At 2-year mark, COVID-19 death toll: 1 of every 314 South Dakotans

Nearly half of those who have died with COVID-19 are age 80 or above, totaling 1,354 deaths. And most of the remainder are age 50-79, or 1,347.

A graphic of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, that causes COVID-19.
Courtesy of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. — The COVID-19 pandemic has now begun its third year in South Dakota on Friday, March 11, with state health officials reporting a total death toll at 2,853, or one out of every 314 state residents.

Nearly half of those who have died with COVID-19 are age 80 or above, totaling 1,354 deaths. And most of the remainder — 1,347 — are ages 50-79.

Four South Dakotans under the age of 20 have died with COVID-19 since the start of the pandemic, with two of those deaths among children younger than age 10.

About one in 84 South Dakotans has been hospitalized with COVID-19, totaling 10,637 people.

The first known cases of COVID-19 in South Dakota were reported March 10, 2020.


Since then, about one in four South Dakotans have tested positive for COVID-19, although that number is less reliable since it includes people who have tested positive more than once, and doesn't include people who caught COVID-19 but either didn't get tested or whose positive tests weren't reported to state health officials.

Forum News Service used the 2021 Census Bureau estimate for South Dakota's population of 895,376 to calculate the above results.

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 Friday. All data is the latest available but should be considered preliminary and could be updated at a later date by health officials.


  • INITIAL DOSE ADMINISTERED (IF 2-DOSE VACCINE): 665,028 people, 75.2% of state's population*
  • FULLY VACCINATED: 532,109 people, 60.1% of state's population
  • BOOSTER DOSE RECEIVED: 214,054 people, 40.2% 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 count

  • CURRENT ACTIVE CASES: 3,016 (-738 over past 7 days)
  • TOTAL CASES: 236,602 (+326 over past 7 days)
  • TOTAL RECOVERED: 230,733

Hospitalizations, deaths

  • TOTAL HOSPITALIZATIONS: 10,637 (+57 over past 7 days)
  • TOTAL DEATHS AMONG CASES: 2,853 (+26 over past 7 days)
Jeremy Fugleberg is an editor who manages coverage of health (NewsMD), history and true crime (The Vault) for Forum News Service, the regional wire service of Forum Communications Co, and is a member of the company's Editorial Advisory Board.
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