2 new COVID-19 deaths, 126 new cases confirmed Thursday
State health officials confirmed two more COVID-19 related deaths as well as 126 new cases in South Dakota.
Thursday's spike in new cases was likely due in part to a
for Smithfield Foods employees, officials say. Around 2,500 workers and their families were tested Monday and Tuesday as they prepare to return to work.
Despite the new cases, current hospitalizations decreased by two to 70 Thursday. Health officials say this is an important statistic to consider, as social distancing efforts were designed to prevent hospitals from getting overloaded by COVID-19 cases.
The total number of recovered patients passed 2,000 as South Dakota recorded an additional 51 recoveries. 846 cases are currently active, an increase of 73 from Wednesday.
The two additional deaths brings the state's total to 31.
Positive cases accounted for 18% of the 698 total tests processed Thursday. The state had been processing around 200-300 tests over the past several days. State Epidemiologist Joshua Clayton recently said average positive testing rate had been hovering around 10-13 percent.
Most of the new cases are in the Sioux Falls area, the site of the Smithfield mass testing event. Minnehaha County saw 101 new confirmed cases Thursday. State Health Secretary Kim Malsam-Rysdon said the state is currently unable to identify how many of the new cases were connected to that mass testing.
Brown County also saw another spike, adding 17 new cases to bring its total to 93. Health officials say an outbreak at the DemKota beef plant is responsible for most of those cases.