HURON — As the state added 1,673 new positive COVID-19 cases between Wednesday and Thursday, it also reached numerical milestones in deaths, those who had ever been hospitalized, current hospitalizations, and active cases.
The state reached the milestone of 7,000 active cases in the state, the third new barrier broken in the month of October as 4,000 was broken Oct. 3, 5,000 was broken Oct. 9, and 6,000 was broken Oct. 12. After Thursday’s numbers, the state is at 7,132 active cases and has added 500 or more new active cases the last two days.
Current hospitalizations in the state reached 304, the first time the state had reached more than 300 residents of the state hospitalized due to the virus at any one time. With 37 new hospitalizations announced Thursday, South Dakota now has seen 2,000 persons admitted to the hospital at some point during the pandemic due to the virus.
The death rate in the state continues to climb, with 13 new deaths announced Thursday by the South Dakota Department of Health (DOH). This brings the October death tally due to the virus to 81. The previous monthly high was September, with 56, meaning that the state has 25 more deaths in October than any month of the pandemic at the halfway point of the month. That also brings the total deaths for the state to 304.
When asked about the increase in deaths over the month at the DOH weekly press briefing, state epidemiologist Dr. Josh Clayton stated that the increase in cases began in August, but that at that time, the new cases were primarily among young people.
“The testing rates have skewed from heavily in the teens and 20s in August,” said Clayton. “We’ve seen percentage increases in each age group over 50 since August in new cases.”
Clayton notes that the deaths have not skewed younger during the month, but that with the cases trending to older adults, the result has been more hospitalizations and more deaths in the state.
Beadle County tied its single-day high Wednesday with 33 new positive cases and added 22 more new positive cases Thursday to eclipse 1,000 total positive cases in the county. The county has now seen 1,016 total COVID-19 cases throughout the pandemic.
One new death was noted by the DOH in their numbers Thursday for Beadle, bringing the county’s total to 12. The county currently has 172 active cases of the virus and five county residents hospitalized due to the virus.
The Heartland Region also saw the spike throughout the seven-county region. Jerauld County added two new deaths Thursday, bringing its total to six from COVID-19. Across the region, 96 new positive cases were announced over Wednesday and Thursday.
The Heartland currently has 345 active cases, with four counties currently at the highest level of active cases that they’ve experienced throughout the pandemic. There are nine currently in the hospital in the Heartland due to COVID-19.