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Dr. Cauwels: COVID-19 hospitalizations impacting how many surgeries can be done

Sanford Health

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

As we face the first winter with the deadly Delta variant of COVID-19, experts are concerned about what might be ahead. Dr. Jeremy Cauwels is chief physician at Sanford Health, he joins with a COVID-19 update. See the attached audio above.

“What [a high number of hospitalizations] does for us, is makes us make choices every day about how many surgeries we can do and how many surgeries, from an elective standpoint, that we’re going to have to put off for a day or two to make sure we have the rooms we need for all of the people who might have to sleep over after a surgery.”

  • State’s death toll: 2,407 (+9 from the previous report)
    • Note: 'Death toll' indicates the number of deaths among people with COVID, but COVID may not have been the sole cause of death.
    • Deaths verifiably caused by COVID: 2,135 (updated weekly)
  • Active cases: 7,583
  • Eligable South Dakotans fully vaccinated: 54.54% (+0.15%)
  • Vaccine boosters administered: 142,767

Hospital capacity

  • Currently hospitalized: 273 (+12)
    • Note: Currently Hospitalized numbers include COVID-19 cases and people that are in the hospital under transmission-based precautions. The number may include out-of-state cases and people.
  • Available hospital beds: 34.8%
    • Available ICU beds: 36.2%

The vaccination of children ages 5 to 11 against COVID-19 is well underway.
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The current advice from the CDC is to mask up indoors if you live in a place with "substantial" or "high" coronavirus transmission. That's everywhere in South Dakota.

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