EDITOR’S NOTE: Portions of this story first appeared the Press & Dakotan’s Wednesday online COVID-19 update.


Yankton County reported 91 new COVID-19 infections Friday, according to the update from the South Dakota Department of Health (DOH).

Meanwhile, the state saw 2,138 new cases and 39 new deaths, including four in Turner County and one in both Clay and Hutchinson counties.

The DOH did not post updates on its online portal on Thanksgiving Day, so all statistics are compared to Wednesday.

In a media briefing Wednesday, state epidemiologist Josh Clayton said the results from recent mass testing events across the state, including one in Yankton, were currently being processed. He noted that approximately 7,900 tests were conducted, with about 2,600 being processed so far. In his remarks, he indicated that the Yankton tests are just now entering the system.

However, while Yankton County recorded 91 new positive tests Friday, the number of negative tests climbed by just 24.

South Dakota’s 39 deaths brought the state toll to 888. During November, the state’s COVID fatality total has more than doubled, with the state seeing 473 deaths so far this month.

Clay County also saw a big spike in cases Friday, with 42 new infections reported. The new death was its 10th related to the pandemic.

Turner County now has 40 deaths overall, of which 22 have been recorded in November.

Hutchinson County’s death was its seventh overall and its fifth this month.

Here are the summaries for area South Dakota counties from the DOH:

• Bon Homme County — 14 new cases (1,349 overall), 1 new hospitalization (40), 7 new recoveries (1,195), 0 new deaths (14), 140 active cases;

• Charles Mix County — 23 new cases (827), 0 new hospitalizations (89), 13 new recoveries (574), 0 new deaths (4), 249 active cases;

• Clay County — 42 new cases (1,338), 0 new hospitalizations (29), 16 new recoveries (1,059), 1 new death (10), 269 active cases;

• Douglas County — 6 new cases (289), 1 new hospitalization (44), 0 new recoveries (228), 0 new deaths (5), 56 active cases;

• Hutchinson County — 10 new cases (551), 3 new hospitalizations (50), 8 new recoveries (381), 1 new death (7), 163 active cases;

• Turner County — 6 new cases (772), 2 new hospitalizations (50), 7 new recoveries (615), 4 new deaths (40), 117 active cases;

• Union County — 23 new cases (1,217), 0 new hospitalizations (60), 13 new recoveries (967), 0 new deaths (23), 227 active cases;

• Yankton County — 91 new cases (1,706), 2 new hospitalizations (67), 24 new recoveries (1,232), 0 new deaths (9), 465 active cases.


In Nebraska, the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) late Thursday reported 11 new infections in both Cedar (374 cases overall) and Dixon (383) counties, and six new cases in Knox County (423). Cedar County has registered 34 new positive tests the past two reporting days.

As of 5 p.m. Tuesday, the Yankton School District reported five active cases in both the high school and middle school, along with two cases in Stewart School and one in Lincoln School.

On Wednesday, the University of South Dakota reported 41 active cases (35 students, 6 staff), down three from Tuesday. The number in quarantine/isolation was 101 (-10), including six on campus (-11). The on-campus portion of USD’s semester ended Wednesday. During the semester, USD saw a high of 243 active cases on Sept. 2 and a low of 13 active cases on Oct. 2.

Mount Marty University’s (MMU) online COVID-19 portal has been taken offline with the end of in-person classes for the semester Tuesday. The school finished the semester with nine active cases. During the semester, MMU saw a high of 27 active cases on Sept. 3 and a low of one active case as late as Oct. 9.

Also Wednesday, Secretary of Health Kim Malsam-Rysdon said she was “very excited” about the state receiving its first COVID-19 vaccines. She told said the vaccine would likely come from Pfizer, since it’s the first company to apply for federal emergency use authorization which is currently being reviewed. Once the review is finished and if the vaccine is approved, federal officials “will provide direction to states about where the vaccine should be directed,” Malsam-Rysdon said.

She said she anticipates high-risk health care professionals will be the first group to receive the vaccine, followed by long-term care facility residents, other health care workers and critical employees such as teachers, social workers and others. People with underlying health conditions and at higher risk would follow.

Malsam-Rysdon added that the state is expected to receive an allocation of 15,000 doses in the first shipment, which is a decline from 24,000 previously indicated. She said delivery estimates for all states have been reduced slightly, at least for the first round.

Here are South Dakota’s statistics for Friday from the DOH:

• Total Cases — 78,280 (+2,138: 1,926 confirmed, 212 probable);

• Active Cases — 16,382 (+1,070);

• Recoveries — 61,010 (+1,029);

• Hospitalizations — 4,353 ever hospitalized (+110); 569 currently hospitalized (-1);

• Testing — 12,965 new tests processed; 4,130 new individuals tested.

In Nebraska, the DHHS late Thursday reported 2,876 new COVID infections, the second-highest one-day total to date. The top mark is 3,440 new cases recorded on Nov. 16.

The four new deaths reported Thursday follow the 28 deaths announced Wednesday. The state toll stands at 982.

Here are Nebraska statistics as of late Thursday:

• Total Cases — 122,952 (+2,876);

• Recoveries — 60,654 (+977);

• Hospitalizations — 4,192 ever hospitalized (+10); 931 currently hospitalized (+1);

• Testing — 18,785 new tests processed; 8,631 new individuals tested.


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