South Dakota hospitals bracing for monthlong virus surge

Coronavirus

Clinicians work on intubating a COVID-19 patient in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) at Lake Charles Memorial Hospital on August 10, 2021 in Lake Charles, Louisiana. Hospitalizations for COVID-19 surpassed another record in the state yesterday to 2,720 with Louisiana as one of the nation’s epicenters while the spread of the Delta variant continues. More than ninety percent of Louisiana’s hospitalized COVID-19 patients are unvaccinated. Lake Charles Memorial currently holds 52 COVID-19 patients, 25 of whom are in the ICU. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) — South Dakota’s largest hospitals are bracing for an increase in COVID-19 patients over the next month.

Top doctors at Sanford Health and Avera Health, alongside Sioux Falls Public Health Director Dr. Charles Chima, held their first public briefing in months as the state sees a wave of coronavirus cases spurred by the contagious delta virus strain.

Over the past two weeks, the rolling average number of daily new cases has increased by 65%. One out of every 310 residents in the state has tested positive for COVID-19 in the last week.

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