COVID Update for Jan. 13

South Dakota recorded 19 new deaths related to COVID-19, including one in Charles Mix County, in Wednesday’s daily update from the Department of Health (DOH).

Meanwhile, the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) late Tuesday also reported 19 new deaths, including one in Dixon County.

South Dakota’s new deaths raised the state toll to 1,604. Twelve of Wednesday’s reported deaths occurred in long-term care facilities, according to the DOH.

For Charles Mix County, the death toll rose to 14. The county also saw three new hospitalizations.

Statewide, there were 452 new COVID-19 infections reported Wednesday, while current hospitalizations climbed by 13 to 253.

During a media briefing Wednesday, state epidemiologist Joshua Clayton noted that South Dakota’s rates of infections and deaths were “down significantly from our peak,” which was recorded the week of Nov. 9-15 when the state was averaging 1,400 new infections and 15 deaths per day. Currently, the state is averaging 400 new cases and 10 deaths per day, he said.

He added that South Dakota has yet to report the presence of the UK variant strain, noting that neighboring Minnesota has reported the strain.

On another front, Secretary of Health Kim Malsam-Rysdon reported that 39,954 vaccinations were administered last week, with 7,998 people having completed the two-dose series.

“We are definitely making significant progress,” she said.

She also noted changing federal plans for releasing more vaccine.

“What we are hearing here in the past couple of days … has indicated that they plan to release any doses that they have been holding at the federal level to states so they can get shots in arms,” she said. “We need the final details about exactly what that will look like, but I can assure you that, if it happens and when it happens, we are preparing to mobilize very quickly.”

She added that people who have already received the first dose of the two-shot regimen will get their second dose.

Malsam-Rysdon said South Dakota is expected to receive a shipment of 11,100 new doses next week, and the state should “substantially be through the (phase) 1c population by then.”

In a press release issued Wednesday, the DOH announced that vaccination for the phase 1D group of the state’s vaccination plan would begin Monday, Jan. 18. This group includes people age 65 and over (starting with the age 80 and over group); those with two or more underlying conditions; residents in congregate settings, residents in licensed independent-living facilities, and residents of licensed group homes; teachers and other school/college staff; and funeral service workers.

Yankton County recorded four new cases and 44 new recoveries Wednesday. Active cases dropped to 107, the county’s lowest level since Oct. 8.

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

• Bon Homme County — 0 new cases (1,499 overall, amended downward by one from Tuesday), 0 new hospitalizations (61), 1 new recovery (1,448), 0 new deaths (23), 28 active cases (-2); 28 new vaccinations (397 total people vaccinated);

• Charles Mix County — 7 new cases (1,171), 3 new hospitalizations (129), 2 new recoveries (1,095), 1 new death (14), 62 active cases (+4), 1 new vaccination (300);

• Clay County — 7 new cases (1,698), 1 new hospitalization (43), 4 new recoveries (1,610), 0 new deaths (12), 76 active cases (+3), 17 new vaccinations (672);

• Douglas County — 1 new case (397), 0 new hospitalizations (53), 0 new recoveries (373), 0 new deaths (9), 15 active cases (+1), 8 new vaccinations (192);

• Hutchinson County — 2 new cases (723), 0 new hospitalizations (66), 2 new recoveries (674), 0 new deaths (20), 29 active cases (0 change), 2 new vaccinations (532);

• Turner County — 6 new cases (1,009), 0 new hospitalizations (63), 1 new recovery (913), 0 new deaths (49), 47 active cases (+5), 1 new vaccination (527);

• Union County — 2 new cases (1,739), 0 new hospitalizations (72), 7 new recoveries (1,579), 0 new deaths (30), 130 active cases (-5), 0 new vaccinations (194, amended downward by one from Tuesday);

• Yankton County — 4 new cases (2,601), 0 new hospitalizations (120), 44 new recoveries (2,467), 0 new deaths (27), 107 active cases (-40), 7 new vaccinations (1,393).

In Nebraska, the DHHS late Tuesday reported 10 new infections in Cedar County (582 overall), four new cases in Knox County (744) and one new positive test in Dixon County, its 500th.

On Wednesday, the University of South Dakota online portal reported 23 active cases (20 students, 3 staff), up one from Tuesday. The number of people in isolation/quarantine was 36 (+3), including two on campus (-1).

Here are more South Dakota statistics for Wednesday:

• Total Cases — 104,095 (+452: 304 confirmed, 148 probable);

• Active Cases — 4,762 (+11);

• Recoveries — 97,829 (+422);

• Hospitalizations — 5,978 ever hospitalized (+35); 253 currently hospitalized (+13);

• Testing — 5,481 new tests processed; 1,917 new individuals tested;

• Vaccinations — 47,952 total vaccinations; 39,954 individuals vaccinated.

In Nebraska, the 19 new deaths raised the state toll to 1,791.

There were also 1,000 new infections reported.

Here are other statistics posted late Tuesday on the DHHS online portal:

• Total Cases — 177,670 (+1,000);

• Recoveries — 120,700 (amended downward by 1,864);

• Hospitalizations — 5,497 ever hospitalized (+22); 457 currently hospitalized (-27);

• Testing — 13,341 new tests processed, 2,273 new individuals tested.

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