ABERDEEN, S.D. (Press Release) — As hospitalization rates increase across South Dakota, Avera health professionals are encouraging everyone to review the basics of COVID-19 awareness and prevention.
Anyone experiencing symptoms should call the local Avera COVID Hotline at 605-622-8690. If Aberdeen Family Physicians is closed, you may also call 1-877-AT-AVERA. However, you should only visit the Emergency Room for an emergency situation.
While we currently offer drive-up parking for testing, patients MUST have first called the Avera COVID Hotline and scheduled an appointment.
“This step protects all patients and it gives people clear directions about what they should do in the case of symptoms,” said Todd Forkel, Avera St. Luke’s President and CEO. “The majority of cases do not require hospitalization and can be treated at home. However, we also remain prepared for a surge.”
As a reminder, symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus. Symptoms include:
Fever or chills
Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
Muscle or body aches
New loss of taste or smell
Congestion or runny nose
Nausea or vomiting
COVID test results can take from 2 to 5 days.
In the case of emergency symptoms that could be life-threatening, get immediate help. Call your local emergency room or 911 to inform them you have COVID-19 symptoms, then go. Emergency symptoms include bluish lips or skin, difficulty breathing, or fever over 104 degrees that doesn’t respond to treatment.
Forkel reminds area residents to do what they can to help flatten the curve and reduce the spread of COVID-19:
Wear a mask
Practice social distancing
Especially avoid contact with anyone who is sick
Stay home when you are sick except to get medical care
Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds
Use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol if you cannot wash
Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth
Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces
Get COVID-19 updates at Avera.org/COVID-19