SIOUX FALLS, S.D. — Active cases of COVID-19 in South Dakota rose 43 to 1,082, as results from the state's mass testing in elder care facilities surged testing numbers.
The South Dakota Department of Health reported Saturday, May 23, that 4,468 state residents have tested positive for the virus, up 112 from the previous day. The number of deaths caused by COVID-19 remained unchanged at 50. Ninety people in the state are currently hospitalized due to the illness.
The state Department of Health recently started posting daily updates of hospital, intensive care and ventilator units usage rates. As of Saturday, all are in the single digits, with COVID-19 patients using only 4% of all hospital beds, 9% of ICU beds and 2% of available ventilators -- life-saving equipment for the respiratory illness. The virus has hospitalized a total of 358 South Dakotans.
State, clinical and private labs processed 1,184 tests through 5 p.m. Friday, the second-highest daily total, according to a Forum News Service analysis, with a 9.5% positive rate. That's below the state's testing average of 13.3%.
State officials have said to expect testing numbers, and known cases, to rise due to a state-coordinated mass testing event of residents and staff at elder care and assisted living facilities that got underway in recent days. Department of Health officials typically don't hold daily testing briefings on weekends.
The state is starting its second week of the four-week mass testing event. The state has now logged 33,528 processed COVID-19 tests from South Dakota residents.
The Sioux Falls area -- Minnehaha and Lincoln counties -- is still home to 78% of the state's known COVID-19 cases, but four out of five of those diagnosed with the virus there have recovered.
Meanwhile, new cases in the remainder of the state have been outpacing those tallied in the area of the state's largest city in recent days. While cases in the two counties combined have doubled in the last month, cases in the rest of the state have doubled in the past 12 days. Pennington County, Beadle County and Brown County are all adding new cases at a rate that outpaces the remainder of the state.
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