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Healthcare

Rapid City physician says recent COVID-19 testing results show sign of hope

Dr. Shankar Kurra
SDPB
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Dr. Shankar Kurra in SDPB's Rapid City Studio.

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

State health officials report about 7,300 active coronavirus infections in South Dakota and 244 people hospitalized.

Dr. Shankar Kurra is the vice-president of medical affairs at Monument Health in Rapid City.

He says COVID-19 tests during the holidays are a great way to limit the spread of the disease. He says recent Rapid City test results are a sign of hope.

“If there is a bright spot, it’s that we’re seeing a downward trend in positive test rates – in Pennington, it’s down to 10%. Until recently, we were hovering around 15-20% test rates.”

Four newly reported coronavirus deaths bring the state’s death toll to 2,438.

About 23 percent of South Dakotans still have not received any doses of COVID-19 vaccine.

COVID numbers update

Note: The data presented is from the previous day — Tuesday updates include data from over the weekend (Saturday 1 pm CT - Monday 1 pm CT)

  • State’s death toll: 2,438 (+5 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: 7,336 (+1)
  • Eligable South Dakotans fully vaccinated: 55.05%
  • Vaccine boosters administered: 152,776
  • Currently hospitalized: 244 (-10)
    • 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.
  • Advice from the CDC is to get vaccinated, and mask-up indoors if you live in a place with high or substantial coronavirus transmission. That’s everywhere in South Dakota except McPherson County.

    Click here to find a vaccine