SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) – The end of the 2022-23 COVID-19 season is finishing with an increase in the number of new cases. 

According to the South Dakota Department of Health’s final monthly update, there’s been 2,495 new cases, 113 new hospitalizations and 10 new deaths since the middle of August. For the 2022-23 season (Oct. 2022 to Sept. 2023), there have been a total of 24,842 cases, 1,173 hospitalizations and 179 deaths.

More than 150 of the 179 deaths in the 2022-23 season occurred in the 65+ age range, while there have been 16 deaths for ages 50-64 and 6 deaths for ages 24-49. 

The DOH’s COVID-19 dashboard tracks cases, hospitalizations and deaths in conjunction with the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) which is similar to how the DOH tracks influenza (1 through 52 or 53 weeks). The first day of a MMWR week is Sunday and the last day of an MMWR week is Saturday. 

As a whole, the 2022-23 COVID-19 season is much lower than the 2019-20, 2020-21 and 2021-22 COVID-19 seasons. You can see the difference of the seasons in the graph below. 

Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, there have been 3,264 deaths and 12,958 hospitalizations from more than 285,000 South Dakota resident cases. You find more complete data breakdowns, including by counties, demographics, variants and seasons.

In a social media post on Sept. 18, the DOH wrote people should expect an increase in COVID-19 during the upcoming respiratory virus season.

“The SD Dept. of Health has never issued a mask mandate and doesn’t plan to start now. South Dakota will continue to stand as a beacon of Freedom to the rest of the world,” social media posts by the DOH said.