Fact Check By: Craig Jones, Newswise
“We have triple the amount of testing that we are doing in the state of South Dakota, which is why we’re seeing elevated positive cases. That’s normal, that’s natural, that’s expected.”Claim Publisher and Date: South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem on 2020-10-14
The South Dakota Department of Health says there are no open general-care hospital beds in the southeastern portion of the state, which includes the two largest hospitals, the AP reported. Outside of the ICU, hospitals on the eastern side of the state are completely full. The New York Times reported Wednesday North Dakota and South Dakota have the most massive outbreaks per capita in the country.
South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem this week attributed the state's surge in COVID-19 cases to increased testing, saying, "That's expected."
"We have triple the amount of testing that we are doing in the state of South Dakota, which is why we're seeing elevated positive cases," Noem said, according to The Associated Press. "That's normal, that's natural, that's expected."
We rate this claim as false. As we mentioned in a previous Fact Check, more testing does not mean that there's a greater posiitivity rate of COVID-19. The number of positive cases is a simple data point: It shows the total number of people who have received positive COVID-19 test results. if this was just a case of more testing, the positivity rate should stay relatively consistent — unless the virus is spreading.