Shown is a highly magnified virus that creates COVID-19.

South Dakota Department of Health officials confirmed two more active COVID-19 cases for Hughes County during the Friday, June 19 teleconference.

This is the fourth consecutive day, and fifth day in the past six, Hughes County has added new COVID-19 cases.

Hughes County has seen a total of 29 cases, with nine currently active. Across the Missouri River, Stanley County remains at two active cases.

During the conference, a question arose about whether the new cases of COVID-19 being reported every day were tied to anything specific, or any place, event or recent happening across the state. Summarized, state officials said no, there is often no direct connection, hence the term “community acquired.”

The majority of cases reported positive, through contact tracing, have been determined they are through mostly though community acquired contact, or close contact, not at specific event, state head Epidemiologist Dr. Joshua Clayton.

It should be no surprise because the information is reflected in the community impact map’s data alerting each county to the potential for community acquired cases.

This is also reflected in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines to wear a mask in public places where social distancing and poor ventilation are factors, including in areas with community acquired cases, state officials have said.

There are only seven counties without community acquired cases.

The vast majority of individuals have just been community acquired, Clayton said “…individuals who, there’s no specific identification of what their exposure was, which is in its nature the definition of community spread, when we are not able to tie individuals back to a specific exposure.”

The other 18 counties splitting the 49 new cases included one in Jackson, Corson, Custer, Lawrence, Meade, Minor, Moody, Spink, Union and Yankton counties; two in Brown and Brule counties; three in Beadle and Lincoln counties; four in Charles Mix, and Lyman counties; six in Pennington County and 13 in Minnehaha County, officials said.

There were three new deaths as well in South Dakota, Clayton said, with one in Jackson County and two in Pennington County.

The community impact map “elevated” Buffalo County to substantial community spread, Clayton said.

The clusters around the state, the department of health officials report included Smithfield Foods, with no new updates; DemKota Beef, where 151 employees have recovered of 166 to become infected. Also, 103 of 123 employees at JackLinks have recovered and 58 employees of 82 at Dakota Provisions.

The nursing home with a cluster, Avantara Arrowhead, has 36 residents and 16 staff to test positive for COVID-19, officials said.

The rest of the long-term care is around 98% done, Secretary of Health Kim Malsam-Rysdon said.

The state included ethnic data on deaths Friday in South Dakota. They will continue to do so, Clayton said, updating on Fridays.

Deaths by ethnicity included 51 white, 15 Native American, two Asian, one Black and 12 listed as “other/unknown,” Clayton said.

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