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First child COVID-19 death reported in South Dakota, pandemic surges

The child's death is the first known fatality in the state of someone below the age of 20.

coronavirus.jpg
A graphic of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, that causes COVID-19.
Courtesy of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. — South Dakota health officials reported the first known COVID-19 child fatality in the state amid a widening pandemic surge Wednesday, Jan. 12

A child under age 10 was reported among the six new COVID-19 deaths included in the day's data update from the South Dakota Department of Health.

The state's death toll now is 2,534.

The child's death is the first known fatality in the state of someone below the age of 20. But 12,279 children below the age of 10 have tested positive for COVID-19 in the state. State health officials don't disclose the specific age and location of fatalities citing privacy concerns.

There are now more active COVID-19 cases in the state than at any point during the pandemic thus far. The active case tally rose 2,268 to 22,743 on the strength of 2,708 newly reported cases and only 434 new recoveries.

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Hospitalizations also rose to a point not seen since late December 2020, rising 21 to 336 and continuing to stress hospitals. Of those hospitalized, 74 people are in intensive care. Health systems in the state have regularly reported the vast majority of those hospitalized due to COVID-19 are those who remain unvaccinated.

The following are the state Department of Health COVID-19 case rates, deaths, hospitalizations and vaccinations tracked by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as of Wednesday. All data is the latest available but should be considered preliminary and could be updated at a later date by health officials.

Vaccinations

  • INITIAL DOSE ADMINISTERED (IF 2-DOSE VACCINE): 637,009 people, 72% of state's population*
  • FULLY VACCINATED: 510,898 people, 57.8% of state's population
  • BOOSTER DOSE RECEIVED: 185,712 people, 36.4% of state's vaccinated population

*Note: The percentage presented here via the CDC differs from the state Department of Health percentage posted on its online dashboard, because the department's data indicates percentage of state population age 5 and older, not the state's total population.

Statewide case rates

  • NEW CASES: 2,708 (seven-day daily average: 2,480)
  • CURRENT ACTIVE CASES: 22,743
  • TOTAL CASES: 197,912
  • TOTAL RECOVERED: 172,635

Hospitalizations, deaths

  • NEW HOSPITALIZATIONS: 27 (seven-day daily average: 38)
  • ACTIVE HOSPITALIZATIONS: 336
  • TOTAL HOSPITALIZATIONS: 9,343
  • DEATHS, NEWLY REPORTED AMONG CASES: 6
  • TOTAL DEATHS AMONG CASES: 2,534
What to read next
SIOUX FALLS, S.D. — Another 19 South Dakotans have died with COVID-19, the state Department of Health reported Friday, Jan. 21, raising the state's death toll past 2,600.
For the first time since a November 2020 peak in cases, the number of active infections has surpassed 10,000. Health experts believe the known cases only paint part of the picture since many other residents are infected but haven't been tested at an official site.
In the Northeast, which saw some of the highest case loads during the latest surge, infections are down 36% week-over-week. The drop was more modest at the national level, with the seven-day average of new COVID-19 cases falling 1% as of Wednesday, according to the Reuters tally.
"We see through the data that when we have a high vaccination rate in facilities, absolutely we have less infection there," said North Dakota Long Term Care Association President Shelly Peterson. "It really does work. It really does make a difference."