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State reports 15 more COVID-19 deaths and 26,835 active cases

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The Department of Health reported 2,641 new COVID-19 infections and 15 additional deaths Friday. That brought the total number of deaths in January to 73 and the overall death toll to 2,559.

Active cases continued to explode, reaching record levels at 26,835 -- an increase of 2,092 from Thursday's report. Hospitalizations also continue to increase in South Dakota with 349 patients across the state with 69 in intensive care units. The Black Hills region has 64 patients being treated for COVID-19 illness with 10 in ICU. That is an increase of 22 patients in a week.

The outbreak in the Rapid City Area Schools also expanded to record levels as almost 300 students had an active COVID-19 infection according to Thursday's RCAS update. There are 297 students out with COVID-19 and 78 staff members.

In addition to the active infections, there are 412 students and 14 staff members required to quarantine. Several schools were forced to adjust to lower student and staff totals, and four schools went to distance learning before the Martin Luther King Jr. Day holiday weekend.

The biggest outbreak is still at Rapid City Central School where there are 54 active cases. Fourteen other schools have at least 10 active infections — Stevens High (28), Meadowbrook Elementary (27), North Middle (26), South Middle (24), Southwest Middle (22), Corral Drive Elementary (19),  Robbinsdale (18), East Middle (17), West Middle (16), Canyon Lake Elementary (16), Rapid Valley Elementary (16), General Beadle Elementary (15), Pinedale Elementary (14), and Valley View Elementary (12).

The deaths reported Friday included seven women and eight men. There were two deaths in Pennington, Fall River and Minnehaha counties. Buffalo, Butte, Dewey, Jackson, Mellette, Spink, Stanley, Todd and Yankton counties each reported one death. One person who died was in their 40s, one in their 50s, six in their 60s and seven were over 70.

Minnehaha County continued to lead the state in new infections with 687 leading to active cases there, to grow to 8,215 in that county alone. Pennington County reported 397 new infections with 3,520 active cases here -- an increase of 320 from Thursday and almost 1,500 this week.

Meade County reported 71 new infections, and there were 68 in Lawrence County. Custer County recorded 21 positive tests, and there were 17 in Butte County. Fall River County recorded 15 new cases, and there were 13 in Oglala-Lakota County. 

Lincoln Added 171 new cases, and there were 115 in Brookings County and 113 in Brown County. Codington County reported 88 positive tests. There were 68 new infections in Yankton County, 64 in Union County and 63 in Clay County. There were 54 new infections in Davison County, 50 in Todd County and 47 in Beadle County. Hutchinson County reported 35 new cases, and there were 34 in Charles Mix County and 33 in Bon Homme County. Moody County added 29 new infections, and there were 28 in Gregory County. Brule and Lake counties each reported 26 positive tests, and there were 22 in Turner County.

Roberts and Tripp counties each reported 20 new infections, and there were 15 in Day and Lyman counties. Walworth County added 14 new cases, and there were 13 in Hamlin and Hughes counties. Clark and Deuel counties each reported a dozen new infections.

There were 591 new infections in children under 19 and 116 in people over 70.

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