SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — As the number of positive COVID-19 patients rise in South Dakota, a Sanford official says beds are still available and the facility is adequately staffed.

More than 200 people are currently being hospitalized for COVID-19 in South Dakota.
As the number rises, a lot of people are wondering how much space is left.

“We have 35 to 40 COVID patients in the hospital, currently and have had that for a little, the last couple of weeks. That’s a small percentage of our current patients needing hospitalization,” Dr. Mike Wilde said.

Dr. Mike Wilde, vice president medical officer at Sanford Health says the health care system generally has adequate capacity, but the pandemic mixed with unrelated COVID hospitalizations can result in fluctuations.

“It’s not necessarily about the pandemic, it’s just there’s a lot of other things going on right now. And that’s, that’s typically what we do at a hospital. We’ll have times when we’re really quite busy and then other times we’re not. And it’s a common question I get asked, you know, what’s, what’s causing it. And it’s, it’s usually not one thing. It’s just a mix,” Wilde said.

Wilde says he doesn’t have a specific number as to how many available Sanford ICU beds there are, but that there are beds available.

“There’s really not a finite number of ICU beds because we have certain areas in our heart hospital, for instance, where the beds have always been dual purpose where they can be ICU or regular. And so we have a lot of flexibility in that surge,” Wilde said.

He says the hospital has a surge plan in place that includes prepping for 4 to 5 times the normal volume of patients, a point he says Sanford is nowhere near.

He says COVID patients are triaged depending on where they’re coming from.

“Most of the time, from an inpatient standpoint, they’ll either present to our emergency department here, or they’ll be in communication from an outlying facility, one of our network facilities, with physicians here that determine the priority of care needed,” Wilde said.

Something he wants everyone to know though, is that adequate staff is in place and ready for patients who need care.

Keep reading

Your Guide To

KELOLAND News is covering the COVID-19 pandemic. This is your guide to everything you need to know to prepare. We also have the latest stories from across the globe feeding into this page.