Physicians gaining a better understanding of COVID virus

PIERRE, S.D. (DRG News) – As more becomes known about the COVID-19 virus, medical providers have been able to better speculate about how quickly the virus would spread and how many people would be affected.

During an update to the Fort Pierre City Council last night (Oct. 19), President and Chief Medical Officer at Avera St. Mary’s Hospital in Pierre Dr. Mike Holland says the hospital in Pierre didn’t have many COVID-19 patients admitted until last month.

Holland says they are a licensed 50 bed facility, but capacity is largely dependent on available staff.

He says the number of patients in the hospital can vary greatly from day to day, citing yesterday’s count as an example.

Holland says testing for it has been “frustrating.”

He says medical staff are also monitoring COVID-19 patients at their homes.

According to yesterday’s (Oct. 19) information on the website, 304 people in South Dakota are currently hospitalized because of the virus. To date, there have been 323 COVID-19 related deaths– 100 of those being this month alone.