SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — State-wide data on the recent peak of September 20 from the South Dakota Department of Health tells us that there were 7,927 active cases of COVID-19 in South Dakota. Less than a month later on October 15, the number is 5,868, a drop of more than 25%.

When you compare those two dates, September 20 and October 15, there is a drop in hospitalizations, too, but it’s not as pronounced. The data on September 20 includes 202 hospitalizations; on October 15, the latest data shows 185 hospitalizations, a drop of a little over 8%.

“We are seeing now is kind of a leveling off of our number of COVID patients at approximately 100 inpatients through the system, and that’s kind of where we’ve been hovering over the last one to two weeks,” said Dr. Kevin Post, chief medical officer for Avera Medical Group.

“Our numbers for hospitalizations are still actually going up,” said Jeremy Cauwels, chief physician for Sanford Health. “We’re currently at about 211 or so hospitalizations throughout the system.”

South Dakota hospitalization and active case numbers are better in recent weeks. Still, concerns persist for these health systems.

“We are still very much bumping right up against our maximum capacity,” Cauwels said.

“We are extremely busy beyond just COVID,” Post said. “So our intensive care units are full, we have the health care worker shortage, and all of that decreases our access for our patients.”