SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — Wednesday, South Dakota health officials confirmed a Pennington County man in his thirties died of COVID-19.
He’s the second South Dakotan in that age group to die this month.
South Dakota isn’t the only place seeing younger people with COVID-19 getting seriously ill. COVID-19 hospitalizations and deaths are trending younger across the US.
Here’s a look at the ages of the South Dakotans whose deaths have been reported during the first 15 days of this month.
As you can see, a majority of the people who died were in their 60s and 70s.
During the first half of September in 2020, most of the people who died were in their 80s. Unlike this year, no one in their 30s and 40s died with the virus.
COVID-19 hospitalizations are also trending younger.
This chart shows the ages of people with active cases of COVID-19 who’ve been hospitalized.
Patients in their 60s make up the largest group, followed by those in their 70s. As you can see, there are also a handful of children with active cases who’ve been hospitalized in South Dakota.
At Avera McKennan Hospital, the average age of COVID-19 patients has dropped to around 50 years old.
The average hospitalized patient was in their 70s at this time last year. A spokesman for the hospital says it’s likely because more older adults are vaccinated. Avera McKennan is also seeing younger patients in its ICU.
Sanford is also seeing younger COVID-19 patients in its hospitals and ICUs. So far this month, the average coronavirus patient in intensive care is 10 years younger than during the same time last year. Both health systems say most people who are hospitalized with COVID 19 have not had the vaccine.