COVID-19 data continues December decrease, health officials praise vaccine distribution in S.D.

Coronavirus

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — Sioux Falls Mayor Paul TenHaken started the first COVID-19 update of 2021 with a “thank you” to the community for taking mitigation measures seriously.

According to data from the past four weeks, in the month of December there was a dramatic decrease in active cases in Sioux Falls. Hospitalizations have decreased 50 percent and plateaued, TenHaken said.

As of Monday, Lincoln and Minnehaha County combined have 1,957 active cases, 89 current hospitalizations and 337 deaths. The latest 7-day positivity rate is 44.1%.

There have been 11,897 vaccinations administered in the two counties.

Dr. Mike Wilde with Sanford Health says Sanford is working closely with the Department of Health, the city of Sioux Falls and other counties to help distribute the coronavirus vaccine. He says the health care system has distributed 15,000 doses of the vaccine in South Dakota, North Dakota and Minnesota; only 15 people needed additional monitoring after receiving the vaccine.

Dr. David Basel with Avera says South Dakota is ranking towards the top of the list for distributing the vaccine, which he says is something to be proud of.

Avera will have given 15,000 vaccines by the end of the week with half of those being distributed in the Sioux Falls area and the other half across the state, Basel said.

Basel says even though vaccines are being successfully distributed doesn’t mean people can stop with mitigation efforts. He says it is important to continue wearing mask, social distancing and washing hands frequently.

Wilde with Sanford says there are between 20 to 30 active in-patients with COVID-19 at the hospital. He says an additional 30 patients need hospitalization but are not in isolation.

Basel said Avera COVID-19 hospitalizations are half of what they were at a peak in early/mid November. However, Basel said the most recent days have shown a slight increase in hospitalizations.

Basel says the health care systems are watching case numbers closely for an sort of post-holiday bounce. While the area didn’t experience that following Thanksgiving, it is something health care workers are concerned could happen following Christmas and New Year’s.

Mayor TenHaken stressed to the public “you can’t get the vaccine” but the city is working on communication and education campaign about the vaccine.


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