SIOUX FALLS, S.D. — Gov. Kristi Noem has blamed South Dakota’s recent surge in coronavirus cases on an increase in testing, even as the state sees a new high in the number of people hospitalized by the virus.
There are currently no open general-care hospital beds in the southeastern part of the state, which contains the two largest hospitals, according to the Department of Health. Hospitals are dealing with both an increase in COVID-19 patients and people needing other medical care.
“We have triple the amount of testing that we are doing in the state of South Dakota, which is why we’re seeing elevated positive cases,” Noem said. “That’s normal, that’s natural, that’s expected.”
The Department of Health reports 302 COVID-19 patients are hospitalized — an all-time high in the state.