SD’s active virus cases decline, 2 deaths reported

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SIOUX FALLS (AP) — Active coronavirus cases and hospitalizations across South Dakota declined on Tuesday, but the state’s rate of new cases per capita in recent weeks means it is still dealing with one of the worst virus outbreaks in the country.

The Department of Health reported that 16,657 people have active infections of the coronavirus. That’s a decline from recent days, but still means that roughly one out of every 53 people has tested positive and is able to transmit the virus. The large number of infections has health care experts worried that South Dakota’s recent progress in slowing the virus could be undone by infections spreading as people gather for Thanksgiving.

The average number of daily new cases has declined by nearly 11% over the last two weeks, according to Johns Hopkins researchers. But the state’s number of new cases per capita in that time is still the second-highest in the country. There were 1,988 new cases per 100,000 people, according to Johns Hopkins.

On Tuesday, health officials reported 1,011 new cases. The positivity rate was 18.1%, which is an indicator that there could be many more cases than tests are showing.

In Lawrence County, 35 new cases were reported Tuesday.

In Meade County, 28 new cases were reported, and Butte County had 16 new cases Tuesday.

Health officials reported two new deaths, bringing the total count to 821.

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