SIOUX FALLS, S.D. — In the past week, 156 South Dakotans have been reported by state officials as having died due to COVID-19, marking the state's grimmest week in the pandemic thus far.

The South Dakota Department of Health reported another 36 COVID-19 fatalities on Saturday, Nov. 21, raising the state's death toll to 777. More than half of the state's COVID-19 fatalities have been reported in the past 30 days.

The official reporting of a COVID-19 fatality can take place up to a week after the date of death, because state officials don't report fatalities until death certificates have been filed, which can take up to seven days.

Of the South Dakotans who have died from COVID-19, 438 were age 80 or older, 163 were in their 70s, 102 were in their 60s, 48 were in their 50s, 15 were in their 40s, nine were in their 30s and two were in their 20s. So far, no South Dakotan age 19 or younger has died from COVID-19.

State health officials have refused to release anything other than aggregated information on COVID-19 fatalities, citing confidentiality concerns.

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State health officials on Saturday reported another 1,144 people who have newly tested positive for COVID-19, raising the state's total to 72,214, or 1 in 12 South Dakotans.

South Dakota is home to the third-highest number of new COVID-19 cases per capita over the past seven days, behind North Dakota and Wyoming, according to the case tracker maintained by the New York Times.

The number of active cases, or people who have tested positive for the virus and could still spread it to others, dropped significantly on Monday to 16,867, well below the all-time high of 19,360 on Nov. 15.

There are 580 people currently hospitalized in South Dakota due to COVID-19, below the all-time high of 607 set Nov. 10. There has been a daily average of 574 people in the hospital with COVID-19 over the past week.

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