Sioux Falls breaks COVID-19 record set during Smithfield outbreak


SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — Wednesday was another record day for COVID-19 cases in South Dakota. The state confirmed a record 876 positive tests statewide. The number of active cases in the state rose to 6,604.

It was also a record day for the Sioux Falls area. Last spring, the city was in the national spotlight during an outbreak at Smithfield Foods. State and local health officials teamed up to do mass testing of Smithfield employees and family members. As a result of that event, 238 people tested positive in the Sioux Falls area on May 9.

That was the highest number of positive tests in the city until Wednesday, when the state released 287 positive test results.

Another number to keep in mind is the number of people tested. On May 9, the state released 1,206 people’s results in the Sioux Falls area. On Wednesday, the state released just 635 people’s results in the area. That’s 47% fewer people tested.

During the Smithfield outbreak, some restaurants and stores closed their doors and many Sioux Falls businesses allowed employees to work from home. Smithfield also closed for a period of time.

At the time, there were 1,213 active cases in the Sioux Falls area. On Wednesday, there were more 2,016 people with active cases.

Hospitalizations are also higher. During the Smithfield outbreak, 71 patients were in Sioux Falls hospitals during the peak. As of Wednesday morning, the state reported 142 people were hospitalized with the virus in Sioux falls hospitals.

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