The COVID-19 pandemic is unfortunately not going anywhere anytime soon and in the state of South Dakota, it is becoming a harsh reality.

Once a state that wasn't the reality of the rest of the country, now South Dakota is looking more like a hot spot than a safe haven from COVID-19.

Saturday was the worst single day for positive tests in the state of South Dakota since testing began in March.

There were 425 new positive tests reported on Saturday with the death toll rising to 167 with active cases at 2,428.

The positive news for hospitals is that they aren't at capacity throughout the state with hospitalizations at 80, with a total of 1,006 total hospitalizations over the pandemic.

Since testing began, there have been 131,564 total tests administered in South Dakota.

The governor's office along with other officials warned back in the Spring that our peak would be in May however that miscalculation can be attributed to many factors including more testing, schools opening back up, lack of respect for the virus, and larger events taking place.

There are now over 100 cases linked to the Sturgis Bike Rally in 8 states from an event that saw hundreds of thousands of people ascend on the Black Hills for the annual rally earlier in August.

The good news for many of the citizens of Sturgis is that after their free mass testing event which saw 650 tests administered that only 26 came back positive.

I'm no doctor, but it is very important to continue to listen to the important voices of the health professionals who continue to advise to social distance, wash your hands, and wear a mask.

If South Dakota wants to avoid the harsh realities of other hot spots in the United States it will be on us to make sure we do what is necessary to do so.