Active virus cases push past 10,000 in South Dakota
SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) — South Dakota surged past 10,000 active cases of coronavirus on Saturday as the number of COVID-19 hospitalizations reached an all-time high.
The state has reported the country’s second-highest number of new cases per capita over the last two weeks, according to Johns Hopkins researchers. There were 1,132 new cases per 100,000 people, meaning that roughly one out of every 88 people in the state has tested positive in the last two weeks.
Health officials reported 939 new infections on Saturday, bringing the total number of active cases to 10,218.
The surge has strained the state’s hospital systems. The two largest hospitals have altered the logistics of elective procedures to free up space and staff. The Department of Health reported that there are 356 people hospitalized with COVID-19. About 33% of general-care hospital beds and 35% of Intensive Care Units are available.
Meanwhile, the Oglala Sioux Tribe has initiated a seven-day lockdown on the Pine Ridge Reservation in an effort to stem outbreaks.
Health officials reported ten more people have died from COVID-19. October has been the deadliest month of the pandemic for South Dakotans, with 143 of the state’s 366 deaths recorded this month.