Medical staff at Monument Health ready to take action if COVID-19 continues to spread


Wednesday, city leaders and medical staff in Rapid City addressed the death in Pennington County linked to COVID-19.

Doctors and medical staff at Monument Health say they are ready to take action if COVID-19 continues to spread.

“Right now with the volume that we are seeing, it’s very manageable and we are taking special precautions with these patients that we are testing to either send them home to stay home until we know the results,” Jill Tice, VP of quality safety and management at Monument Health, said.

The Rapid City mayor, along with representatives from emergency management, the airport and more gathered Wednesday to explain their COVID-19 plans which include extra cleaning.

“The first thing that we advise the community to do and you’ll hear this over and over is don’t panic, good hand washing, if you have symptoms of illness stay home,” Tice said.

“If you have a respiratory panel that tests for a spectrum of viruses and if those are positive then you don’t need to do any further testing because you’ve got a diagnosis. In case they are negative and their is a travel history then we send that over to the state,” Shankar Kurra, VP of Medical Affairs, internal medicine, said.

Monument Health has clinical and administrative teams that have been meeting twice a day, everyday since the outbreak.

“We have a plan for what we call ’emerging pathogens’ which are emerging infectious diseases so if next year we had a different pathogen in a different strain we’d be ready as well,” Kurra said.

The South Dakota Department of Health says it is contacting family members and people who may have been in contact with the man who tested positive and died.

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