SD virus death total up 2, at 46

Two more people have died of the coronavirus in South Dakota, and the number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the state increased by 58 on Tuesday.

South Dakota had a total of 46 COVID-19 deaths as of Tuesday, according to the South Dakota Department of Health.

One person who died was a Minnehaha County resident and one was a Pennington County resident. The new deaths were one woman and one man, and one was in the 50-59 age range with the other in the 80-plus age range, according to the health department.

South Dakota has a total of 4,085 COVID-19 cases. That doesn’t include people who show symptoms or are asymptomatic but are not tested.

Statewide, there have been 327 people ever hospitalized and 25,624 negative cases.

There were six new cases confirmed in Beadle County, five in Brown, two in Marshall and one in Roberts county Tuesday.

There have been 205 total cases confirmed in Brown County, with 109 recoveries, 10 hospitalizations and no deaths. There have been 1,012 negative tests.

Many of the area cases — 124 — are workers at DemKota Ranch Beef. Of those, 80 people have recovered, according to the state.

There have also been cases confirmed at the Saputo Cheese plant in Big Stone City and Dakota Provisions meat processing plant in Huron, said Josh Clayton, state epidemiologist. The state is working with those businesses to address safety concerns and protocols, he said. He declined to share the number of cases at each business.

Beadle County, where the first community spread was reported in the state in March, has bumped up to the substantial community spread category as the number of cases has nearly doubled since Friday, when it had 22 cases. There are now 43.

There have been 20 total cases in Roberts county, eight of which are active, according to the health department. Of the three total cases in Marshall County, two are active. Grant County, home to the cheese plant, has nine confirmed cases with six active.

The Aberdeen City Council briefly discussed hospitalizations related to COVID-19 at Monday’s meeting.

The Department of Health only lists historical hospitalization data for counties, not current hospitalization information. Department Communications Director Derrick Haskins said current hospitalization information reported to the state does not have county-specific information. The county data is a result of Department of Health investigations into each case.

Ashley Erickson, CEO of Sanford Aberdeen Medical Center said in order for a patient to be considered hospitalized, he or she must be admitted to a hospital. While there have been a few hospitalizations the past week, she said, no COVID-19 patients were in the hospital as of Monday night.

Todd Forkel, president and CEO for Avera St. Luke’s Hospital, also confirmed no hospitalizations as of Monday evening. Forkel said Avera has ample capacity and enough ventilators at this time.

Brown County commissioners were reminded during their Tuesday meeting meeting that the county is getting closer to an expected peak of COVID-19 cases in mid-June. It remains unknown if there will be a second wave of positive cases.

“It’s still out there,” Emergency Management Director Scott Meints said. “It’s not just in a few businesses. There’s considerable community spread.”

Residents should continue to wear a mask and social distance, he said, adding that additional thermometers are available for county office monitoring.

Meints said some people are recovering in as few as 10 days, which is down from 14.