By Associated Press - Monday, December 28, 2020

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) - South Dakota on Monday reported the lowest number of daily new coronavirus cases in two months, tallying 267 people who had tested positive, though testing also slowed after the Christmas holiday.

The Department of Health reported the results of 1,162 tests, a large drop from the average of 4,309 daily tests over the previous seven days. Health officials indicated that 14.3% of the RT-PCR tests performed came back positive, which is an indicator that more people may have infections than tests are indicating.

South Dakota has seen a significant drop in coronavirus cases after infections peaked in November. Over the past two weeks, the rolling average number of daily new cases has decreased by 47%, according to Johns Hopkins researchers. The Department of Health’s count of people with active infections dipped below 7,000 for the first time since October.

No new deaths from the virus were reported, but after the November spike, the state’s rate of deaths per capita has risen to the fifth-highest in the nation, according to Johns Hopkins researchers. Over the course of the pandemic, 1,446 people have died after contracting COVID-19, representing roughly one out of every 610 people.

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