February 5th, 2023

New coronavirus cases continue lower trend of percentage of positive tests

A person walking in hospital garb and mask.

The state saw 83 new coronavirus cases on more than 1,000 new tests, with more than a quarter of those cases in Beadle County, the South Dakota Department of Health reported Thursday.

COVID-19 deaths remained steady at 54.

Minnehaha County had 17 new positive test results, and Lincoln County had one. Brown County, which had seen a surge in cases last week, reported just five new cases. Pennington County, the state’s second largest, saw 14 new cases.

Overall, authorities have confirmed 4,793 cases since the pandemic was first confirmed in South Dakota on March 10.

More: Health department: More than 34,000 in Sioux Falls have likely had COVID-19

Thursday’s daily positive rate of 83 new cases on 1,020 new tests was just above 8 percent. 

The daily positive rate on new tests has been at or below 10 percent for much of the latter half of May, a key indicator that transmissions have slowed amid more aggressive testing by health officials.

Four additional hospitalizations were reported Thursday, bringing that number to 105, while the number of recovered patients was 79.

More: COVID-19 recoveries increase at Touchmark at All Saints, Good Samaritan Village

The increase in cases in Beadle County appears in part to be tied to the JackLink’s beef jerky plant in Alpena, in neighboring Jerauld County. State epidemiologist Josh Clayton identified the plant Thursday as a hot spot with 66 cases. Meanwhile, the DemKota Ranch Beef plant in Aberdeen has 153 cases.

Secretary of Health Kim Malsam-Rysdon said that both she and Gov. Kristi Noem spoke to JackLink’s President Kevin McAdams about conditions at the plant. She said she was pleased with measures taken there, including flexible attendance, testing employees for symptoms, the installation of physical barriers and the availability of personal protective equipment for employees.

Coronavirus in South Dakota
As of May 28, there have been 4,793 reported cases of the coronavirus in South Dakota with 54 deaths.