SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — A doctor’s number one message for the public right now is to get vaccinated against COVID-19, but that’s not all he wants you to know.
On Tuesday, Sanford Health launched its weekly media briefings on COVID-19.
The health system also released new hospitalization numbers Tuesday.
Across its 22 hospitals, 123 of the 141 patients with COVID are unvaccinated.
A majority of COVID patients in the ICU and on ventilators are also unvaccinated.
Sioux Falls area COVID-19 cases are likely to peak about 2-3 weeks from now, according to the latest models.
But variables, including vaccinations, could change the timing or level of the peak.
“The vaccination status is one of those most impactful or potentially impactful variables that we could have on what our peak admissions and peak surge would be. It’s never too late to get that vaccine,” Dr. Josh Crabtree with Sanford Health said.
Dr. Josh Crabtree, Sanford Health Clinic Vice President for Sioux Falls, says hospital capacity is being monitored on a daily basis.
“We’re fortunate to have the staff and the facilities right now to be able to manage,” Crabtree said.
But there’s something he wants the public to know.
“Our health care workers are tired. They’ve been brave; they’ve been heroic, they’ve been selfless; they continue to show up for work day after day,” Crabtree said.
He says the best way to help them and thank them for their dedication is to get vaccinated and wear a mask.
Of course, Crabtree also encourages other safety measures like washing your hands and social distancing.