Monument Health says high COVID-19 hospitalization rates not seen here yet

Monument Health
Monument Health talks about COVId-19 hospitalizations.(KEVN/KOTA)
Published: Sep. 16, 2020 at 7:56 PM CDT
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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KOTA) -The number of patients hospitalized due to COVID-19 is still on the rise here in South Dakota.

The state Department of Health says there were 139 patients hospitalized across the state Wednesday, the highest since the pandemic began. They say that leaves 44 percent of the state’s hospital beds, 29 percent of the ICU beds and 80% of the ventilators in the state still available.

Here in this region, Monument Health says they have 20 coronavirus patients hospitalized in their system Wednesday, far less than the high of 43 that they hit in mid-June.

Dr. Shankar Kurra is the vice president of medical affairs for Monument and says they have the capacity for a surge in patients but says they’re not seeing that here right now.

“The numbers are based on how wide the transmission is occurring at the community level, and you can see that happening. We haven’t seen a rise in hospitalizations that would tie with those larger numbers we see in the state report. Maybe it’s lagging, maybe we’ll see it in the future. But at the present moment here at Monument Health, we’re not seeing those large numbers.” Dr. Kurra says.

Dr. Kurra says they’re not that concerned right now. He says a bigger concern would be if their ICU capacity were to be overwhelmed but he says based on the current numbers, that seems less likely.

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