Health officials concerned of COVID-19 spread over holiday weekend, urge university students to self-quarantine

Published: Sep. 4, 2020 at 8:18 PM CDT
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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - This Labor Day weekend, health officials want you to have fun, but from a distance.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, hopes Coronavirus cases will not surge due to spread over the long weekend.

“We go on the other side of Labor Day and enter into the fall, we want to go into that with a running start in the right direction. We don’t want to go into that with another surge that we have to turn around again,” said Fauci.

That same concern is being voiced here at home. Jill Franken is the Public Health Director for the city of Sioux Falls.

“I hear often, you know, that they’re kind of over COVID. Well COVID isn’t over us,” said Franken.

She hopes many will wear masks, wash their hands, sanitize, and keep their distance.

“We hear loud and clear that we’re a state that really enjoys our freedoms and being able to make our own choices. But sometimes there are things we have to voluntarily then and do as a community,” said Franken.

University students coming back home are a concern.

“They should really be quarantining themselves from their family members. They potentially could be asymptomatic,” said Franken.

There still are many things to do and enjoy over the long weekend, while protecting yourself and others. Kobee Stalder says Custer State Park is as busy as ever, with an influx of tourists from the east coast.

“It’s been a normal summer out here, even with the pandemic going on and you know the beautiful thing about Custer State Park is we’re 71,000 acres,” said Stalder.

Their nine campgrounds are full, public spaces are cleaned frequently. Many of the campers this year are from the east coast and have their own facilities in their RV. Public building use is down this year.

“Hospital-grade chemical cleaners that we go through and we disinfect everything and then we go through and clean them every day,” said Stalder.

So whether you’re spending time at a campground, your back yard, or in public spaces, how we choose to distance and protect ourselves this weekend, will play out in the general population in the coming weeks.

“And so, we don’t want to see a repeat of the surges that we have seen following of the holiday weekends,” said Fauci.

“Do what we need to do right now, then that next phase when the vaccine becomes available. That will be something that we can then have a hopeful outlook towards the future on,” said Franken.

Copyright 2020 Dakota News Now. All rights reserved.

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