With Gov. Kristi Noem looking on, South Dakota Secretary of Health Kim Malsam-Rysdon speaks about the state's battle against COVID-19 during a recent news conference from the State Capitol in Pierre. 

Hughes County saw another active positive COVID-19 case recorded, while there were two more deaths deaths announced in South Dakota, according to statistics released by the Department of Health on Tuesday, June 16.

There were 38 new cases across the state, while Stanley County remained at two active cases, according to the South Dakota Department of Health COVID-19 website data.

Though Hughes County remains at five active cases, there was one case added to each the recovered and positive list simultaneously Tuesday.

Of the two deaths, one was in the 50-59 year age group, while the other was in the 70-79 age group.

South Dakota, to date, has recorded 77 deaths, 5,966 positive cases and 562 hospitalizations since the pandemic began.

State officials have tested around 7% of the population so far, with 61,236 negative individual test results. There are only 92 people currently hospitalized for COVID-19, so around 2,100 beds remain available and ready and they continue to plan and execute mass testing events.

More testing means more positive numbers. The state’s positivity rate increased from 3.6% to 5.3% from last week to the current week, according to Johns Hopkins Medicine.

On June 12, there were 23 counties with new cases reported by the state. Last week, there were also 10 counties still without a case. There are now seven.

The SARS-COV-2 virus responsible for COVID-19 is boundless and indiscriminate, as it does not care if folks live in red or blue states.

During the pandemic, 43 of 50 states ordered shutdowns. The seven states, all led by Republican governors, that did not mandate shutdowns were Arkansas, Iowa, Nebraska, Utah, Wyoming, North Dakota and South Dakota.

Currently there are 26 Republican governors. There are 17 states with less than or equal to in the amounts of deaths per 100,000, according to Johns Hopkins Medicine. Twelve of them are run by Republicans, along with five Democrats.

The issue is when compared deaths per 100,000, after multiplying only by eight, you are done with South Dakota because its population is less than 900,000.

The idea there is a correlation between what party the governor of the state is and the number of people dead from COVID-19 is an example of a faulty generalization.

Residents need to be cognizant of the community in which they live and how it is reflected on the community impact map on the state’s website, state head Epidemiologist Dr. Joshua Clayton said last week. If they do live in an area with community acquired cases, they should take precautions when going into public spaces where social distancing is impeded or non-existent -- and wear a cloth face covering.

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