SD surpasses 2,000 deaths from COVID-19

Courtesy photo

SIOUX FALLS (AP) — South Dakota’s pandemic death toll surpassed 2,000 on Thursday as health officials reported seven new deaths from COVID-19.

The state’s 2,001 total deaths are the eighth-lowest among U.S. states, but the eighth highest in terms of deaths per capita, according to Johns Hopkins University researchers. However, the rate of deaths has slowed significantly since peaking late last year. Health officials said they expect both hospitalizations and deaths to continue to drop as the number of cases decreases with widespread vaccination against the virus.

“We are looking at seeing those decrease with our decrease in case counts,” state epidemiologist Josh Clayton said last week.

Clayton has said there is a lag between when someone dies from COVID-19 and when their death is reported.

Health officials also reported 55 people who had tested positive for the virus. The number of new cases has declined steadily in recent weeks, according to the Department of Health.

However, the state continued to see severe cases of the virus, reporting that 57 people are currently in the hospital. That was an increase of four from Wednesday, when the state saw the fewest number of people in the hospital since August last year, the Argus Leader reported.

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