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South Dakota ends deadliest month for COVID-19 as cases dip

September 30, 2020 GMT

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) — South Dakota reported a decrease in the number of active cases to 3,658 on Wednesday as the state marked the end of its deadliest month of the pandemic to date.

Health officials have recorded 56 death from COVID-19 during September, as well as new highs in cases. Over the past two weeks, the state reported the nation’s second-highest number of new cases per capita, with 567 infections per 100,000 people.

The Department of Health reported 392 new cases, which was a dip after all-time highs recorded last week. But the state’s test positivity rate has remained among the highest in the country, which is an indicator that many more people have infections than tests are showing. The average positivity rate in the last seven days has reached 26%, according to data from the COVID tracking project.

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Hospitals across the state are also caring for one of the highest loads of COVID-19 patients since the pandemic began. A total of 212 people were in the hospital with the virus, occupying 9% of hospital beds and 14% of Intensive Care Units.

Over the course of the pandemic, 22,389 people have tested positive for the coronavirus. About 83% of them have recovered, but 223 people have died.