Data shows some highs, lows of COVID-19 cases within Sioux Falls

KELOLAND.com Original

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — The numbers say Sioux Falls should be able to repeal its no mingling ordinance, city officials said, but what are those numbers?

The focus of any city action during the coronavirus pandemic has been to slow the spread of COVID-19 and to ensure there are enough hospital beds for those who need them, Jill Franken said twice this week. Franken said it May 19 in a presentation to council members and Thursday morning in a news briefing.

The city’s current COVID-19 pandemic model shows a need for 350 hospital beds on May 31. Franken said on May 19 that 53 beds were being used. The May 31 need should be much lower than 350, she said.

The area is also having a decline in the number of cases over a 14-day period. Sioux Falls, specifically Minnehaha and Lincoln Counties, account for 78.7% of the state’s COVID-19 cases as of May 22. The state had 4,356 positive cases and Lincoln and Minnehaha Counties combined for 3,429.

But since some dramatic highs in April, the case numbers have generally been decreasing.

There were 166 new cases in Minnehaha County on April 15. That was the highest recorded between March 9 and May 9.

Mass testing of Smithfield employees started May 4 and would account for some of the large increases in positive COVID-19 tests in Minnehaha County from May 7 through May 11.

When the mass testing was completed, new COVID-19 numbers dropped from 85 on May 11 to 26 on May 12.

From May 16 through May 21, new COVID-19 numbers have been under 20 in Minnehaha County.

But the state started mass testing at nursing homes this past week.

State secretary of health Kim Malsam-Rysdon said those testing numbers will be added to daily state COVID-19 updates and could skew numbers either in the positive test or negative test direction.

The testing will continue next week.

Franken said Thursday morning that COVID-19 positive cases will continue to happen in Sioux Falls and numbers may be higher than the 13 on May 21 or 17 on May 19 but the overall downward trend will continue.

Follow the latest regional COVID-19 data on our case tracker page; the city’s COVID-19 data can be found on the city of Sioux Falls website under the COVID-19 dashboard category.


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