Tourism done safely with Doctor Kurra

Kurra stresses the importance of vaccination.
Kurra stresses the importance of vaccination.(Miranda O'Bryan)
Published: Apr. 23, 2021 at 4:06 PM MDT
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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KEVN) - Every year, thousands of visitors come to the Black Hills. Taking part in a wide spectrum of outdoor activities.

The weather is still making up its mind, but soon enough, it will warm up and people will make their way to the Hills.

However, it’s likely they’ll also bring COVID-19 with them, along with new variants, according to Doctor Shankar Kurra, the Vice President of Medical Affairs at Monument Health.

Kurra is worried about visitors creating as so-called reservoirs, or places where the disease will live and linger until tourists leave, and then spread to more people who aren’t vaccinated.

He especially expresses concerns for children, who are currently unable to receive the vaccine.

Kurra says, if eighty-percent of residents get vaccinated, it’s unlikely the disease can spread in waves by bouncing from one person to another.

He asks people to look to themselves and their neighbors, so we can all enjoy a thriving tourism season.

”If you got eighty-percent [vaccinated], that [remaining] 20-percent is well protected when those tourists come and leave, and you won’t have any waves. So, it is really up to us in the west river population to think about that. Protect our children, protect ourselves,” says Kurra, “and you really will be enjoying the summer and enjoying the tourists when they come here.”

Kurra says he’s excited for people to come and discover the Black Hills, and acknowledges the importance of the tourism industry for South Dakota, saying he looks forward to it being done in a safe way for everyone.

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