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31 more COVID-19 deaths reported in South Dakota; Total deaths surpass 700

COVID-19 in South Dakota (MGN)
COVID-19 in South Dakota (MGN)(MGN)
Published: Nov. 19, 2020 at 11:26 AM CST
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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - The coronavirus has claimed 31 more lives in South Dakota, though active cases dropped sharply in the state Thursday.

The 31 additional deaths bring total deaths in South Dakota to 705. Three victims were in their 50s, six in their 60s, seven in their 70s, and 15 over the age of 80.

Health officials have reported 280 COVID-19 deaths since Nov. 1, making it by far the deadliest month of the pandemic. A total of 202 South Dakotans died from the disease in October, which had been the previous high for a single month.

The Department of Health reported 1,071 new COVID-19 cases Thursday, bringing total known cases in the state to 69,742.

Despite the new cases, active cases dropped by over 1,300 as the state reported nearly 2,400 additional recoveries. There are currently 17,884 active COVID-19 cases in South Dakota.

After months of steady increases, active cases have fluctuated all week. The state twice reached 19,000 active cases this week, only to see the number drop by over 1,000 the following day.

Current hospitalizations also dropped Thursday, falling by 15 to to 578. COVID-19 patients occupy 21% of the state’s hospital beds, while 33% are still available.

Coronavirus patients currently occupy 47% of ICU beds, and about 18% of ICU beds are still available. On Wednesday, the Department of Health adjusted how it calculates ICU beds in the state by separating pediatric ICU beds from the adult bed count. This resulted in a drop of available ICU beds by about 15% from the state’s previous calculations.

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