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Avoiding crowds and social distancing may be over sooner than you thought

Published: Apr. 7, 2021 at 6:14 PM CDT
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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KOTA) - Almost 50 percent of South Dakotans have received at least one COVID-19 vaccine, pushing closer and closer to the goal of herd immunity, 80 percent of people vaccinated.

But the ideas of social distancing, avoiding large crowds, and wearing a mask is still recommended for most people.

The CDC has created updated guidelines for fully vaccinated people in regard to travel and large crowds.

The vice president of medical affairs at Monument Health gave some insight into avoiding or not avoiding groups of people.

“If it’s a small gathering, you’re okay. It’s the medium and large size gatherings and there’s no definition for that, it’s a more common-sense approach so those settings you’re okay,” said Shankar Kurra, the vice president of medical affairs for Monument Health. “The high risk would really truly be a large mass gathering event.”

Kurra has been optimistic for months, believing a return to normal could come as soon as this summer. But because of South Dakota’s vaccination efforts and new money to drive those, he’s seeing the light at the end of the tunnel even sooner.

“The money from the CDC is going to go a long way to ensure the vaccine is still free and it’s available,” said Kurra. “I’m very hopeful that in a month from now we’ll be in a different situation where we’ll be able to mingle freely and socially interact.”

Everyone 16 years of age and older is eligible for the vaccine.

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