South Dakota reported four more deaths related to COVID-19 in its daily update for Thursday.

The deaths bring the state’s total to 97 overall

In a media briefing, state epidemiologist Josh Clayton said the deaths occurred in Beadle (county seat: Huron; 7 deaths in the county), Buffalo (Gann Valley; 3), Lyman (Kennebec; 1) and Pennington (Rapid City; 17) counties.

During the briefing, Clayton also fielded several questions about Friday’s fireworks display at Mount Rushmore, which will feature President Donald Trump and is expected to attract several thousand people.

Clayton said the Department of Health “did provide input to the Department of Tourism” on the event, even though Gov. Kristi Noem has said no social distancing rules would be enforced and masks would not be required.

“We did discuss larger recommendations ... such as social distancing … hand washing and wearing a face mask and getting as much physical distance between yourself and other individuals,” he said. “What I would say is that the guidance has not changed in that respect, that individuals do need to take precautions into their own hands when they are out, whether they are grocery shopping (or) going out to other events such as picnics and fireworks celebrations, including the fireworks at Mount Rushmore.”

He added that there have been no recommendations issued to attendees of the Mount Rushmore event to get tested or to self-isolate afterwards. “It really comes down to whether an individual has an exposure event,” he said.

Clayton also reported that the state exceeded its goal of testing 5% (or 44,000 people) of the population in June, processing 48,000 tests overall.

Locally, both Clay (Vermillion) and Union (Elk Point) counties reported two new positive tests. The new cases in Clay County bring its total to 85, with 75 recoveries (+2). Union County now stands at 126 known cases with 112 recoveries (+2).

Yankton County reported one new case, its 78th. The number of recoveries remained at 65 (0 change).

Charles Mix County (Lake Andes) reported a new positive test to bring its case total to 86. Recoveries remained at 36 (0) while one new hospitalization was reported (29).

Douglas County (Armour) reported a new case, its fifth overall and first since June 7. The county has four recoveries (0).

Hutchinson County (Olivet) also reported one new case, its 13th. There are 10 recoveries (0).

Other South Dakota statistics reported Thursday included:

• Total Cases — 6,893 (+67, up from 62 new cases reported Wednesday)

• Total Tests — 81,941 (+998)

• Active Cases — 814 (+14)

• Recoveries — 5,982 (+49)

• Hospitalizations — 683 ever hospitalized (+9); 64 currently hospitalized (-1)

In Nebraska, two new deaths were reported by the Department of Health and Human Services late Wednesday, bringing the state’s total to 276.

There were 133 new tests reported (-23 from Tuesday) to give the state a total of 19,310 known cases. Approximately 2,100 tests were processed to bring the state count to 182,880. Total hospitalizations climbed to 1,343 (+13), with 117 people currently hospitalized (-3). The number of recovered cases climbed to 13,907 (+70).

One new positive case was reported in Dixon County (Ponca), its 48th.

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