SD hospitals say spike in hospitalizations for COVID-19 manageable

Coronavirus

South Dakota has set another record for the number of people currently in the hospital due to COVID-19.

According to Tuesday’s update from the state health department, 133 people are in the hospital for the coronavirus. That’s a 21 percent one day jump.

But hospitals say a spike is to be expected after people went to the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally and students headed back to school and college.

“If you look at this as a curve and you think about what we did three or four weeks ago, you can understand there would be an increase in the number of patients we would see now. But what it hasn’t resulted in is the type of cases that overwhelm a hospital; which was our concern when this pandemic started.”

Dr. Jeremy Cauwels, Senior Vice President and Medical Officer for Sanford Health

According to the city of Sioux Falls COVID-19 dashboard, there are 67 people currently in the hospital. That’s a 26 percent increase compared to yesterday.

Sanford Hospital in Sioux Falls says it now has 32 patients hospitalized for COVID-19, which is less at one time than when the pandemic first started. Sanford compares the current increase to what it sees during flu or RSV season.

KELOLAND News also contacted Monument Health in Rapid City about the jump in COVID-19 hospitalizations in the state.

Monument Health tells KELOLAND News that it has not seen a dramatic recent rise in hospitalized COVID-19 patients. Monument currently has 24 patients at its five hospitals. But the bulk are at the Rapid City facility. Monument says that is half the number it had in mid-June.

Monument says its weekly average of hospitalized COVID-19 patients has been running between 18 and 28 patients.

“At this point, we are confident we can care for more COVID-19 patients, even if we see another increase. Personal protective equipment shortages have eased, and in early spring we expanded our bed capacity to care for more than 170 extra patients, if needed.”

Dan Daly, Monument Health Communications Specialist

Avera Health says it does not provide hospitalization numbers, but issued us this statement:

“Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, Avera facilities have been caring for patients afflicted by this virus. New daily cases are ever-changing and we have seen hospitalizations gradually increase over the past few weeks. Our facilities stand ready to meet the needs of our communities and have plans in place to confront increased hospitalizations. In addition, Avera@Home services have allowed hundreds of individuals to stay in the comfort of their own homes while being actively monitored by qualified health care professionals. We strongly encourage the continued use of masks, social distancing and proper hand hygiene to help slow the spread of COVID-19.”

Cale Feller, Avera Health Director of Media Relations & Corporate Communications

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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