Health care providers preparing for surge of patients

YANKTON, S.D. (WNAX) – The recent surge in positive COVID-19 cases in South Dakota has health care providers preparing to handle an expected surge of patients.

Doug Ekeren, President of Avera Sacred Heart Hospital in Yankton and interim President of Avera Queen of Peace Hospital in Mitchell, says their increase is expected in a few weeks.

Ekeren says the surge puts pressure on their staffing levels.

Ekeren says patients may be moved to different facilities depending on the care needed.

Ekeren says they can go from adequate staffing to being short sometimes in a matter of hours depending on patient numbers and virus exposure.