Avera Foundation’s Deck the Halls moves to virtual only due to COVID-19 pandemic

ABERDEEN, S.D.(Press Release)- With increasing COVID-19 positivity rates in our region and standing in solidarity with our health care workers, the Avera Foundation’s Deck the Halls has moved to an on-line event only.

There will be no in-person holiday event on Dec. 4. Those that have already purchased tickets to the event should have received an email detailing their options.

“While there is some disappointment, canceling the in-person component of the 2021 Deck the Halls is the right and responsible thing to do for our employees, our patients, and our community. We respect how hard our employees are working and acknowledge that COVID-19 positivity rates are increasing in our region,” said Todd Forkel, Regional President and CEO. “Because funds raised from Deck the Halls stay local to support our patients’ needs, please consider another option to participate such as the online auction. Thank you all for your commitment to our Mission.”

There are still two ways to participate in Deck the Halls virtually:

  • Bid for items on the “12 Gifts of Christmas” online auction at Averafoundation.org/deckthehalls
  • Purchase holiday wreaths that will be donated to residents of long-term care and hospice patients

All proceeds stay local to benefit the Avera Cancer Institute Aberdeen and its many patients’ needs.

Avera continues to monitor the COVID-19 pandemic, capacity, workforce and events. For the past three months, Avera has seen a steady and high number of hospitalizations around 100 due to COVID-19, with some patients in the ICU for weeks and even months. That, combined with a high number of patients also hospitalized with illnesses and other conditions, have hospitals across the Avera system running at or near capacity. Avera St. Luke’s is no exception, and its staff are working long hours.

Avera encourages the public to take important actions to help curb the spread of COVID-19, such as:

  • Get vaccinated or get your vaccine booster. Call 605-622-5273 to make an appointment or visit vaccines.gov. Millions of people have safely received the vaccines. In most cases, vaccines are preventing illness altogether. When those rare breakthrough cases happen, the illness is generally mild with a lower chance of hospitalization or death.
  • Stay home if sick. Don’t assume it’s the flu or a common cold. Isolate at home until you know for sure.
  • Get tested if you develop cold or flu symptoms. For local testing, call 605-622-8690.
  • Practice mitigation such as social distancing, washing hands frequently and wearing a mask when you’re in a public setting.