SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) — South Dakota has broken its record for COVID-19 hospitalizations and new cases, but state health officials backed up a claim by Gov. Kristi Noem that the record case count is due to increases in testing.
October has already become the state’s deadliest month of the pandemic. Health officials reported three new deaths from COVID-19, bringing the state’s overall death toll to 291.
As the deaths and hospitalizations mount, the Republican governor has faced increasing pressure to step up her response. But officials from the Department of Health defended Noem’s remarks.
She says the surge in cases is “expected” with more testing.