Watertown, SD --  Corona Virus cases are increasing dramatically in South Dakota and here in the KXLG listening area. 463 new cases were reported in South Dakota Thursday bringing the state total positive case count to over 20,000 at 20,097. 194 remained hospitalized statewide with 14 admitted locally at Prairie Lakes Health Care Center. That’s up from the zero to four hospitalized throughout the summer. The state death toll has now climbed to 210 with 30 new cases reported in Codington County Thursday. Codington County is now showing a 20 percent positive rate, which hospital officials say, “ is pretty significant.” It’s advised that if you deem it necessary to have a COVID test that it will be up to your provider to determine what kind of test you’ll need. In the meantime health officials are encouraging everyone in the public to wear a mask and isolate while waiting for your test results and when in public. Watertown Mayor Sarah Caron has some reminders for the public with COVID cases spiking locally.

Shannon Britt is the infection control nurse at Prairie Lakes Healthcare System who reminded the pubic that we’re also coming on the influenza season as well as seeing a surge in corona virus.  Both, she says, are separate viruses.

Britt says both viruses are spread similarly from person to person in about a six foot radius via droplets that land in the eyes, nose, and mouth. Both are also contagious.

Most individuals recover within a week or two if complications don't occur. She says that hand washing is still and using sanitizer is still highly recommended. and that distancing and the use of masks are still two major practices to follow. Britt says that, as a rule, a cold will come on gradually whereas influenza is quick. Rarely with a cold do you get fevers, whereas the opposite is true with influenza.

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