South Dakota records record cases, deaths, from COVID-19


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South Dakota recorded 13 new deaths and 747 newly infected people with coronavirus Thursday, records for both categories.

The new deaths occurred in counties throughout the state as rural infections spread.

An additional 560 people recovered from the disease, which was also a record.

The new positive cases were not all from within the last 24 hours, state epidemiologist Joshua Clayton said, due to a delay in some infections from previous days being reported. Of new cases in the last 24 hours, there were 502. An additional 245 were from other days.

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Clayton reported that deaths occurred throughout the state, with just one county, Bennett, accounting for more than one death, where two deaths were reported. Other deaths occurred in Beadle, Brule, Clay, Codington, Custer, Haakon, Hanson, Minnehaha, Tripp, Turner and Union counties. Five were among people 80 or older, five were 70-79 and three were 60-69. Eight were men and five were women.

Minnehaha County residents accounted for 115 of the new infections, while Lincoln County accounted for 66. Pennington County had 74 of its residents test positive. Codington County had 48 infections and Brown County had 35. 

Clayton told reporters that the cluster at the South Dakota women’s prison in Pierre was up to 197 prisoners and staff who tested positive for the disease. Of those 110 had recovered.

Map: Where is coronavirus in South Dakota? View data on ages, counties and gender

Health Secretary Kim Malsam-Rysdon said the state’s hospital system was continuing to meet the needs of coronavirus patients. Health providers across the state were giving care, and more acute cases were transferred into the system to hospitals that could better care for those patients. As of Thursday, 214 South Dakotans with COVID-19 were hospitalized.

The state reported that COVID-19 patients occupied 9 percent of staffed hospital beds, and 17 percent of intensive care unit beds.

The Department of Health also announced Thursday that it would begin releasing data on regional hospital rates, and the department said that it would reduce its press briefings to once a week on Wednesdays. When the pandemic started, the department conducted daily briefings. Those were reduced to two a week this summer.

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