HURON — With the COVID cases in the state surging again, it has been asked how the current numbers compare to where the state and Beadle County were a year ago.
With Tuesday’s numbers from the South Dakota Department of Health (DOH) as a guide, three dates were examined - Sept. 14, 2020, July 14, 2021, and Sept. 14, 2020.
One year ago on Sept. 14, 2020, the state had registered just 16,801 positive cases and 184 deaths total. The state was on the very beginning of an upswing that would really take hold in mid-October and continue into early December.
At the time, only total hospitalized numbers were released by DOH, not those who were actively in the hospital. Those numbers would begin to be released in the midst of the major wave a month or so later. At the time, the state had noted 1,171 total hospitalizations and reported 2,499 active cases across the state.
Beadle County one year ago reported its 665th case of the virus. The county had recorded nine deaths and 24 hospitalizations due to COVID, and at the time, 27 Beadle residents were considered actively infected with the virus.
Fast forward to this past summer, July 14, really the low point of infection numbers locally. In fact, there was not a single active case in the entire seven-county Heartland region at that time.
July’s DOH numbers showed the state recognizing its 124,750th positive case and 2,040th death on that day. Active cases were reported to be 208 across the state.
Auditing of the overall hospitalization numbers was underway, which would eventually pare the total hospitalizations down to roughly 6,000 before the numbers began to go up again. The total hospitalizations reported on July 14 was 6,487 after removing 262 from the rolls on that day. Across the state, 20 state residents were hospitalized at that time due to complications from the virus.
For clarification, due to the special care required of anyone positive with COVID-19 who was admitted to a hospital, those who were admitted while positive with the virus were considered part of the overall hospitalization tally for the first year the DOH tracked hospitalizations.
The audit’s intention was to pare down those hospitalizations to only those persons who had initially been admitted to the hospital due to COVID-related complications as the primary reason. That still left more than 6,000 hospitalizations on the books when all the auditing across the state was done.
In Beadle on July 14, there were no active cases reported. The county reported a total of 2,967 positive cases and 40 deaths over the entirety of the pandemic through that date. The total hospitalized in Beadle was listed at 77, though that number was also being pared down, and one more previously reported hospitalization was removed before the audit was complete on Beadle.
Fast forward to Tuesday’s numbers from DOH.
The state added 992 new positive cases, four new deaths, and 951 recovered cases in Tuesday’s DOH report. That put the active cases in the state at 7,263 - nearly three times the active cases the state had a year ago at this time and an increase of more than 7,000 in just two months from the numbers reported on July 14.
The state now reports 138,292 positive cases, a number eight times what had been seen a year ago and an increase of 13,542 new positive cases in two months. Deaths have similarly spiked from 184 statewide one year ago and 2,040 just two months ago to 2,092 after Tuesday’s report.
Hospitalizations have been on the rise statewide as well, with 7,090 reported as ever being hospitalized and 215 currently hospitalized on Tuesday, more than 10 times the amount currently hospitalized on July 14.
Beadle County added 15 new positive cases and six new recovered cases in Tuesday’s report to move to 73 active cases. On July 14, the county had no active cases, so the county has seen a notable increase in two months.
The county’s total positive cases has increased from 665 one year ago to 2,967 on July 14 to 3,085 on Tuesday, meaning the county added more than 100 cases to the rolls in a two-month span. Three deaths and two hospitalizations have been added since July 14, bringing the county’s total to 43 and 78, respectively, with one currently in the hospital due to COVID-19 complications, according to Tuesday’s DOH report.
The Heartland Region added 29 new positive cases and 16 new recovered cases in Tuesday’s report. The active cases in the seven-county region have jumped to 166 from the zero reported just two months ago across the same seven counties.