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COVID-19, other diseases caused historic South Dakota deaths

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FILE – In this April 28, 2020, file photo, nurse practitioner talks to a patient and holds her hand while a doctor administers an IV at Roseland Community Hospital in Chicago. Many African Americans watching protests calling for easing restrictions meant to slow the spread of the new coronavirus see them as one more example of how their health and their rights just don’t seem to matter. (Ashlee Rezin Garcia/Chicago Sun-Times via AP, File)

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) — 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.

The provisional report also found deaths from diabetes, liver diseases 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 total of 9,857 South Dakotas died during 2020, which was the highest figure in at least a decade.

KELO-TV reported Tuesday that heart disease and cancer were the leading causes of death, followed by COVID-19, which killed 1,496 people.

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