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Daily virus cases reach 6-month high in South Dakota

August 20, 2021 GMT

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) — Daily coronavirus cases on Friday topped 300 for the first time in over six months in South Dakota as a fresh pandemic wave appeared to build.

The Department of Health reported 304 virus cases, while hospitalizations and deaths remained the same from Thursday. COVID-19 hospitalizations — currently at 125 — have roughly tripled in the last two weeks. Over that time period, the state has seen case counts spike by 270%, according to Johns Hopkins researchers. However, the number of cases per capita in that time has remained one of the lowest in the country.

Health officials said they were not surprised to see cases rise in the state after they had dropped during the spring and early summer, the Argus Leader reported.

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“To see the trends come from the East Coast, down to the southern parts of the country and then up the middle of the country, we did expect to see the virus spread that way,” Secretary of Health Kim Malsam-Rysdon said.

About 56% of people eligible for a vaccine have completed their immunization, health officials reported.