Year ends with decline in coronavirus

Residents urged to remain vigilant in taking steps to slow the spread

The SD Department of Health has lowered the community spread rating to “moderate” as the active cases of Covid-19 dropped to 10 this week in Potter County. 

Drive through testing continues at the new Avera Missouri River Health Center, but has been moved from the old hospital parking lot to the drive-through ambulance bay on the east side of the building. Those are done weekdays as needed from 10-10:30 a.m. Lately the number of daily tests have been “up and down” said Kristi Livermont, who serves as the administrator for the health center. “Somedays we only test one or two, and other days there may be as many as 10 or 12. The numbers are all across the board, so the message there is that this isn’t over,” she said. There are still some really busy days when the exposure seems to be high and people are still getting the coronavirus, but she did say that right now, it is not as steady as it was for the past couple months in the area. 

Livermont also said that they have treated covid patients in the new hospital, but as of Tuesday, there were no patients with the coronavirus and there were three open beds, which is good considering they have been full for the past few months. 

The really good news is that the vaccine has arrived in Gettysburg and the first 45 doses of the Moderna vaccine will be administered started Wednesday this week, with the first offered to front line staff and emergency services personnel.

The doses of the Pfizer vaccine will arrive next week for the residents of the Avera Oahe Manor. There are currently 34 manor residents. 

Both vaccines require two doses and reported to be very highly effective against the Covid-19 virus.  

Livermont said that the situation for the availability of the vaccine evolves quickly, so it is important to be nimble and prepared to reschedule as doses become available. 

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