Friday, October 22, 2021


Some states entice people back to the workplace by increasing safety standards and higher minimum wage; Bannon held in Contempt of Congress; and the latest cyber security concerns.


House votes to hold Bannon in contempt of Congress; Trump announces new social media platform TRUTH Social; and the Biden administration says it will continue to expel migrants under Title 42.


An all-Black Oklahoma town joins big cities in seeking reparations; a Kentucky vaccination skeptic does a 180; telehealth proves invaluable during pandemic; and spooky destinations lure tourists at Halloween.

Report: COVID Cases Surge in SD Long-Term Care


Friday, December 11, 2020   

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. - A leading group advocating for seniors has a new report about COVID cases in South Dakota nursing homes - and the findings paint a troubling picture as providers try to keep residents safe.

The latest COVID-19 dashboard from AARP says South Dakota is well above the national rate for recent case numbers and death averages. Between mid-October and mid-November, the state saw 22 new COVID-19 cases per 100 long-term-care residents, up from 5.5 in the previous four week period, and the fatality average topped all other states.

AARP South Dakota State Director Erik Gaikowski said staff members becoming infected is a big concern, too.

"These are just some alarming trends that we're seeing across the country, but also here in South Dakota," said Gaikowski. "And we're just calling upon our leaders in the state to do as much as possible to protect our most vulnerable South Dakotans."

Gaikowski said that should include doubling up on efforts to add staff and protective gear as the virus reenters many facilities from community spread.

AARP is providing these monthly snapshots using self-reporting data nursing homes send to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

The imminent distribution of vaccines is giving hope to public-health officials trying to reverse COVID trends. Gaikowski said even though long-term-care residents are high on the list for early doses, now is not the time for the state or providers to let their guard down.

"People are very excited about the fact that the vaccine is so close to us," said Gaikowski. "But we want to make sure that there's enough PPE, there's enough testing; that we're maintaining the level of care that is needed in those facilities."

The report also says 77% of nursing homes were without a one week supply of PPE, up from 23% in the last reporting period. And 60% of nursing homes reported staffing shortages.

Disclosure: AARP South Dakota contributes to our fund for reporting on Health Issues, Senior Issues. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.

get more stories like this via email
California has collected more than 600 tons of unwanted prescription drugs since the Take-Back Day program began in 2010. (Dodgerton Skillhause/Morguefile)

Health and Wellness

SACRAMENTO, Calif. - Saturday is National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day, when the Drug Enforcement Administration encourages everyone to clean out …

Health and Wellness

BALTIMORE - This month marks the four-year anniversary of the #MeToo movement, and an art project aims to help incarcerated survivors heal by telling …

Social Issues

OGDEN, Utah - Utah is one of only a handful of states that taxes food, but one state legislator says taxing groceries should become a thing of the …

In a new poll, 71% of all registered voters support strengthening rules to reduce oil and gas methane pollution, including 73% of Independents and 50% of Republicans. (Adobe Stock)


CASPER, Wyo. - A strong majority of voters across party lines say they want national rules similar to those passed in Wyoming to reduce methane …

Health and Wellness

ARLINGTON, Va. - Although COVID-19 rates have gone down, the virus continues to hit the Hispanic community especially hard. Now, a new campaign aims …

Child-care advocates say if North Dakota doesn't boost funding for the system, more families might pull out of the workforce because of access issues. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

BISMARCK, N.D. - A portion of American Rescue Plan funding sent to North Dakota has yet to be divvied up. Groups that want to improve the child-care …

Social Issues

PITTSBURGH - As businesses across the country deal with a massive labor shortage, Pennsylvania aims to entice people back to the workplace by …


ALBANY, N.Y. - Environmental groups want Gov. Kathy Hochul to sign a bill that mandates monitoring the state's drinking water for "emerging …


Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021