SIOUX FALLS, S.D. — South Dakota achieved an unfortunate pandemic milestone on Sunday, as the state's total of people who tested positive for COVID-19 surpassed the population of the state's third largest city.

The South Dakota Department of Health reported 617 people who have newly tested positive for COVID-19 on Sunday, Oct. 11. So far, 28,564 South Dakotans have tested positive for the virus, a larger population than the city of Aberdeen, population 28,257, second only to Rapid City and Sioux Falls.

The surge of new cases maintains the state's position at or near the worst in the nation for the volume of new cases per capita over the last two weeks, according to analysis from the New York Times.

South Dakota continues to break near daily records regarding the COVID-19 pandemic amid an ongoing surge, this time the number of residents known to be currently ill with the virus.

The number of active cases of the virus in the state climbed to 5,865, up 332 people, the South Dakota Department of Health reported Sunday, Oct. 11. The number has soared to ever-increasing heights since hitting a recent low of about 2,500 people daily in mid-September.

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Hospitalizations for COVID-19 are down slightly, standing at 266 on Sunday, just off the all-time peak of 284 on Thursday. There have been 1,866 people hospitalized due to the virus since the start of the pandemic.

State health officials reported no new additional COVID-19 fatalities on Sunday, and the pandemic death toll continues to stand at 286. The past two weeks have been the pandemic's deadliest in the state, with 68 South Dakota's killed due to COVID-19.

Of those who have tested positive for COVID-19, 22,413 people have recovered, including an additional 285 reported by the state health department on Sunday.

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