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Dr. Thury: Ensuring loved ones are vaccinated is the best way to gather safely this holiday


The attached audio is from SDPB's daily public-affairs show, In the Moment.

South Dakotans are gathering for Thanksgiving. Meanwhile, coronavirus cases are climbing — with ~6,900 active infections in the state.

Chad Thury is a family medicine physician with Avera Health He says masking and hand-washing reduce the spread of the virus, but getting vaccinated is the best way to lower the risk of severe infection.

“Because that’s the way we’re really gonna get through this, is just more people getting vaccinated and getting closer to that herd immunity. And then we can have, hopefully, a little more normal gatherings and not have to worry about getting infected and so on.”

71% of South Dakotans 12 and up are now vaccinated with at least one shot.

People 18 and older are eligible for a booster shot. The state Department of Health reports more than 100,000 South Dakotans have received a booster.

Two more people have died with COVID-19, bringing the state’s death toll to 2,305. 234 people are hospitalized with the disease.