HURON — October was the eighth month the state has battled the novel coronavirus 2019, shortened to COVID-19. While South Dakota had experienced surges in the state previously and was in the midst of a two-month increase in cases when the month of October began, October took things to an all new level.
To put this in perspective, the South Dakota Department of Health (DOH) reported 22,389 total positive cases in the state to open the month in the state’s history with the virus. Over the course of just the month of October, 23,603 new positive cases were added. That means the state more than doubled the total positive cases of the virus in 31 days.
The month was by far the most deadly experienced due to the virus. September previously held the mark with 56 deaths, but October nearly quadrupled that mark, finishing with 202 deaths across the state over the month.
Hospitalizations also took off in the month. The month began with 1,548 total hospitalizations reported by DOH. Over the course of October, 1,135 state residents were admitted to the hospital due to complications from the virus.
Active cases in the state also skyrocketed as well as the month began with 3,659 active cases. The month ended with 14,375 active virus cases, an astounding rise of over 10,000 active cases. That means 1.6% of the entire state’s population is active with the virus at the close of October.
The higher positive cases statewide were strongly a result of an inordinate 34.33% positive rate among reported cases. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) suggests that states should stay under 5% positive rate in testing. Even more disturbing, the final 10 days of the month, the state reported new cases at more than a 47% positive rate.
Beadle County’s numbers escalated in line with the state’s over the month. The DOH reported 534 additional positive cases over the course of the month in the county along with six new deaths.
Beadle’s active cases ballooned in accordance with the state as well, going from 107 to open the month to 361 to close the month. That puts Beadle at just short of 2% of the county’s population currently active with COVID-19 to open November.