SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) – Medical professionals in Sioux Falls say they are expecting COVID-19 cases to peak, once again, in three to four weeks in the city. Sanford Health, Avera Medical Group and the Sioux Falls Health Department came together Wednesday to share their concerns and the measures everyone should be taking.
Right now, in Minnehaha County alone, there are over 800 active cases of COVID-19, according to the South Dakota Department of Health. In the whole state, that number is over 5,000. Sanford, Avera and the Sioux Falls Health Department say the time to take action is now.
Dr. Mike Wilde with Sanford Health says the surge of COVID-19 cases is ‘alarming’ and mitigation efforts need to be stepped up. He says that includes having students and teachers wear masks in local schools.
“We must get the spread under control,” Wilde said. “The majority of these cases are preventable. Mask back up and get vaccinated.”
Masking up, social distancing and washing your hands are important in staying safe, but Dr. David Basel with Avera Medical Group says those are only temporary measures.
“Vaccination is the permanent solution so that we don’t have to take any of these other measures anymore,” Basel said. “So, first and foremost, if you’re eligible for vaccination and haven’t been so, I mean, the data is clear, that those that are vaccinated are protected and it keeps you out of the hospital.”
Avera, Sanford and the Sioux Falls Health Department are in agreement — getting vaccinated is how we beat COVID-19.
“We’re not going to address this by looking at, you know, ourselves as individuals,” Dr. Charles Chima, Public Health Director for the City of Sioux Falls, said. “We need to come together as a community and think about how we can be there for each other. Help see that everybody gets the support and help they need and do our parts, right, get vaccinated.”
These medical professionals say the Delta variant has the ability to spread rapidly, which is why it’s important to get vaccinated now. Wilde says, on average, the original SARS CoV-2 virus would spread to one and a half to two people. The Delta variant, on average, spreads to about five to nine people. They say the data proves the vaccine is effective against the Delta variant.