SIOUX FALLS, S.D. — The number of people hospitalized in South Dakota due to COVID-19 hit a new high on Tuesday, Sept. 15, according to the state Department of Health.

There are now 133 people hospitalized due to COVID-19 in the state, more than double the number of people listed as hospitalized one week ago, according to a Forum News Service analysis of state Department of Health data. Health officials have said hospitalization rates tend to lag surges in new cases.

Still, the number of hospitalizations seem well within the state's capacity. According to hospital bed and ventilator counts, COVID-19 cases are taking up 6% of hospital beds, 8% of intensive care unit beds and 5% of available ventilators, crucial equipment to help patients with the respiratory illness. Of the 63 hospitals reporting, 49 provided updates in the past 24 hours while data from 14 was five days old or older.

There were 193 newly reported cases of COVID-19 in the state, and 306 people newly reported to have recovered from the illness. There are 2,386 people considered to be actively sick with COVID-19, the lowest number of daily active cases since Aug. 28 — a sign the spread of the virus is slowing in the state after a monthlong surge likely due to large events like the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally and the reconvening of universities and K-12 schools.

Still, test positive rates remain very high, at 20% of the 957 tests whose results were posted Tuesday. The White House Coronavirus Task Force looks for positivity rates to stay below 10% and considers higher rates to be a sign that more testing is needed. Test positivity rates have been above 10% since Aug. 16.

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No new deaths from COVID-19 in the state were reported by health officials on Tuesday. The illness's current death toll stands at 184.

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