“Mask up South Dakota” is asking South Dakotan’s to put a mask on while out in public

RAPID CITY, S.D. — It’s called “Mask up South Dakota” and that pretty much sums it up. Healthcare organizations, and some others, have come up with a way to promote masking as COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations surge.

Health organizations including Monument, Avera, and Sanford say they support keeping South Dakota open and believe the safest way to do that is to practice good hygiene, social distancing and wearing a mask.

“We are calling on South Dakotans to help manage healthcare resources and workforce,” said Dr. Benjamin Aaker, President of the South Dakota State Medical Association. “So we can help those who need to be hospitalized. Masking can also help businesses to help retain workforce and to help keep businesses open. Masking is a simple act that each one of us can participate in and it can save lives.”

The CDC has affirmed that wearing masks can help communities slow the spread of COVID-19 when worn consistently and correctly by people in public settings. The CDC adds that masks are most effective when used along with other preventative measures such as social distancing and frequent hand washing.

Dr. Shankar Kurra, Vice President of Medical Affairs at Monument Health said, “We are in epidemic proportions as far as COVID-19 is concerned here in the state of South Dakota and in surrounding states. And the only way we can get a control is do all of these things, and on top of that, the masking, face mask use in public.”

Monument Health is urging the public to “Mask Up” in order to not put any further strain on the healthcare system, but also to stop the COVID-19 death toll from rising any further.

“I think it’s extremely important that universal face mask use in public, that is shown by a preponderance of evidence, to limit the spread and decrease the case load,” said Dr. Kurra. “And more importantly prevent overwhelming of our critical care services in the hospital and by the same token also impact the death toll of COVID-19.”

The group is asking South Dakota residents for a renewed and greater commitment to following preventive practice against COVID-19 as recommended by the CDC.

Categories: Coronavirus, Local News