COVID Screening

South Dakota recorded 28 new COVID-19 deaths Wednesday — including one each in Yankton and Hutchinson counties — according to the daily update from the Department of Health (DOH).

Also, Nebraska reported 16 new deaths Tuesday, including one in Dixon County.

The new South Dakota deaths raised the state toll to 849.The state’s death toll has now nearly doubled this month.

Yankton County’s death was its ninth overall and the first recorded since Nov. 8.

Hutchinson County’s death was its sixth overall and fourth this month.

Overall, South Dakota reported 1,283 new positive tests Wednesday, but the state also saw its number of active cases drop by more than 1,300 to 15,312.

The surge in Yankton County continued with 49 new cases — and 95 in the last two days — but it also saw 75 new recoveries, the largest one-day increase to date.

In a media briefing Wednesday, state epidemiologist Josh Clayton said the 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.

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 the COVID-19 summaries of area South Dakota counties for Wednesday from the DOH:

• Bon Homme County — 12 new cases (1,335 overall), 1 new hospitalization (39), 31 new recoveries (1,188), 0 new deaths (14), 133 active cases;

• Charles Mix County — 11 new cases (804), 0 new hospitalizations (89), 25 new recoveries (561), 0 new deaths (4), 239 active cases;

• Clay County — 26 new cases (1,296), 1 new hospitalization (29), 33 new recoveries (1,043), 0 new deaths (9), 244 active cases;

• Douglas County — 4 new cases (283), 0 new hospitalizations (43), 17 new recoveries (228), 0 new deths (5), 50 active cases;

• Hutchinson County — 12 new cases (541), 1 new hospitalization (47), 21 new recoveries (373), 1 new death (6), 162 active cases;

• Turner County — 6 new cases (766), 0 new hospitalizations (48), 12 new recoveries (608), 0 new deaths (36), 122 active cases;

• Union County — 11 new cases (1,194), 0 new hospitalizations (60), 42 recoveries (954), 0 new deaths (23), 217 active cases;


• Yankton County — 49 new cases (1,615), 1 new hospitalization (65), 75 new recoveries (1,208), 1 new death (9), 398 active cases.

In Nebraska, the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) late Tuesday reported four new cases in Dixon County (364 overall), two new cases in Knox County (408) and one new infection in Cedar County, its 340th. Also, Dixon County’s death toll rose to four.

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).

Meanwhile, 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.

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

• Total Cases — 78,142 (+1,283: 992 confirmed, 291 probable);

• Active Cases — 15,213 (-1,345);

• Recoveries — 59,981 (+2,150);

• Hospitalizations — 4,243 ever hospitalized (+104); 570 currently hospitalized (-4);

• Testing — 7,709 new tests processed; 3,560 new individuals tested.

In Nebraska, the 16 new deaths raised the state toll to 950, up nearly 48% this month.

The state also recorded 1,761 new infections late Tuesday.

Other statistics from the DHHS included:

• Total Cases — 117,682 (+1,761);

• Active Cases — 57,730 (+316);

• Recoveries — 59,002 (+316);

• Hospitalizations — 4,126 ever hospitalized (+77); 936 currently hospitalized (-35);

• Testing — 14,773 new tests processed; 4,795 new individuals tested.


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