States in the US Midwest continue to report a decline in hospitalisations related to Covid-19, even as California and other parts of the country grapple with an elevated number of patients.
South Dakota had 341 people in hospital with Covid-19, down from a high of 607 on November 10 and the lowest mark since mid-October, according to state figures published on Tuesday and Financial Times analysis of Covid Tracking Project data.
Iowa, which had as many as 1,527 hospitalised patients on November 18, reported 651 current hospitalisations for patients with a primary or secondary diagnosis of Covid-19.
In Ohio, there were 4,829 people hospitalised, compared with 5,296 in the middle of December.
Minnesota’s hospitalisations edged higher on Tuesday to 1,060 from 1,040 the day before. However, they remain well below a high of 1,840 on November 30. Data on Mondays can be lower due to delays from the weekend.
A resident of St Paul, Minnesota, carries donated Christmas gifts home. The Giving Tree On Grand charity donates toys to families most affected by the pandemic
Minnesota is among a handful of Midwest states that have taken steps to ease coronavirus-related restrictions that were tightened at the onset of an autumn resurgence of the disease.
Michigan, Nebraska and Iowa also have rolled back curbs, with officials encouraged by a slowdown in hospital admissions and new infections.
That stands in contrast with states like Pennsylvania, where hospitals tallied 6,151 Covid-19 patients. That was below a peak of 6,346 set last week, in a sign that hospitalisations could be levelling off, but represented an increase from 6,090 patients on Monday.
California’s hospitalisations increased by 653 to 17,843 patients, more than any other point during the pandemic, state data showed.
There were 1,996 people hospitalised in Nevada, the same amount from 24 hours earlier and tying for the second-highest level on record. Hospitalisations rose to a high of 2,025 on December 14.