SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — The City of Sioux Falls is providing an update on the spread of COVID-19 in the city on Monday.
Sioux Falls Mayor Paul TenHaken started the meeting by saying COVID-19 updates will soon move to bi-weekly, effective next week.
TenHaken says the area hasn’t seen much of a surge of COVID-19 cases following the holidays. He says the hospitalizations have trended down to around 80 between both health care systems.
“‘Patience’ is the word to keep in mind when it comes to the COVID-19 vaccine,” TenHaken said.
Dr. Mike Wilde, Vice President Medical Officer, at Sanford University and Medical Center says the health care system is increasing testing while assessing how various treatments are helping patients.
Dr. Wilde says Sanford is working through the vaccination plan from the state of South Dakota. He says when it becomes time for patients to start getting the vaccine, the information will be on MyChart along with in the media and on social media.
Dr. Wilde thanked health care workers for helping with the vaccination process and caring for patients. He thanked those working the frontlines of the pandemic, along with partners at the city and the public in general.
Dr. David Basel, Vice President for Clinical Quality, at Avera Medical Group says officials at Avera haven’t seen a dreaded increase from the holidays. But he notes, we aren’t seeing a decrease in COVID-19 cases either.
Dr. Basel also asked for patience and grace as health care systems work through the vaccination plans to get first responders protected. He notes there are a large number of people in the next group and the state is only getting 11,000 doses of vaccine each week at this point. Basel says health care providers want to get the vaccine in arms as soon as possible, but it will take time. He says AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson vaccines will be up for Emergency Use Authorization in the coming months, which he says will help speed up the vaccination process.
Both doctors say health care systems needed help to mitigate COVID-19 in November and the public stepped up. They also say that needs to continue, particularly as cases are up across other parts of the country.
Dr. Wilde said the current vaccines out there do appear to be effective against the two additional strains.
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