New COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations in Sioux Falls slowly trending down


SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — The CDC will be meeting Tuesday with an advisory board to make recommendations on a vaccination plan for COVID-19.

Meanwhile, Sioux Falls’ two major hospitals are also coming up with their own plans, but they want people to know the vaccine won’t be available to the general public for several weeks if not months.

For the past three weeks, the number of active cases of COVID-19 and hospitalizations in Sioux Falls continues to slowly trend down.

“And that is a direct result of the public really taking it to heart and upping their game on masking, distancing, and probably most importantly when they have symptoms isolating and getting tested and if they are exposed to somebody, quarantining,” Dr. Basel with Avera Health said.

However, both hospitals say their ICU beds remain at or near capacity.

“The number of people hospitalized with COVID-19 continues to hover around that 80 to 100 mark and has been stable over the last couple of weeks,” Dr. Mike Wilde of Sanford Health said.

They’re concerned, though, there might be another COVID surge following the Thanksgiving holiday.

“We are watching that very closely, it’ll be about two weeks out before we know if those numbers start increasing again, I think they’re going to increase at least a little bit, but hopefully not too much,” Dr. Basel said.

Both hospitals are having conversations right now, on a distribution plan, once a vaccine is available.

“People who don’t have transportation how are they going to be able to get the vaccine, maybe we have to go out to the homeless, the high-risk population that has proven to be to get the immunization brought to them or to somewhere they go frequently the homeless shelters or wherever that is,” Dr. Basel said.

“We’ll continue to learn more about the vaccine in the coming weeks and hopefully get those vaccinations out to the first populations in the coming weeks as well,” Dr. Wilde said.

Even with the promising news of a vaccine, health and city leaders remind everyone to continue to mask up and social distance to slow the spread.

“Until we get that vaccine, which is probably weeks to months away for the general public then we got to keep on going,” Dr. Basel said.

The city says they’ll be keeping the public informed on the vaccination plan, once it’s approved.

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