COVID-19 Blamed For Big Jump In SD Deaths In 2020Posted by John AxtellDate: July 14, 2021 3:31 pmLeave a comment198 Views The South Dakota Department of Health reports that the COVID-19 pandemic caused the state’s number of deaths to hit historic levels last year. 9,857 South Dakotas died during 2020, the highest figure in at least a decade. Heart disease and cancer remained the leading causes of death, followed by COVID-19, which killed 1,496 people. The provisional report also found deaths from diabetes, liver disease, and unintentional injuries reached their highest number in a decade. As the pandemic disrupted health care, doctors worried that people could see complications from other chronic diseases – a concern that appears to have been justified.