SIOUX FALLS, S.D. — Nearly 6,000 South Dakotans are now known to have caught COVID-19, but the ranks of those infected with the virus shrunk to its lowest number in more than a month, the state Department of Health reported Monday, June 15.

Testing revealed another 30 known cases of COVID-19 among state residents, raising the all-time total to 5,928. But better than four out of five of those known to have caught the virus — 4,961 people, up 62 from the previous day — have recovered.

Eight hundred ninety-two South Dakotans are currently sick with COVID-19, the lowest total since May 7. The number of those currently ill with the virus peaked at 1,393 on May 11. There are 93 state residents in the hospital due to COVID-19, up six from the previous day and totaling 544 people since the state's first reported cases of the virus on March 10.

The number of COVID-19 hospitalizations are well within the capabilities of the state's hospitals, according to the Department of Health's tally. COVID-19 patients are using 5% of intensive care unit beds, 4% of all hospital beds and 5% of available ventilators — crucial life-saving equipment for the respiratory disease.

No new fatalities from the virus were reported Monday. State officials say 75 people have died due to COVID-19.

Of the current COVID-19 hot spots in meat plants in the state:

  • DemKota Ranch Beef in Aberdeen: 159 of 165 sickened employees have recovered;
  • Jack Link's Protein Snacks beef jerky plant in Alpena: 91 of 117 sickened employees have recovered;
  • Dakota Provisions turkey plant in Huron: 41 of 71 sickened employees have recovered.

The Department of Health is nearly complete with its four-week mass testing of residents and staff of all senior care and assisted living facilities in the state. The effort has currently tested 17,182 people, including 7,502 residents and 9,680 staff. Of those who were tested, 38 residents and 31 staff have tested positive for COVID-19, said Kim Malsam Rysdon, secretary of the state Department of Health.

The mass testing will be substantially complete in the coming days, Malsam Rysdon said. Next up: This week the state will start mass testing in congregate living facilities.

State, clinical and out-of-state private labs processed an additional 1,076 COVID-19 tests, the Department of Health said Monday, for an all-time total of 66,395.

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