Why South Dakota’s high COVID-19 positivity rate is important

Coronavirus

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — The latest White House Coronavirus Task Force report lists South Dakota in the red zone for its test positivity rate. As we reported on Friday, over at least the last month, South Dakota’s positivity rate was significantly higher than the state originally reported.

With so many numbers being tracked during the pandemic, you may be wondering why the positivity rate is important. Experts say it shows how widespread an illness is in a community. It also shows when more testing is needed. By detecting more cases, the virus can be contained, which ultimately slows the spread.

South Dakota’s positivity numbers posted on Dec. 21

The CDC recommends keeping the positivity rate below five percent, but that isn’t happening in most South Dakota counties. Over the last seven days, the state averaged 17.4 percent statewide. On Monday, Minnehaha County and Lincoln County both had weekly percent positive rates more than three times higher than the CDC recommendation.

The best way to reduce the percentage positive rate is to increase testing. But according to the state website, South Dakota is averaging more than a thousand fewer tests per day this month, compared to last month.


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Your Guide To
Coronavirus

KELOLAND News is covering the Coronavirus outbreak. We have created a guide to everything you need to know to prepare. We also have the latest stories from across the globe feeding into this page.