State posts 10 COVID-related deaths for first time in seven months


HURON ­— While a lot of the numbers that are mandatory to change give some level of indication that active cases in the state are going down, increasing hospitalizations and deaths in the state in Friday’s report from the South Dakota Department of Health (DOH) tell a different story.

The state reported 470 new positive cases, 10 deaths, and 481 new recovered cases on Friday. That total bumped active cases down slightly, to 7,704.

The 10 deaths were notable as it is the first day that double-digit deaths have been reported by the state since Feb. 11. While currently hospitalized numbers went down, those who have ever been hospitalized increased by 27 statewide in Friday’s numbers, making it every reporting day of September that the state has added double-digit new hospitalizations.

Beadle County reported three new positive cases and six new recovered cases. Active cases in the county are reported down slightly to 90.

Two individuals who were recently diagnosed positive with the virus in Beadle County were contacted by the Plainsman and both revealed that no member of DOH or a representative followed up with either to verify that symptoms of COVID-19 had subsided. As has been done for multiple months, recovered cases are being triggered primarily by a numerical tracking of when a patient is deemed positive and automatically considered recovered on the DOH dashboard 10 days after positive diagnosis, regardless of whether any symptoms persist.

The Heartland Region noted 12 new positive cases and 17 new recovered cases across the seven counties in the region. Active cases in the Heartland dropped slightly to 205.

Vaccines slowed significantly in the state over the past week, to the slowest pace since all those over 16 years in age were approved to receive the vaccine.

The state noted just 3,240 individuals receiving a first-time dose of the vaccine over the past week, the lowest number since the vaccine was made widely available.

The state has now recorded 778,075 doses of vaccine in 418,610 state residents, 387,095 of whom are now fully vaccinated.

That means that 63.8% of the state’s eligible population has received at least one dose of vaccine while 58.2% of those eligible is now fully vaccinated. Of the state’s 886,667 total residents, the fully vaccinated comprise 43.7% of the entire population.

Beadle County followed suit with the state, with 16,309 total doses now reported in 8,781 county residents. That’s an increase of just 68 over the previous week. Of those who have received the shot, 8,229 are now fully vaccinated.

By percentage, those who have received at least one dose in Beadle now comprise 58.5% of the county’s vaccine-eligible residents with those who have been fully vaccinated representing 54.9% of the county’s eligible residents.

Those who are fully vaccinated now represent a full 43% of Beadle’s 19,149 overall residents.

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