The battle with COVID-19 continues at Monument Health


RAPID CITY, S.D. (KELO) — The battle against COVID-19 isn’t slowing down for health care workers across South Dakota. At Monument Health in Rapid City, health care workers are as busy as ever.

Lab Technicians here at Monument Health, including Courtney Remick, are constantly busy with COVID-19 testing.

“Being behind the scenes with all of this COVID stuff going on, it’s really interesting. We get to play a part in every single patient’s care, we are not just working with a few patients every day, it’s every single one, even out patients. COVID testing is definitely really high right now, we have a lot of athletes that are getting tested, people in the community, workers everything like that,” Courtney Remick, Lab Technician, said.

Positive testing rates here in the Monument Health System have been consistently around 20 percent. Ideally, the rates should be below 5 percent.

Dr. Shankar Kurra says staff at Monument Health are still operating at maximum capacity.

“You can imagine the stress it puts on caregivers. We are doing everything we can to take care of those folks. It’s a day by day, hour by hour, minute by minute effort to do the best we can,” Dr. Kurra said.

Dr. Kurra said COVID-19 is affecting critical care patients who don’t have COVID-19, by delaying surgeries and filling beds.

“COVID is one problem but COVID indirectly also impacts other people in our community who need long-term care, who need acute care, are all impacted by COVID,” Dr. Kurra said.

So the hospital asks the public to take health precautions and get vaccinated.

Monument Health officials say that the positivity rates in 5 to 13-year-olds have increased compared to last year. There are currently 63 hospitalized COVID-19 patients in the Monument Health System, and 43 at the Rapid City hospital.

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