Two new COVID-19 cases in Brown County; two new statewide deaths

ABERDEEN, S.D. ( – Two new COVID-19-related deaths were reported by the South Dakota Department of Health Wednesday.

There were two new cases reported in Brown County, pushing the total to 32. Eleven of the cases are active, and one person has been hospitalized.

Those two cases are DemKota Beef Ranch employees, bringing the total to 13 DemKota workers who have tested positive, said State Epidemiologist Josh Clayton. He didn’t give the number of close contacts who have tested positive. He explained that the focus of Smithfield Foods pork processing plant in Sioux Falls was the risk it posed to the community, whereas the number of cases at DemKota has remained small.

“We’re continuing to monitor the situation, actively work with the management at DemKota to make sure that they’re taking the appropriate precautions to safeguard their workforce,” Clayton said.

The state confirmed that two Minnehaha County men in the 80-plus age group have died. The state’s death toll is now at 13.

South Dakota has a total of 2,373 COVID-19 cases, an increase of 60. That doesn’t include people who show symptoms or are asymptomatic but are not tested.

The state has 868 active COVID-19 cases. Recoveries statewide increased to 1,492. The state health department notes that 165 total people have been hospitalized during the pandemic and 69 are currently hospitalized. There have been 14,460 negative tests.

The number of tests is based on medical providers determining a patient should be tested for the coronavirus, and state officials plan to reinforce that residents should have access to testing during a call with medical providers this week, Clayton said.

No new cases connected to the Smithfield were reported on Wednesday and the case count remained at 853 employees and 245 close contacts, according to the health department.

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