UPDATE: Are Hospitals in Sioux Falls at Capacity?

Cory linked some stories that should be concerning;

UPDATE: After talking to some people in healthcare in Sioux Falls, there has been some clarity on the issue. The hospitals are NOT at capacity, but are experiencing a higher number of patients (not Covid related).

Today, Avera and Sanford are starting to fill up their beds in Sioux Falls. I talked with both of them in the past few days. They’re busy. That’s also not uncommon. There have been times pre-COVID when our hospitals have been full or nearly full. They don’t build the church for Christmas, as the saying goes.

This may have a little to do with some people putting off medical care when this Spring many were not going to the hospital for other ailments. This was mentioned in the City Council informational. Another reason some patients may be transferred is that the local health systems are trying to maintain open beds as we continue to surge, in other words preparing themselves if more people are hospitalized. I guess Avera and Sanford plan to hold a press conference Monday to update us.

South Dakota is seeing its highest COVID-19 hospitalization numbers so far. While state health officials insist there’s plenty of capacity statewide, some patients are being diverted hours away from home—and even out of state.

She did not directly address hospital capacity in Sioux Falls. Avera will not release numbers, and Sanford has not responded to a request for this story.

We were told on Tuesday at the Sioux Falls City Council Informational Meeting that the hospitals are managing capacity just fine.

Last night an anonymous source told me that at least ONE of our major hospitals is possibly at capacity (regular and ICU beds) and has been transferring Covid patients out of Sioux Falls. They have even been keeping Covid patients at one of their speciality hospitals because of the lack of beds in the main hospital. There is also rumors that there are very long waits for a bed if you show up with an emergency (Covid or other). But what makes this even more concerning is that a lot of the small town & reservation hospitals have been transferring patients here while their hospitals have plenty of beds. I assume this is because they are not prepared to care for Covid patients. I guess healthcare workers at this hospital are getting very nervous that this game of transfers and whack a mole is NOT sustainable, especially if we continue to spike. Like I said, I got this from an anonymous source, so I have NO idea how much is true. But the timing of the SDPB story linked above and my anonymous source has me thinking that some of this is true.

I’m not sure who is controlling the narrative here, but we need to be honest and upfront with the public. I know many people in local government and in private non-profit healthcare HATE transparency because they think if the public knows too much they may panic or be a danger to themselves. But that’s just the right-wing hogwash that has been peddled on us for far to long.

If our hospitals in Sioux Falls are at capacity or very close, the time to tell the public is right NOW!


#1 Anonymoussource on 09.25.20 at 3:19 pm

I do believe a “Specialty Hospital” is still a hospital? This isnt rocket science….you would want to keep COVID patients away from other patients….so, I would hope they are using every resource possible to do it? What difference would it make if someone was taken many hours away to be with other COVID patients? It’s not like you can go visit a COVID positive person in a hospital. My wife had surgery during this, guess where they kept her? On the maternity ward at Avera…guess I should have called the Argus to complain they didn’t put her on the correct floor? Critical Thinker you are not.

#2 No more red on 09.25.20 at 6:38 pm

Here you go..I think this should say something. We will see how long this story stays up on Argus 911.

Reported on Argus 911. “An Iowa health system is asking residents to take more precautions to avoid the coronavirus as it loses its option to send acute patients to Sioux Falls.”

#3 anonymous on 09.25.20 at 7:54 pm

I live near Avera.

Their helicopters have been leaving and returning around the clock for days…..

Instead of seeing one Avera helicopter on the launch pad, I am now often times seeing two!

#4 "Very Stable Genius" on 09.25.20 at 8:19 pm

Maybe battleground state hospitals could help us out right now. Noem has the contacts and definitely the patients, but do we?

#5 Fear & Loathing in Sioux Falls on 09.25.20 at 8:26 pm

More helicopters on the roof means Saigon Health is falling. Avera? The nuns are always the last to leave.

#6 qanominous on 09.25.20 at 10:04 pm

is it cool for elected officials to privately tell their own church they really ought to be wearing masks while making no mention of it to the public

#7 anonymous on 09.25.20 at 10:12 pm


#8 where is the governor of South Dakota? on 09.25.20 at 10:23 pm

Maybe kristi noem should stay in South Dakota and take care of the state she has been elected to represent

INSTEAD of traipsing all over the country for her buddy, trump!


#9 anonymous on 09.26.20 at 9:49 am

At all times, the most important thing the region’s two major healthcare systems (Avera and Sanford) need is the public’s TRUST.

Right now, what they are lacking is CREDIBILITY during a major healthcare crisis.

#10 Further Fear & Loathing on 09.26.20 at 12:22 pm

Often shoot outs at night in Soo Foo. Riots. Barretts in the streets and court. Threatening pandemic. Grandma is dead, but the bars await your wake. Restaurants permanently closing. Toilet paper is the new reserve currency. Constant helicopters in the sky. KGB meddling. Lace is dead. Stormy’s cleavage is in. Your democracy is in the mail. A president stays in power via the courts. Is Kayne the answer? I now miss 9/11: Great Faces. Great Places. #WheresMy2nd$1200?

#11 Skyisfalling on 09.26.20 at 5:38 pm

Just like every day, the Argus has how many beds are open in South Dakota hospitals. Looks like 42% of beds statewide are open. OR, you can look on the state website. But let’s just go off rumors, makes sense to me….rolls eyes

#12 "Very Stable Genius" on 09.27.20 at 9:57 am

Not all beds can handle COVID. That’s why COVID patients in rural areas are shipped to the big cities. I own three cars, but one doesn’t work.

#13 Rich on 09.27.20 at 10:55 am

Skyisfalling, do the hospitals that have “42% of beds statewide are open” have the staff and capability to care for COVID-19 patients?

#14 qanominous on 09.27.20 at 1:37 pm

honestly, i’d rather be in a tank of bacta fluid if i ever get that shit

#15 skyisfalling on 09.27.20 at 8:25 pm

Rich, yes right now they have the staff needed. The hospitals NEED to run closer to capacity to make $$$ and bring back all their workers to full time status. Honestly, I think they WANT more COVID cases to fill up their empty wings.