The message on the South Dakota Department of Health website regarding efforts to slow the spread of COVID-19 seems fairly straightforward, yet many in Pierre and Fort Pierre simply choose not to take the advice.
Stanley County is now clear of active COVID-19 cases. However, state health officials identified seven new infections for Hughes County on Thursday, June 25, alone.
In total, Hughes County hit another record for active COVID infections on Monday when health officials confirmed the number at 19. The previous high mark was 16, set just last week.
The trend of Hughes County seeing COVID cases increase at a rate that exceeds the state average also continues. For example, according to the health department, on June 15, Hughes County was averaging two new infections per day. As of Monday, that number is now four per day, meaning Hughes County’s infection rate has doubled during that time period.
In contrast, on June 15, South Dakota was averaging 68 new cases per day. By Monday, that number had dropped to 49 per day.
In all, state department of health statistics show a total of 52 positive cases having been identified in Hughes County, with 33 of those afflicted now considered “recovered.” There have also been 1,078 tests in the county that came back negative for COVID-19.
For the west side of the Missouri River, state officials on Monday showed Stanley County with zero active COVID infections. There have been 12 cases in all for the county, with all 12 listed as recovered. The number of negative tests returned for Stanley County is 136.
In a bit of good news, the number of South Dakotans hospitalized for COVID-19 dropped from 79 on Friday to 70 on Monday. Unfortunately, there were also three more deaths reported over the weekend, meaning the number of lives claimed by COVID-19 in South Dakota as of Monday stood at 91.
Meanwhile, as COVID cases increase in Hughes County, the disease continues to proliferate throughout much of the southern U.S., with Florida and Texas now seeing considerable rates of infection. The total number of COVID-19 cases in the U.S. now exceeds 2.5 million.