Active COVID-19 cases surge in Lincoln County; Mayors ask for public’s help in mitigating spread


Sixteen Mayors from the state’s largest cities released a letter to the public last week concerning the COVID Pandemic (see page 3).

Worthing Mayor Brad Hazuka echoed the message of seeking the public’s help to mitigate the spread of Coronavirus.

“Now, more than ever, we must come together as a community and take personal responsibility for not only protecting ourselves and our family but our neighbors from this disease by doing our part to slow the spread,” said Mayor Hazuka, “Please follow the CDC guidelines by wearing a mask when physical distancing cannot be maintained, keep your social interactions to small groups, wash your hands frequently, clean frequently touched surfaces often, and stay home if you feel sick.”

Mayor Hazuka said the city of Worthing is doing the best they can in their response to COVID-19 within the current social-political environment.

He added, “I realize you may be exhausted and stressed out from having to adapt to this new normal as we continue to live with COVID-19. I feel the same way, but now is the time to stay vigilant and protect our loved ones and each other by remaining diligent in these small actions. Remember, we are in this together and together we will persevere.”

Lennox Mayor Stacy DuChene agreed, “As citizens of Lennox, we each need to do our part to slow the spread.”

DuChene said, “I understand people are getting tired of being ever-vigilant in the fight against this virus. The sharply rising number of cases tell us that we cannot let our guard down now. Each and every one of us needs to be a part of the solution.”

Mayor DuChene reiterated, “Wear a mask. Wash your hands. Stay home if you are sick.”

On Monday, Sioux Falls Mayor Paul TenHaken held a news briefing imploring the public to wear masks and stating it was “ridiculous” that it has become a Democratic or Republican issue instead of a public health issue.

Several health officials also spoke Monday. Dr. David Basel, the vice president for clinical quality at Avera Medical Group agreed with the Sioux Falls mayor, saying they need the public’s help.

Basel said, “There’s no doubt we have seen a significant increase in hospitalized cases over the last month or so, probably the numbers have roughly doubled in that time.”

He added that the hospitals have increased their bed capacity to meet demand, but that there is a limit. He said the number of cases will increase, and that in order to keep the schools and businesses open, the public needs to help.

“Masking is probably first and most important,” he said.

He said there is solid data that shows masks help to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.

Basel also noted how important it is to think about group gatherings indoors, large and small, and how one can incorporate masks. He stated the importance of staying home if a person is sick, and to isolate until test results are back. Basel said it is also important to isolate for 14 days if defined as a close contact to another person with a positive COVID-19 result.

Basel thanked the health care workers that have been asked to go above and beyond.

Lincoln County, South Dakota passed 600 active cases on Monday, Oct. 19, 2020 with the South Dakota Department of Health (SD DOH) reporting 601 active cases of Coronavirus in the county.

As of Tuesday, Oct. 20 the active case count sits at 599 out of a total of 2,247 COVID-19 cases. There are 1,658 recovered cases and 16 deaths reported in Lincoln County.

As of Monday, Oct. 19 the Good Samaritan Society – Lennox reported there were four residents and five employees who are currently COVID-19 positive. Ten residents have died following a COVID-19 diagnosis.

The Lennox School District reported a total of two active cases in the School District on Friday, Oct. 16. There was one active case in the Junior High and one in the High School. There have been a total of nine confirmed Coronavirus cases in the District.

Statewide as of Oct. 20 South Dakota has 8,441 active COVID-19 cases out of a total of 33,466 cases. This is an increase of 2,397 active cases from last week, and an additional 4, 127 cases overall. Total recoveries in the state are at 25,686.

There are 329 people currently hospitalized, which is an increase of 27 people in the hospital because of COVID-19 since last week.

COVID-19 has attributed to the deaths of 330 South Dakota residents as of Oct. 20. This is an increase of 42 from last week Tuesday.

COVID-19 cases among the state’s K-12 schools and colleges and Technical Schools, released Oct. 19 are as follows: From Oct. 11-17 an additional 516 cases have been added at the K-12 level, bringing the total to 2,896 since Aug. 9. This number includes 2,044 students and 852 staff members.

Within South Dakota Colleges, Universities, and Technical Colleges there were an additional 139 cases added Oct. 11-17, bringing that total to 1,753 cases since Aug. 9. This number includes 1,626 students and 127 staff members who have tested positive for COVID-19. For more from the department of health visit https://covid.sd.gov.

As a country, the U.S. reports 8,243,223 positive COVID-19 cases and COVID-19 has attributed to the deaths of 220,649 U.S. residents of as of Oct. 20, 2020, according to John Hopkins University and Medicine.

© 2020 Lennox Independent