Tribe reports scramble for hospital beds in South Dakota

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) — A small hospital serving the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe has sent two coronavirus patients to an out-of-state hospital in recent days, even as South Dakota’s top health officials insist the state has plenty of hospital capacity for COVID-19 patients.

The Cheyenne River Sioux Health Department reports that it sought to transfer COVID-19 patients to better-equipped hospitals in the state. But it heard from 14 hospitals that they were diverting COVID-19 patients.

The South Dakota Department of Health reports that the state’s hospital capacity remains in good shape and hospital diversions are a regular occurrence. The two patients were sent to Burnsville, Minnesota.