RAPID CITY, S.D. (KELO) — As we head into a holiday weekend, South Dakota is seeing a surge in COVID-19 cases.
Right now, there are nearly six-thousand active cases in the state. 230 coronavirus patients are in South Dakota hospitals; 66 of them are in the ICU. 36 patients are on ventilators.
The state’s vaccination rate has been slowly increasing. So far, just more than 62 percent of South Dakotans who are eligible to receive a vaccine have gotten at least one shot. Nearly 57 percent have completed their vaccinations.
One Rapid City man says his struggles with COVID-19 helped him realize the importance of getting the vaccine.
A fear of needles kept Adam Bradsky, who just turned 33, from getting the COVID-19 vaccine.
“Just thinking, I’m 32-years-old. I exercise, eat well, it’s just going to be a cold, not a big deal,” Adam Bradsky, COVID-19 Patient, said.
About a month ago, Bradsky tested positive for the coronavirus. Then, a few days later, he found himself in the hospital with severe breathing issues, a burst lung and some scary thoughts.
“The crappy thing about COVID is that you’re sick for so long and you’re just not getting any better, so psychologically you’re like, ‘Am I ever going to get better?’” Bradsky said.
Bradsky was here at the Monument Health Hospital for a total of three days before he could go home.
Bradsky says some of his symptoms have stayed with him, including loss of breath, higher heart rate and brain fog.
“It’s disappointing and as a consequence of being sick and in the hospital. I had the muscle wasting thing where I lost 15 pounds of skeletal muscle so that’s tough because you’re weaker and it’s hard to do the things you used to do,” Bradsky said.
Bradsky is planning to get his COVID-19 vaccine when he is able to. He strongly encourages others to do the same.
“Getting the vaccine would have been way, way better for me, so…” Bradsky said.
COVID-19 cases in Rapid City are on the rise. Health officials urge everyone to take proper precautions and get vaccinated.
“All of this is clearly showing us that there is increased transmission of the Delta Variant and all the more reason we should be concerned,” Dr. Shankar Kurra, Monument Health, said.
According to the COVID-19 dashboard on the Rapid City Area School’s website, there are more than 200 active cases among students and 29 active cases among staff.
Nearly 550 students and staff are in quarantine or isolation.