State continues to set COVID records, Register of Deeds office closed

PIERRE, S.D. (By Argus Leader and American News staff reports) – Active COVID-19 cases in South Dakota continued a record-setting trend today while six more deaths were reported, according to health officials.

The South Dakota Department of Health’s daily update showed 457 new coronavirus cases across the state, driving active cases up to 3,507. It was third day in a row that active cases reached an all-time high.

The six deaths take the total number of South Dakotans to die with COVID-19 to 216.

Three of the people were 80 or older, two were 50 to 59 and one was 70 to 79. Two of the deaths were in Gregory County and there was one each in Butte, Douglas, Meade and Minnehaha counties.

Pennington County saw the highest number of new cases with 56, while Minnehaha County had 55.

In Brown County, there were 22 new cases Friday to push the total to 1,124. There were 35 new cases reported Thursday. There were 170 active cases Friday. There have been four deaths and 42 people ever hospitalized.

Register of Deeds office closed

The Brown County Register of Deeds Office is closed due to COVID-19 concerns, according to a sign on the office window. Patrons are asked to leave a message with the office by calling 605-626-7140 or emailing

As of Thursday, there were a dozen active cases at Northern State University — 10 students and two staff members, according to information from the school. There were 40 people quarantining or isolating off campus and 15 doing the same on campus.

There were 25 new cases in Codington County Friday, according to the health department, for a total of 805. Of those, 205 were active. There have been three deaths and 46 people ever hospitalized. There were 23 new cases reported Thursday.

Watertown High School will continue remote learning into next week because of an outbreak at the school. All high school and middle school events have been postponed or canceled.

An additional 25 people were hospitalized statewide Friday, though the number of people in hospitals at one time stayed steady at 194.

Overall, 43% of all staffed hospital beds are open, according to the health department’s website. COVID-19 patients are occupying 11% of staffed intensive care unit beds in the state while 29% of staffed ICU beds remain available.

There have now been 20,554 confirmed COVID-19 cases in South Dakota since the start of the pandemic.

Friday’s daily positive test rate for the state dipped to 19.9% from 21% on Thursday.

Women’s prison outbreak

The daily COVID-19 numbers were updated minutes after the South Dakota Department of Correction announced it had a mass testing event at the state women’s prison in Pierre that found dozens more women contracted the virus.

A total of 51 inmates of 112 tested were positive for COVID-19 during the event. That pushed the total to 172 in recent weeks. There was another mass testing event at the prison earlier this month.

Department of Health and Department of Corrections staff are continuing to screen inmates, including with regular temperature checks, according to the state. All inmates and staff are required to wear masks, which were made by the inmates.

A rundown of new cases in counties across the region follows.

  • Campbell: Up two to 23 total, 16 active.
  • Day: Up three to 70 total, 18 active.
  • Deuel: Up two to 82 total, 20 active.
  • Edmunds: Up one to 91 total, 20 active.
  • Faulk: Up one to 66 total, 14 active.
  • Hamlin: Up four to 90 total, 14 active.
  • Kingsbury: Up one to 52 total, 14 active.
  • Grant: Up eight to114 total, 43 active.
  • Marshall: Up one to 38 total, eight active.
  • McPherson: Up two to 31 total, five active.
  • Roberts: Up seven to181 total, 51 active.
  • Spink: Up four to124 total, 32 active.
  • Walworth: Up 10 to 115 total, 44 active.