SIOUX FALLS, S.D. — South Dakota's known cases of COVID-19 passed the 4,500 mark Sunday, May 24, according to the state Department of Health.

The daily posted numbers show that 1,142 people — one in four of those diagnosed with the disease — are currently sick, rising 60 from the previous day. Eighty-five South Dakotans are in the hospital due to COVID-19, and 364 state residents have been hospitalized. Deaths caused by the virus remain unchanged at 50.

State, clinical and private labs have now processed 34,905 tests, including 1,377 tests whose results were posted on Sunday. That's the second highest day of testing ever recorded in the state and likely due to results from the state-coordinated mass testing of senior care and assisted living facilities. The four-week effort to test all residents and staff at those facilities is entering its second week. The daily positive rate for COVID-19 tests was 6.9%, about half of the 13.1% rate for all testing combined, according to a Forum News Service analysis.

Previously the state's singled biggest day of testing followed the pop-up mass testing event for Smithfield Foods workers and family members in early May. The plant was closed for several weeks following a COVID-19 outbreak there that is now linked to about 2,000 cases, although the vast majority of those diagnosed with the virus have recovered.

The state's low hospitalization rate for COVID-19 remains a bearable burden for health systems, according to the state Department of Health. COVID-19 patients are using only 4% of all hospital beds, 9% of intensive care unit beds and 2% of ventilators crucial helping many patients survive the respiratory illness.

Minnehaha County, the state's largest county and home to Sioux Falls, continues to have the most active cases, with 545. Elsewhere in the state, three counties are showing recent expanded community spread of the virus. Pennington County has 125 active cases, Beadle County has 107 and Brown County has 98.

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