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State now ranks in top 10 in U.S. COVID deaths as total climbs to 424 in November
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State now ranks in top 10 in U.S. COVID deaths as total climbs to 424 in November

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Almost half of the COVID-19 deaths in South Dakota have happened in November.

After the Department of Health reported 28 deaths Wednesday, the November total rose to 424 and the overall total is now 849. South Dakota passed the District of Columbia and is now in the top ten states in death per 1,000 residents.

The 28 deaths reported Wednesday include 15 women and 13 men. Twenty-two of them were over 80, three in their 70s, one in their 60s and two in their 50s. 

Three of the deaths came from Pennington County and one was from Lawrence County. Pennington County has reported 71 COVID-19 deaths since March.

Minnehaha County had seven deaths reported and Grant County doubled its death toll with five reported Wednesday. Codington County had three deaths and Davison County had two. There was one death reported in Brown, Gregory, Hamlin, Hutchinson, Lincoln, Miner and Yankton counties.

Secretary of Health Kim Malsam-Rysdon said Wednesday that she believes residents of South Dakota are beginning to take prevention matters seriously. She said she hopes that will continue during the Thanksgiving holiday.

"With the numbers we have seen, we need to do things differently this year," Malsam-Rysdon said. "We need to gather in smaller numbers and take the guidelines to prevent the spread of COVID-19 seriously. We are doing that in my own family, as well."

She said the first vaccine will likely be the Pfizer product. She said estimates of the initial shipment the state would receive recently dropped from 24,000 to 15,000 doses. She said the current plan is to roll the vaccine out to medical personnel, long-term care patients, teachers, public safety workers, older people and those with underlying conditions.

The recent mass testing events wrapped up with the Rapid City event last weekend. There have been 7,900 tests completed at those mass testing events and 2,600 of those have been reported back to the state. None of the Rapid City tests have been included in daily reports. 

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The Department of Health reported 1,283 new infections Wednesday on 2,560 people being tested. There have been 76,142 cases in the state with 15,312 of those still active - a decrease of 1,345 from Tuesday's report. There are 570 people hospitalized with 101 in intensive care units and 49 on ventilators. The Black hills region has 126 patients in hospitals with 15 in ICU and seven on ventilators.

Pennington County had 162 new infections Wednesday on 328 tests. There have been 8,122 total cases in the county and 1,701 of them are still considered active.

In other Black Hills counties, Lawrence County reported 38 cases, Meade County reported 33 and Oglala-Lakota County had 30.

Butte County reported 14 positive tests, Custer County had seven and Fall River County added  two.

There were 221 new cases in children under 19 and 152 in people in their 20s. There were 149 positive tests in people over 70.

Minnehaha County added 307 new cases Wednesday and Lincoln County had 83. There were 64 in Dewey County, 49 in Yankton, 48 in Codington and 44 in Brown County.

Hughes County reported 28 positive tests, Beadle County had 27, Clay County had 26 and Tripp County added 22.

Brookings County reported 19 new infections and there were 18 in Davison County. Todd County had 15 new cases and there were 12 in Bon Homme County. There were 11 new cases in Charles Mix, Grant and Union counties and 10 in Ziebach County.

There were nine new cases in Corson and McCook counties and eight in Gregory, Perkins, Roberts and Sanborn counties. Seven positive cases were reported in Lake, Lyman, Potter and Spink counties and six in Clark, Marshall, Turner and Walworth counties.

Aurora, Day and Deuel counties reported five new infections and there were four in Bennett, Brule, Buffalo, Douglas, Hanson, Kingsbury and Moody counties. Three new cases were reported in Edmunds, Hand, Hyde, Jones, McPherson, Miner and Stanley counties and two in Campbell, Harding, Jackson, Jerauld, Mellette and Sully counties. 

One new infections was reported in Faulk and Haakon counties.

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