By Kelli Bultena
Cities around the country are planning for “reopening” by relaxing restrictions that were put in place due to the Coronavirus Pandemic. The United States Senate heard from doctors on the country’s response on Tuesday.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious diseases gave the advice to “go by the guidelines” on reopening to avoid spikes.
According to the CDC, it is critical to emphasize that maintaining 6-feet social distancing remains important to slowing the spread of the virus. CDC is additionally advising the use of simple cloth face coverings to slow the spread of the virus and help people who may have the virus and do not know it from transmitting it to others.
As a country, according to John Hopkins University and Medicine, the United States has 1,380,465 confirmed cases and 83,249 deaths as of May 13, 2020.
In South Dakota, according to the South Dakota Department of Health (DOH) statewide cases are at 3,732 as of May 13. Of those, 1,326 are active cases with 2,367 recovered. There have been 39 deaths in South Dakota due to COVID-19.
In Lincoln County as of May 13 there are 54 active cases with 139 cases recovered. Hospitalizations have increased to 19 for Lincoln County cases; this number includes cases ever hospitalized.
Since May 1, active cases in Lincoln County have ranged between 47-61. Lincoln County is still defined as having Substantial Community Spread (https://doh.sd.gov/news/coronavirus.aspx).
During Monday’s press conference, DOH representatives stated they are focused on making people aware of COVID in the community and encourage people to make good personal choices when venturing out to restaurants and activities.
During Monday’s conference, DOH officials explained that public notices of possible exposures at businesses are reserved for when the DOH knows that an individual with COVID-19 has exposed the general public for at least five minutes at a distance less than six feet.
It was also stated that South Dakota’s peak is still expected to be in mid-June according to the DOH modeling. State epidemiologist Dr. Joshua Clayton said the state will have higher hospitalization rates and the virus will be more widespread across the state. Lincoln County and Minnehaha County will experience the peak first.