SD reports 5 COVID-19 deaths, dip in active cases

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SIOUX FALLS (AP) — The number of people with active coronavirus infections in South Dakota declined for the first time in a week on Tuesday to 3,684, according to data from the Department of Health.

Health officials also reported five more deaths from COVID-19, while the number of daily new cases dipped from last week’s record-setting counts. The Department of Health reported 259 people have tested positive for the coronavirus and 211 people are currently hospitalized with COVID-19.

The state has been suffering through its worst wave of the virus in recent weeks. It recorded the nation’s second-highest number of new cases per capita over the last two weeks, with nearly 560 new cases per 100,000 people, according to Johns Hopkins researchers.

South Dakota’s seven-day test positivity rate has remained one of the highest in the country, which is an indicator that more people have active infections than testing indicates. The seven-day positivity average is over 25%, according to the COVID Tracking Project.

The Department of Health is working to increase testing in an effort to drive down the positivity rate.

September has been the deadliest month of the pandemic for South Dakota as 56 people have died from COVID-19. A total of 223 people have died since March.

In Lawrence County, six new cases were reported Tuesday including one new death.

In Meade County, six new cases were reported.

In Butte County, two new cases were reported.

Black Hills State University reported 17 students and one staff member have self-reported as having active infections. There are 94 people in quarantine or isolation.

Monument Health reported 33 COVID-19 patients are hospitalized and the West River doubling rate is 33 days.

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