SIOUX FALLS, S.D. — South Dakota added 90 residents to the total of those known to have caught COVID-19, as ongoing strong testing continued, the state Department of Health reported Saturday, June 6.
South Dakota's key measures of active cases and hospitalizations continue to stay roughly flat, welcome news in a time when the state was originally forecast to be facing a surge of the virus.
There are 1,029 South Dakotans now sick with COVID-19, down three from the previous day and 32 below the 14-day average. There are 93 South Dakotans now hospitalized with the virus, up 10 from the previous day. The highest single daily tally of hospitalizations was 106 on May 26. Sixty-five state residents have died due to the virus. The state reported no new known fatalities on Saturday.
State, clinical and out-of-state private labs processed 2,095 COVID-19 tests, the state Department of Health reported Saturday, marking the third-highest daily run of tests and a positive test rate of 4.3%, about half the running average of 9.7%. All labs have processed 55,458 tests from South Dakotans.
The state is wrapping up the final days of a four-week mass-testing effort for all residents and staff and the state's senior care and assisted living facilities. The mass testing has surged daily testing totals in the past several weeks to about 1,600 tests a day, according to a Forum News Service analysis. In April, about 460 tests a day were processed. The mass testing hasn't significantly ballooned the state's tally of known cases, and daily positive testing rates have been low.
The state launched a "return to normal" plan on April 28 and officials in Sioux Falls, the state's largest city and home to 68% of all known cases, halted all COVID-19-related restrictions in a May 26 vote.
State officials said recently they've halted modeling of surge predictions since the pandemic appears well within hospital capacity. The state was originally expecting a mid-June peak of the virus, with Sioux Falls officials expecting a surge several weeks earlier.
That surge didn't materialize, and there have generally been only a handful of cases a day in the Sioux Falls area. However, new cases continue to concern officials in several other counties, particularly those with known outbreaks in local plants, including the DemKota Ranch Beef plant in Aberdeen and the Jack Link's Protein Snacks beef jerky plant in Alpena.
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