SIOUX FALLS, S.D. — The number of South Dakotans hospitalized due to COVID-19 is the lowest since state health officials began posting the number April 25, the state Department of Health reported Friday, July 3.

Only 58 state residents are currently in the hospital due to the virus that causes COVID-19, continuing a two-week decline in daily hospitalizations.

The previous low recorded was 61 people, on April 25 and April 27, according to a Forum News Service analysis of the state data. The number of those hospitalized peaked on May 26 at 106.

The low number of hospitalizations is good news for the hospitals in the state. COVID-19 patients are using only 5% of intensive care unit beds, 2% of all hospital beds and 9% of available ventilators, according to data collated and published by the Department of Health.

State health officials reported another 85 South Dakotans had tested positive for COVID-19, for a total of 6,978. Eighty seven percent known to have taken ill have recovered, or 6,049 people, up 67 from Thursday. Of those who tested positive with COVID-19, 687 have been hospitalized since the beginning of the pandemic in the state.

No new fatalities from the coronavirus were reported Friday. The COVID-19 death toll in South Dakota stands at 97, up nine in the past week.

State, hospital and out-of-state private labs processed 1,052 tests, the Department of Health reported Friday, raising the total of tests to 82,993. The daily positive rate for tests stands at 8%, about even with the state's moving average rate of positive tests.

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