During the recent Omicron surge, the Sioux Falls VA Health Care System (HCS) continued to provide care for our Veterans using lessons learned from the first surge in 2020.
During the recent peak, more than 50 percent of Sioux Falls VA HCS inpatient medical/surgical beds were occupied by COVID-19 patients and inpatient units were fully occupied.
The outpatient COVID-19 clinic managed the care of hundreds of COVID positive Veterans safely in their homes. The Sioux Falls VA HCS also worked with local community hospitals throughout eastern South Dakota to transfer Veterans to the Sioux Falls VA Medical Center to decompress their overburdened hospital beds, allowing them to better serve their communities.
Like all health care systems across the nation, the Sioux Falls VA HCS also had large numbers of employees out of work due the virus and the need to quarantine. Despite this impact on staff, the Sioux Falls VA HCS was able to safely care for its inpatient and outpatient COVID-19 positive Veterans while maintaining regular outpatient and surgical services with minimal cancellations. The dedication and resilience of employees was evident every day, and their commitment to Veterans was and is boundless.
Thankfully, COVID-19 numbers across the area are coming down significantly and most of our employees are healthy and back to serving Veterans.
The VA provides a range of options to help Veterans in their time of need. If you just have concerns about symptoms and need advice, we have nurses available 24/7 to answer your healthcare questions and provide advice – call our main number at 605-336-3230 and select option 3.
If something happens and you need assistance from a health care provider, Veterans may need an Urgent Care visit. Veterans enrolled in VA health care who have received care through the VA in the past 24 months may be eligible for urgent care benefits either for free or for a nominal co-payment. To verify eligibility, call 800-698-2411 and select option 1 and then option 3. Otherwise, go to https://www.va.gov/find-locations/ to find your nearest VA approved urgent care center. Only urgent care centers contracting with the VA’s Care in the Community program are available for this benefit. You do not need to notify the VA that you are heading to urgent care.
The Sioux Falls VA Health Care System thanks Veterans and their families and the Sioux Falls community for their support. And we thank Veterans for the trust they place in us every day, as is evidenced by our trust score which is well above the national average. We’re committed to providing excellent health care and services to our Veterans – they selflessly served our Nation, and now we are here to serve them.