One new COVID-19 death, six new cases in Brookings Co. Wednesday, Sept. 16

Eight new COVID-19 deaths, 297 new cases in South Dakota Wednesday

BROOKINGS – The state is reporting eight new COVID-19 deaths and 297 new positive cases in South Dakota Wednesday.

One death and six of the new cases are in Brookings County.

Brookings County cases have risen to 609 total positive cases (six new Wednesday): 525 of those people have recovered (21 new), with 82 active cases (down by 16) and two deaths (one new). A total of 4,028 people (25 new) have tested negative in Brookings County as of Wednesday, and nine people in the county (one new) have been hospitalized at some point, the state reported.

Brookings County remains in the “substantial” community spread category.

The number of South Dakotans who have tested positive for COVID-19 rose to 17,291 as of midday Wednesday, according to the South Dakota Department of Health.

Of the statewide cases, 2,442 are classified as active (up by 56 from Tuesday). As of Wednesday, 14,657 people have recovered (233 new), 1,211 people have been hospitalized at some point (16 new), 139 people are currently hospitalized (up by six), and 192 people have died (eight new).

Current hospitalizations may include out-of-state cases, and total hospitalizations only include South Dakota residents.

The SDDOH website reports 152,364 people have tested negative (3,262 new) in South Dakota.

The new deaths are three women and five men. They are being reported in Brookings, Clay, Fall River, Lake, Minnehaha (2), Pennington and Yankton counties. The age ranges of the deceased are two 40-49 years, one 70-79 years, and five in the 80-plus years age category.

The deaths reported on the SDDOH data dashboard are deaths for which COVID-19 is listed as a cause or contributing factor on the certified death record, Communications Director Derrick Haskins told the Register.

“In addition, the Department of Health has provided guidance to physicians and county coroners to ensure deaths are reported accurately. We know COVID disproportionately impacts people with underlying health conditions,” Haskins said. 

“CDC recently released provisional COVID-19 deaths that showed 6% of deaths due to COVID-19 were due to COVID-19 alone. The correct interpretation of the findings is that 6% of the deaths were due to COVID-19 alone and that persons with underlying medical conditions, what make up the other 94%, are at increased risk of death when they become infected with COVID-19,” he added.

South Dakota's test positivity rate for the last week is at 11%, and 11.4% for the last two weeks, according to the SDDOH website. Brookings County’s test positivity rate for the last week is at 13.5%, and 19.3% for the last two weeks.

Increases in positive cases Wednesday included, but are not limited to, 13 in Brown County, 15 in Codington, 10 in Hughes, 11 in Lawrence, 34 in Lincoln, 11 in Meade, 54 in Minnehaha, 21 in Pennington and 11 in Yankton.

The counties with the highest total case counts are Minnehaha (5,992), Pennington (1,862), Lincoln (1,142), Brown (959) and Beadle (674).

According to the South Dakota State University COVID-19 dashboard, as of noon Wednesday, 15 students and three faculty/staff were self-reporting current (active) positive tests. A total of 105 faculty, staff and students were quarantined and isolated as of Wednesday, with 20 of those in campus facilities.

The state Department of Health generally does not identify the specific communities within a county where cases are located, or a business, event or setting that may be the source of a surge to protect patient confidentiality.

Only a few exceptions are made, such as clusters when there are 40 or more cases identified in a single workplace/setting. The DOH will also issue a public health notice when an employee or patron of a business/event is unable to identify persons they were in close contact with (15 or more minutes within 6 feet or less) while able to transmit the virus.

The actual number of infections in the state is thought to be far higher because many people have not been tested and studies suggest people can be infected without feeling sick.

The figures released by the state Department of Health do not include individuals who are asymptomatic or have symptoms of the coronavirus but are not being tested.

For most people, the coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough that clear up in two to three weeks. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia, and death.

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