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Virus deaths rise to 50 in South Dakota; Rushmore to reopen

May 22, 2020 GMT

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) — Health officials in South Dakota reported two more deaths from the coronavirus on Friday.

The state’s COVID-19 death toll rose to 50, with 106 newly confirmed cases for a total of 4,356. Eighty-three people are currently hospitalized.

The new figures came just ahead of Saturday’s reopening of the Mount Rushmore national monument, just in time for the Memorial Day weekend and three weeks earlier than expected.

“After careful consideration and consultation with local and state health authorities, we are pleased to announce that Mount Rushmore’s parking lot, retail shops, and Memorial Team Ice Cream will open earlier than expected on Saturday, May 23,” according to the memorial’s Facebook page.

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The Nature Trail and the Presidential Trail will be open to the base of the mountain, and the Sculptor’s Studio will be open. The park service says the information center and gift shop are closed and all educational and interpretive programs are suspended.

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