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Sanford, Avera make changes as COVID-19 cases surge

The number of hospitalizations continues to be the key metric according to local government and health officials and as that number continues to increase, so do concerns about capacity.
The number of hospitalizations continues to be the key metric according to local government and health officials and as that number continues to increase, so do concerns about capacity.(KSFY)
Published: Oct. 15, 2020 at 3:43 PM CDT
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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - As South Dakota sees a surge in COVID-19 cases, Sanford and Avera Health are making changes to free up staff and increase their surge capacities in Sioux Falls.

Avera is temporarily moving procedures from the surgery center to other surgical locations next week. Avera has also postponed some of its scheduled surgeries to free up staff.

Sanford Health is making changes to its elective surgery schedule. Next week, Sanford will not add elective procedures that require overnight stays.

According to Chief Medical Officer Dr. Mike Wilde, Sanford is also considering caring for certain adult patients in the children’s castle.

South Dakota has seen a surge in coronavirus cases in the last few weeks. In total, 31,012 South Dakotans have tested positive for COVID-19 with 7,132 of those cases currently active. As of Thursday, coronavirus patients occupy 15.4% of hospital beds with 23.1% still available and 22.5% of ICU beds with 43.2% of those still available.

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