Covid cases continue to increase

Community spread now described as “substantial.”

After making it through much of the summer with no Covid-19 cases recorded in Potter County, the cases are now increasing.

It was the end of July when the county recorded its first case of the coronavirus, a pandemic that has killed over 180,000 in the U.S. By Aug. 20, that number doubled to one recovered and one active case and minimal community spread.

Two weeks later, the county which was the last one east of the river in South Dakota to record a case of the virus, now has recorded a total of 16, with 11 active, five recovered, and four who were hospitalized. The level for community spread has been increased from “minimal” last week to “substantial” according to the SD Dept. of Health.

The cases recorded in Potter County are only those who list it as a primary residence. Temporary or seasonal residents of the county who test positive are not listed in Potter County’s virus total, and instead are attributed to a different county, although they may currently reside in the area.

Kristi Livermont, Administrator of the Avera Gettysburg Hospital, told the News that three new symptoms have been added by the CDC, including new fatigue, congestion, and headache.

With the increase in cases, it’s even more important to take precautions, wear a mask, social distance, and wash your hands. The Avera Gettysburg Hospital medical facility has tests available for Covid-19. Testing can be done at the local clinic, and most insurances cover the test. The out-of-pocket cost for the Covid-19 test is $140.

The test at the local Avera facility is done with the nasal swab, and while results were typically available anywhere from 24 to 72 hours, depending on the day of the week, as of this week they are being sent to Sioux Falls and results could take between four and seven days.

Although the tests are available, it is recommended to call the clinic or hospital first, and the Avera Hotline is also a good place to start. The hotline has healthcare professionals who will talk through it with you to help determine if you are exposed and should be tested. The virus attacks people very differently, and most healthy adults and children may not have a problem.

Around 40 percent of the cases reported are asymptomatic, and those can still spread the virus.

If you are having symptoms of the coronavirus, call 1-877-At-Avera (1- 877-282-8372), or call Avera Medical Group Gettysburg clinic at 605-765- 2273.

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