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South Dakota reports all-time high for new virus cases

November 12, 2020 GMT

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) — South Dakota broke a record Thursday for the number of new coronavirus cases in one day, with more than 2,000 people testing positive.

The Department of Health reported 2,019 people with coronavirus infections — a troubling marker for a state that has already spent weeks suffering through one of the worst virus outbreaks in the nation.

South Dakota has the nation’s second-worst rate of new infections per capita over the last two weeks. There were about 1,893 new cases per 100,000 people over the past two weeks, according to Johns Hopkins researchers. That means that that roughly one out of every 53 people has tested positive over that period.

No new deaths were reported, keeping the death tally at 567. But the number of hospitalizations rose slightly to 551.

Universities in South Dakota are encouraging their students to get tested for COVID-19 before returning home for Thanksgiving to help curb the spread of the virus.

South Dakota State University in Brookings and the University of South Dakota in Vermillion are offering free tests.

South Dakota Department of Health Secretary Kim Malsam-Rysdon said that the majority of recent COVID-19 spread has been among smaller gatherings of family members and friends, the Argus Leader reported.

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“Protect your loved ones,” a South Dakota State email to students said. “You may not show symptoms but that does not mean you cannot spread the virus to a parent, grandparent or other family member who is considered a higher risk category for illness from the virus.”