Community leaders discuss COVID-19 developments

ABERDEEN, S.D. ( – Community leaders gathered Friday morning to discuss the most recent developments regarding COVID-19.

There are no confirmed cases of coronavirus in Brown County, although that information might be a bit misleading, according to Todd Forkel Regional President and CEO of Avera St. Luke’s Hospital.

Both Avera and Sanford have to send tests off to the state to be completed. Ashley Erickson, Executive Director of Sanford Health in Aberdeen, talked about the recent statewide issues with supplies.

While there does not appear to be an immediate need for food supplies in Aberdeen, Forkel noted that is not the case with certain medical supplies.

In recent days, bordering states like Minnesota and North Dakota have adopted policies that eliminate indoor seating at restaurants and bars. That is not the case yet in South Dakota, but could be coming soon, according to Scott Meints, Brown County Emergency Manager.

Erickson said many local businesses have already taken many of those measures to help prevent the spread of the virus.