First confirmed COVID-19 case in Meade County is a caregiver at Monument Health


RAPID CITY, S.D. (KELO) — Meade County now has its first confirmed case of COVID-19. Health officials say it’s a caregiver working at Monument Health in Rapid City.

Monument Health CEO Paulette Davidson says the caregiver worked in the cancer care institute in Rapid City.

“The minute we learned about the positive test result yesterday, we immediately began working through our protocols to identify all who are in contact with this person on the known days of the exposure,” Paulette Davidson, CEO of Monument Health, said.

The Monument Health officials say the infected caregiver could have gotten in contact with roughly a hundred patients, two physicians and ten other caregivers.

“This group of caregivers and physicians has been notified and sent home to quarantine based on CDC guidelines,” Davidson said.

On Sunday, the Rapid City council voted in favor of an emergency ordinance that would close some recreational businesses. Mayor Steve Allender says this is the most rapidly changing scenario he has ever been involved in.

“We will do the second reading of that Friday and will make it active Friday night, that’s as quickly as we can operate but we know by the way this disease has progressed, we were a week late,” Mayor Allender said.

Mayor Allender says the council is working on alternative places for first-responders to stay so they don’t put their families at risk.

“Our police officers, firefighters, paramedics are coming in contact with human beings everyday, it’s unavoidable,” Allender said.

He reminds everyone to take this situation seriously and continue to practice social-distancing.

Monument Health says it will continue to communicate with the patients sent home due to exposure of COVID-19.

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