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.