HURON, S.D. (KELO) — One of the most recent deaths from COVID-19, not yet counted in the state’s numbers, is a 23-year-old Huron woman who worked at Alpena beef jerky maker, Jack Link’s. The majority of COVID-19 cases in South Dakota are not among the elderly, but rather people under the age of 40.
23-year-old old Blanca Ramirez Gonzalez leaves behind a husband and three young children. The Jack Link’s employee’s family didn’t want to speak on camera, but gave KELOLAND News permission to show her photos.
According to Ramirez Gonzalez’ aunt, she tested positive last Thursday for COVID-19, with only mild symptoms. On Monday, Ramirez Gonzales was taken to the Huron Regional Medical Center with a fever of 107. Her family said goodbye to her over a video call and she died on Tuesday.
The biggest increases in COVID-19 cases are among 20 to 29 year olds in the state, with 24 new positive tests in that age group reported today. 937 people aged 20 to 29 have tested positive. The age group with the most COVID-19 cases is 30 to 39 with 1,091. Three people in that age group have died.
Kennecke: Why are we seeing more young people with COVID-19 in the state.
SD Epidemiologist, Dr. Joshua Clayton: I don’t have a full explanation for the age grouping we’re seeing most impacted. It is similar to what we’re seeing in other states– Minnesota and North Dakota are examples of that.
The State epidemiologist theorizes that it may be a reflection of “getting back to normal.”
“As individuals are frequenting businesses, interacting more that, the younger population has the potential to engage in close contact,” Dr. Clayton said.
74 Jacks Link’s employees have tested positive for the virus. Blanca Ramirez Gonzalez’ family has started a GoFundMe page and has raised more than $10,000 so far.