Rising COVID-19 cases causing stress in clinics

Local News

SIOUX FALLS, S.D.(KELO) — With COVID-19 cases surging across KELOLAND, health care workers are feeling the stress and the frustration from the public. One local clinic is now pleading for the public to show kindness towards these employees.

“Be nice to your nurses, be nice to your medical providers right now,” Dylan Daniels, Cultural Health Nurse at SDUIH.

Health care workers, like Dylan Daniels at South Dakota Urban Indian Health, are busy with COVID-19.

“I will say we are stressed out right now, our staff and our nurses and our providers,” Daniels said.

“It does put a strain on clinics in having to deal with illnesses and still manage to keep the clinic open and, maintain services for the patients we serve,” Hogie-Lorenzen said.

Due to the highly contagious omicron variant, COVID-19 cases are rising and so is the workload at this Sioux Falls clinic.

“We’ve definitely have seen an increase over the past few weeks, since the holidays have hit and people have been more together in enclosed environments,” Tami Hogie-Lorenzen, Chief Medical Officer for SDUIH.

South Dakota Urban Indian Health has seen a huge jump in patients seeking COVID-19 rapid tests, vaccine and booster appointments and PCR tests. Keep in mind, that’s in addition to patients seeking regular health care.

“Top to bottom, people are trying to get in for their routine care and maybe are not able to get into their appointments like normal,” Daniels said.

Another challenge for many hospitals and clinics right now is that health care workers are also getting sick.

“We have staff that are out due to illness, staff that are out due to family illness and caring for their family members,” Hogie-Lorenzen said.

That’s why kindness and patience are the key when navigating the uncertainty surrounding the pandemic.

Urban Indian Health wants patients to know, if they test positive on an at-home test, they should call and make an appointment for a PCR test.

A negative or positive PCR test is the only type the state logs for COVID-19 information in South Dakota.

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