PIERRE, S.D. (KELO) — Now that we can see the negative results by county, turns out the Missouri River that runs down the middle of South Dakota isn’t much of a dividing line at all, at least not when it comes to the coronavirus COVID-19.
South Dakota’s 13.7 percent rate of proven infections — 1,685 positives and 10,641 negatives, for a total of 12,326 tests overall — has been driven almost entirely by what’s happening in the two counties of the Sioux Falls area.
Lincoln and Minnehaha Counties have a combined positive-cases rate of about 22 percent, according to data posted Monday on the state Department of Health covid.sd.gov site.
Lincoln had 95 positives and 1,006 negatives, for a combined 1,101 total. Minnehaha had 1,405 positives and 4,317 negatives, for a combined 5,722 total.
By comparison, counties west of the Missouri River had a combined positive-cases rate of about 3.6 percent. Counties east of the river, excluding Minnehaha and Lincoln, had a combined positive-cases rate of about 4.2 percent
The unknown factor: 1,031 negative tests, there at the bottom of the counties chart, that weren’t assigned to residents of any county at all.
No matter — state health officials continue to predict as many as 70 percent of South Dakotans will wind up having the virus, which has killed seven residents so far.
It’s just that many people won’t know they have it.
That’s why the best advice, from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, to avoid catching it or spreading it, remains staying at least six feet from people outside your household, not touching others, and washing your hands throughout the day.