DOH: large summer gatherings could contribute to surge in COVID-19 cases
PIERRE, S.D. — The South Dakota Department of Health says an anticipated summer surge in COVID-19 cases won’t necessarily come in a wave, but rather in local increases based on summer activities.
The initial projections were based on a statewide transmission model, but as time goes on, officials say they’re learning that slowing the spread may require different measures in different areas. And as summer hits full swing, large gatherings especially with younger crowds, can pass the virus just the same.
But regardless of age, State Epidemiologist Doctor Joshua Clayton says the advice remains the same.
“We want to make sure we have strong messaging for South Dakotans, as well as our younger population that is not at highest risk for severe complications,” Dr. Clayton said. “That message is for individuals to take proper precautions, make sure that they’re washing their hands, potentially using facemasks if they’re going out in public and especially in crowds.”
Clayton says the health department has been working in coordination with Mount Rushmore to offer guidance in preparation for Friday’s presidential visit and the fireworks.