SIOUX FALLS, S.D. — Another South Dakotan has died due to COVID-19, raising the virus death toll in the state to 88, state health officials said Friday, June 26.

The newly reported fatality was a female in her 80s in Pennington County, according to a Forum News Analysis of state Department of Health reports. No further information was available, and state officials have routinely declined to provide additional information on fatalities, citing privacy concerns.

The number of newly recovered individuals outstripped newly discovered cases. The state Department of Health reported another 56 cases in the state, raising the all-time total to 6,535, and additional 60 recoveries, for a total of 5,652, or 86 percent of those known to have caught COVID-19.

The number of newly found cases hasn't topped 100 in just over a month and has averaged 56 new cases a day in the past two weeks. The Sioux Falls area of Minnehaha and Lincoln Counties, once the state's largest COVID-19 hotspot, has averaged only 14 new cases a day over the past two weeks.

Cases in recent hotspots Beadle, Brookings and Pennington counties are trending down over the past 14 days. While case totals are trending up over the same time period in Brown, Hughes and Oglala Lakota counties, according to the Department of Health on Friday.

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There are 795 active COVID-19 cases in the state, down five from the previous day. The number of active cases has hovered around 800 in the last 10 days, down significantly from the May 11 high of 1,393.

There are 79 South Dakotans currently hospitalized due to COVID-19, unchanged from the previous day. There have been 639 state residents hospitalized from being sick with the virus. The number of daily hospitalizations has been generally declining since its most recent peak of 101 people on June 10. Hospitalization peaked at 106 on May 26.

According to the Department of Health, COVID-19 patients are using 5% of intensive care unit beds, 3% of all hospital beds and 5% of ventilators — crucial equipment to treat some of those afflicted with the respiratory disease.

State, hospital and out-of-state private labs processed another 1,161 tests, for a total of 77,015. The daily positive rate was 4.8%, significantly below the moving state average of 8.5%.

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