Simplified: Last year, 244 Sioux Falls residents died from COVID-19, making it the third leading cause of death in the city, according to data from the South Dakota Department of Health.
Why It Matters:
- COVID-19 deaths in the city trailed only behind two other common causes of death: Cancer, which killed 332 Sioux Falls residents, and heart disease, which killed 300.
- COVID-19 deaths in Sioux Falls made up approximately 15 percent of the 1,680 deaths caused by COVID in South Dakota, according to the health department’s data.
- The South Dakota Department of Health couldn't be reached for comment for this article.
How do we compare to the rest of the state?
Sioux Falls is faring better than the state overall.
Data from the CDC shows that South Dakota’s death rate from COVID-19 is one of the highest in the nation after Arizona, Mississippi and parts of New England.
For comparison, South Dakota's death rate was 214 per 100,000 people, while neighboring Nebraska’s death rate was 109 per 100,000 people.
Meanwhile, Sioux Falls’ death rate for COVID-19 in 2020 was 128 deaths per 100,000 people.
How does Sioux Falls compare to the U.S. as a whole?
Since the start of the pandemic, the coronavirus has infected more than 28.7 million people in the U.S. and killed more than half a million, according to the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
That's a nationwide rate of 160 deaths per 100,000 people, according to the Johns Hopkins University Coronavirus Resource Center.
Compare that to Sioux Falls, again, at 128 deaths per 100,000 people.
Side note: Other causes of death are also on the rise
Along with COVID-19, many other causes of death in Sioux Falls rose in 2020. More people died of cancer, diabetes and cirrhosis last year than any other year since 2010, and suicides were the highest recorded since 2017.
The concurrent rise of COVID-19 and other serious health conditions isn’t unique to Sioux Falls or even South Dakota. In a recent study published in peer-reviewed medical journal The Lancet, researchers found that the world is facing a “perfect storm” of both the pandemic and increasing chronic health issues like heart disease.
“COVID-19 is an acute-on-chronic health emergency,” Lancet editor-in-chief Dr. Richard Horton said in a statement. “Non-communicable diseases have played a critical role in driving the more than 1 million deaths caused by COVID-19 to date, and will continue to shape health in every country after the pandemic subsides.”