Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic last year, nearly 2,000 South Dakotans (1,980) have lost their lives to the virus.

Those deaths have impacted each of the Mount Rushmore State's 66 counties - except one.

Only Jones County in Central South Dakota has yet to record a single coronavirus-related fatality among the 93 people that have tested positive there.

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New numbers released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show just how widespread the devastation from COVID-19 has been across the United States.

Jones County is one of only 37 counties nationwide that have yet to see a death from COVID-19. That means that 98.8 percent of the 3,006 counties in America have had at least one person pass away - 585,109 so far in the U.S.

Not surprisingly, the majority of counties without a death have smaller populations.

According to 247WallStreet, only two in the country - Dukes County in Massachusetts and San Juan County in Washingon are home to more than 10,000 people. Sixteen have populations under 1,000 people, including Jones County, which is South Dakota's smallest county with just 793 residents.

According to the latest numbers from the South Dakota Department of Health, ten other counties in the state have seen fewer than five COVID-related deaths:

  • Campbell - 4
  • Hanson - 4
  • McPherson - 4
  • Potter - 4
  • Sanborn - 3
  • Sully - 3
  • Mellette - 2
  • Stanley - 2
  • Harding - 1
  • Hyde - 1

Of the 1,980 deaths in South Dakota, more than a quarter (27.6 percent) come from the state's two most populated counties: Minnehaha (355 deaths) and Pennington (192 deaths).

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