MITCHELL, S.D. — As South Dakota’s active COVID-19 cases continue to fall, there were 27 new deaths reported over the weekend.

On Saturday, Jan. 16, the state Department of Health reported four deaths, but on Sunday there were 23 new fatalities, bringing the weekend death toll to 27. Since the start of the pandemic, the coronavirus has killed 1,656 South Dakotans. The weekend death toll included men and women ages 50 and older.

While fatalities continue to occur, primarily among older adults ages 60 and older, active cases have fallen to 4,662 as of Sunday’s report. A month ago, South Dakota had a total of 10,987 active cases, which has declined by roughly 50% with Sunday’s 4,662 active cases.

Over the weekend, the state added 607 new cases. In the past seven days, South Dakota’s rate of new daily cases sits at 324. The steady decline in COVID-19 cases has freed up more space at hospitals around the state, as there were 213 hospitalizations as of Sunday.

As state health officials continue distributing the COVID-19 vaccine, the number of vaccinations being administered has steadily increased. According to the Department of Health, there have been 46,79 South Dakota residents vaccinated for the virus as of Sunday.

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