PIERRE, S.D. — South Dakota health officials are reporting an increase of 36 positive COVID-19 cases over the last 24 hours, according to data that was updated Thursday, April 2, on the South Dakota Department of Health website.

Of the 165 total positive cases reported in the state thus far, 57 people have recovered from the virus.

No additional deaths were reported over the last 24 hours. Two people have died from COVID-19 complications in the state.

Minnehaha County, which includes the state's most populous city of Sioux Falls, leads all other counties by a stretch with 54 positive cases.

Lincoln County, a neighboring county just south of Minnehaha County, reported 17 positive cases.

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Beadle County has the second-highest number of positive cases with a total of 21.

The state is also seeing sharp increases in unemployment claims. A total of 6,645 unemployment claims were filed during the week of March 22-28, according to a news release from the state Department of Labor and Regulation.

A total of 1,671 claims were filed in the previous week.

In preparation for an increase in COVID-19 cases that require hospitalization, the state is deploying the National Guard to build facilities equipped with hospital beds, though the type of beds those will be has yet to be determined.

Kim Malsam-Rysdon, South Dakota Department of Health Secretary, said the National Guard will set up 100-bed units in the state's major cities of Sioux Falls and Rapid City, and may look at other sites throughout the state.

A member of the South Dakota National Guard tested positive for COVID-19 on March 11, according to a statement from General Joseph L. Lengyel, the 28th Chief of the National Guard Bureau in Washington, D.C.

"The health and well-being of our Soldiers and Airmen is our first priority for our Guard family," Lengyel said in the statement.

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