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Avoiding a “third wave” of COVID-19 in South Dakota

SIOUX FALLS, SD (KELO) – The race to end the COVID-19 pandemic is heating up.

On Tuesday, President Joe Biden announced that vaccine supplies to Americans would be 300 million by the end of May. As of Wednesday, South Dakota reported that 26% of the population had received at least one dose of the vaccine. There is more good than bad news when it comes to the current state of the pandemic, but health officials continue to urge people to remain vigilant.

“Many epidemics, pandemics have had three big waves,”

; said Dr. Avera Dr. David Basel. “Somehow we went through two of them and hope to avoid a third.”

Along with vaccination efforts, the number of new coronavirus cases and COVID-19 hospitalizations has stabilized since the decline in December and January. Nearly a year after the South Dakota pandemic began, Dr. Basel continues to compare the current state of the pandemic to competition. A race between getting enough people to get vaccinated before another influx of cases, hospitalizations and deaths stemming from the virus.

As of March 3, South Dakota had reported a total of 112,833 coronavirus cases, 1,993 active cases, 6,654 hospitalizations, and 1,893 deaths.

As Dr. Basel noted, South Dakota had a slight peak in early May 2020 and a large peak in mid-November. The one-day peaks for active cases occurred on November 15 with 19,360, November 10 with 607 ongoing hospitalizations, and November 28 with 54 deaths. More stable daily averages show peaks of just under 1,500 for new cases per week, just under 600 for current hospitalizations per week, and just under 30 for deaths per week.

South Dakota epidemiologist Dr. Joshua Clayton stressed that the actions taken by the public have affected the number of COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations and deaths at the peak of the state.

“All the precautions people take, hand washing, avoiding crowds, staying away from people, wearing masks, all increase prevention against COVID-19,” said Dr. Clayton, who added that the vaccine continues to spread. , mitigation measures must continue to be a high priority.

Dr. Basel agreed that the same mitigation measures remain as important in March 2021 as in March 2020.

– Understood. “People get tired of COVID and they get tired of social distancing and masking,” said Dr. Basel. “We really have a window here. If we manage to reduce these levels as low as possible before these options hit us. And let us vaccinate people, we will be able to avoid this third wave. ”

Both Dr. Basel and Dr. Clayton cite variants of COVID-19, especially those that can avoid or reduce protection from current vaccines, as the biggest threat in a pandemic. Dr. Clayton did not go into detail about what another wave of coronavirus cases in South Dakota would look like, but stressed the importance of the vaccine.

“Every day we go and get more gunshots, the less impact we will see of a possible future increase in cases,” Dr. Clayton said. “All options not covered by the vaccine would lead to future increases.”

As for COVID-19 variants, South Dakota remains one of the few states that does not report variation cases. Both Avera and the state health lab said they were doing daily tests to check options.

As of Sunday, 46 different states and US territories announced the British version, known as B117. Every country around South Dakota, except Montana, has reported at least one case of this variant of COVID-19.

Dr Basel said that the option in the UK “does not look as scary as some other options there”. He pointed to the options for South Africa (B1.351) and Brazil (P1) as those that are being monitored more closely.

People who have been fully vaccinated should continue to take precautions

For 79,686 South Dakota fully vaccinated after receiving two doses of Moderna or Pfizer, Dr. Basel and Dr. Clayton called on them to continue to practice good mitigation measures, such as social distancing, wearing masks and other precautions.

“We know that if you are exposed to the virus later, you will be more likely to fight it,” said Dr. Basel. “During this time, your immune system is fighting this virus, will you be contagious?” This is the part we don’t really know. “

Dr Basel said it would take several weeks after the vaccine was fully effective. He said Avera had seen several cases of people receiving COVID-19 immediately after vaccination.

“It doesn’t really work for a while,” Dr. Basel said. “It’s a slow return to normal after you’ve been vaccinated. This is not a COVID exit ticket. ”

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