COVID-19 Trends

According to SD Department of Health statistics as of Oct. 21, positive COVID-19 cases are leveling off on the University of South Dakota campus but are on an upward trend in Clay County.

Yankton County recorded 10 new COVID-19 infections in Wednesday’s daily update from the South Dakota Department of Health (DOH).

Meanwhile, Knox County in Nebraska reported its first death related to COVID-19. It was one of 11 new deaths recorded in the state late Tuesday by the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS).

Also, South Dakota reported 582 new infections (558 confirmed, 24 probable) Wednesday. There were also three new deaths, which occurred in Buffalo, Marshall and Miner counties. That raised the state toll to 333 deaths.

Yankton County’s October surge continued as it has reported double-digit increases in seven of the last eight days. The county’s case total of 652 infections overall has risen by nearly 50% since the beginning of the month.

Also locally, state epidemiologist Dr. Josh Clayton reported during a media briefing Wednesday that there have been 171 total infections among inmates and staff at Mike Durfee State Prison in Springfield, of which eight are considered recovered.

Clayton also noted COVID-19 impact by age group. He said cases among people age 60 and older make up 20% of all South Dakota cases but account for 59% of all hospitalizations, while people age 30 and under account for 35% of all positive tests but comprise just 8% of the state’s hospitalizations.

He added that there have been no deaths among COVID patients ages 19 and younger, but the death rate among individuals ages 80 and older is 12.3%

“No matter your age, your risk for severe disease is not zero,” Clayton said. “Everyone should take the appropriate precautions to keep themselves and their loved ones safe.”

He cited what he called the “Swiss cheese” analogy when it comes to using safeguards.

“We’re all focused on reducing COVID-19 in the state by using several layers of … prevention activities,” he said. “You have several interventions — such as staying at home when you’re sick, covering your coughs and sneezes, washing your hands, avoiding crowds, wearing a mask — but none of those individually are perfect. They all have holes. But if you stack up each of these interventions, those holes start to cover, and the layering of those imperfect interventions can similarly slow down COVID-19 transmission in the state.”

Also during the briefing, Clayton said there had been no confirmed cases of an individual becoming re-infected with COVID-19 in the state.

Secretary of Health Kim Malsam-Rysdon added that there is new tool on the state website (covid.sd.gov) that functions as a “COVID age risk calculator to help people understand potential poor health outcomes.”

Here are the summaries for area South Dakota counties:

• Bon Homme County — 9 new cases (332 overall), 1 new hospitalization (15), 2 new recoveries (133), 198 active cases;

• Charles Mix County — 4 new cases (32), 0 new hospitalizations (54), 8 new recoveries (238), 82 active cases;

• Clay County — 3 new cases (724), 2 new hospitalizations (20), 3 new recoveries (599), 117 active cases;

• Douglas County — 1 new case (151), 0 new hospitalizations (24), 1 new recovery (102), 45 active cases;

• Hutchinson County — 6 new cases (199), 1 new hospitalization (18), 1 new recovery (131), 66 new cases;

• Turner County — 5 new cases (399), 2 new hospitalizations (23), 6 new recoveries (225), 166 active cases;

• Union County — 4 new cases (673), 1 new hospitalization (42), 7 new recoveries (502), 161 active cases;

• Yankton County — 10 new cases (652), 0 new hospitalizations (23), 7 new recoveries (467), 180 active cases.

In Nebraska, the DHHS late Tuesday reported four new cases in Knox County (244 total) and two new cases in Cedar County (133). Dixon County’s case total was amended downward by two to 150.

The University of South Dakota on Wednesday reported 40 active cases (37 students, 3 staff), down one from Tuesday. The number in quarantine stood at 170 (-4), including 27 on campus (+6).

Here are South Dakota’s statistics for Wednesday, according to the DOH portal:

• Total Cases — 35,044 (+562);

• Active Cases — 8,688 (+247);

• Recoveries — 26,023 (+337);

• Hospitalizations — 2,239 ever hospitalized (+46); 332 currently hospitalized (+3);

• Testing — 4,666 new tests; 1,524 new individuals tested.

In Nebraska, the 11 new deaths raised the state toll to 565.

The DHHS also reported 592 new cases late Tuesday.

Here are the statewide statistics posted on the DHHS portal:

• Total Cases — 59,409 (+592);

• Active Cases — 19,157 (+207);

• Recoveries — 39,687 (+374);

• Hospitalizations — 2,706 ever hospitalized (+26); 380 currently hospitalized (0 change);

• Testing — 12,406 new tests; 3,253 new individuals tested.

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