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COVID-19 patients treated at regional hospitals, not just Sioux Falls facilities

Photo: Patient in a hospital bed.
Photo: Patient in a hospital bed.(Centers of Disease Control and Prevention)
Published: Sep. 23, 2020 at 9:03 PM CDT|Updated: Sep. 23, 2020 at 9:09 PM CDT
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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - UPDATE, Sept. 24: South Dakota health officials are refuting recent social media posts saying some hospitals are full, saying the state has many open beds.

In a media briefing Thursday, Sec. of Health Kim Malsam-Rysdon said over 1,000 hospital beds in the state are still available.

She said she has not received any information suggesting patients are needing to be transported out-of-state for treatment. She also said hospitals are not at the point of needing to postpone non-critical procedures, which happened in the early days of the pandemic.

South Dakota coronavirus briefing

State health officials are giving an update about COVID-19 in South Dakota.

Posted by Dakota News Now on Thursday, September 24, 2020

Original story

Some social media posts in recent days say Sioux Falls hospitals are not accepting COVID-19 patients from other parts of the state.

But at least one of the region’s largest health operations say that’s not necessarily the case.

At Avera Health, the organization says it’s operating under the same guidelines it’s followed for months. It’s trying to keep patients who need to be hospitalized near their home and their own doctor. If patients require more specialized care, they can be sent to a variety of regional hospitals like those in Aberdeen, Pierre, Marshall, Minnesota and others, which can provide the same level of care as Sioux Falls hospitals.

“We learned a lot from our initial experience with the COVID-19 pandemic which has better prepared us to manage as infections rise this fall," a spokesperson said. "Avera is an integrated health system across five states – and our 37 hospitals have surge plans in place to care for higher volumes. Additionally, Avera@Home continues to monitor and care for hundreds of individuals who are positive for COVID-19 in the comfort of their own homes. We strongly encourage the continued use of masks, social distancing and proper hand hygiene to help slow the spread of COVID-19.”

As of Wednesday, the South Dakota Department of Health says 192 people are hospitalized in the state for COVID-19. The department’s website says eight percent of hospital beds across the state are occupied by COVID-19 patients right now. Fifty-one percent of the hospital beds are occupied by other patients. Forty-one percent of the state’s hospital beds are available.

We reached out to Sanford for comment about their procedures. When we hear back we will provide an update.

Copyright 2020 Dakota News Now. All rights reserved.

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