of Sioux Falls. The county is the home site of Avera Health and Sanford Health.

The CDC said the county has 36 new admissions over the past seven days.

Pennington County, the site of a Monument Health, which is associated with the Mayo Clinic of Minnesota, had eight new admissions over the past seven days, according to the CDC.

Davison County had three new admissions over the past seven days, according to the CDC.

The state- and territory-level ensemble forecasts predict that over the next four weeks, the number of daily confirmed COVID-19 hospital admissions will likely increase in some jurisdictions and decrease in one jurisdiction, according to the CDC.

Although COVID-19 hospitalizations have increased in South Dakota, the levels have been low enough for the Huron Regional Medical Center to reduce the number of beds in its COVID-19 unit, Rieger said

“We had it set up for 14 but we backed it down to four,” Rieger said. “We are keeping our ability to have negative pressure rooms.”

If additional negative pressure rooms are needed for COVID-19 patients, it take 30 minutes to convert, Rieger said.

At Prairie Lakes, “We have some individual negative airflow rooms on a couple of our inpatient units that we use when our census gets down to one or two, but otherwise we house COVID patients on a dedicated negative airflow isolation wing,” Turbak said. “We have maintained our bed capacity as it relates to the number of rooms available to care for COVID patients that require hospitalization.”

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