South Dakota including NICU beds in hospital availability

November 11, 2020

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) – South Dakota health officials say they include intensive care unit beds designed for infants in their total count of hospital beds available in the state.

It’s a key metric that the governor has used to defend her handling of the coronavirus pandemic.

Coronavirus hospitalizations reached 607 on Tuesday, marking a new high for the fifth day in a row.

The Department of Health reported that about 37% of general-care hospital beds and 32% of ICU beds are available.

State epidemiologist Dr. Josh Clayton said the number of neonatal ICU beds is much smaller than the total number of ICU beds, but didn’t immediately provide a number.