HURON, S.D. (KELO) — U.S. Representative Dusty Johnson was in Huron on Friday, to tour the Beadle County testing site. The county was the first in South Dakota to see a significant amount of positive cases when COVID-19 hit the state. Recently, they’ve seen another surge of cases with 189 active today.
Representative Dusty Johnson put on some PPE to find out how Huron has been handling the pandemic.
“Obviously during the COVID-19 pandemic, I mean, I’m trying to make sure I’m talking to medical professionals everyday and frankly we’re learning a lot about COVID-19 as we go and that has clearly been the experience here in Huron. They’ve really redesigned how testing is done and they’re getting results much faster than so many other parts of this country,” Rep. Dusty Johnson said.
Beadle County was able to bring their cases down after being one of the first areas to see a spike. But Huron doctor Joe Carr says officials got worried throughout the summer as people seemed to relax on safety guidelines, hosting larger gatherings again and heading back to school.
“And boom, it really exploded on us. So now we’re trying to reign that back in and it’s a little more difficult because people, some say they’re just fed up with it, but the virus isn’t going anywhere,” Carr said.
Carr says he wants people to get back to social distancing and wearing masks.
“When I talk to medical professionals, they’re concerned that they’re not seeing more mask wearing, more social distancing out in the communities. We know that saves lives,” Johnson said.
Carr says he’s grateful to the lawmakers who have visited the area to see how the community is handling the pandemic.
“So, I know they’re listening and I know they care. Really, the big thing we told Representative Johnson is this isn’t a political issue. And as you saw from the interview, he agreed with the masking. He agreed with the social distancing. He agreed we have to do what we can to fight this virus. So just having him hear the concerns of our community, our government, our hospital, our healthcare providers and giving us some answers, things they’re working on, I think, again, it brings us together a lot better,” Carr said.
Johnson says he’s worked on a package in Washington D.C. that would offer additional resources for things like PPE, staffing and sanitization. He hopes to take the information he learned in Huron back to the nation’s capital to further that work.
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