So much of the focus since the beginning of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak has been reporting on where the virus has spread. But in the third month of the pandemic, there are still a number of places across the United States that have yet to see a single positive test.

According to USA Today, as of May 15, 231 of the 3,143 counties nationwide still have no positive Coronavirus tests, that's a little more than seven percent.

In South Dakota, that figure is better than three times higher.

Of the 66 counties in the Mount Rushmore State, 17 (25.75%) have yet to record a positive COVID-19 test.

SOUTH DAKOTA COUNTIES WITH NO POSITIVE COVID-19 CASES (17)

  • Bennett
  • Brule
  • Butte
  • Campbell
  • Custer
  • Dewey
  • Edmunds
  • Gregory
  • Haakon
  • Hanson
  • Harding
  • Jackson
  • Jones
  • Kingsbury
  • Mellette
  • Perkins
  • Potter

Population - or lack thereof - obviously plays a key role in the lack of Coronavirus in certain counties around the country, including those in South Dakota. According to the numbers, counties with ten or fewer people per square mile made up more nearly 80 percent (79.3%) of all of the counties nationwide with no positive cases.

But some of these counties in the state have it a little easier than others.

In the northwest, Harding, Perkins, and Butte counties all neighbor each other. Same for Bennett, Jackson, Haakon, Jones, Mellette, and Dewey counties in the central part of the state.

For a trio of other South Dakota counties keeping the virus away has been a bigger challenge.

Edmunds County sits just west of the state's third-biggest hotspot, Brown County, which has had nearly 200 positive tests so far.

Hanson County is surrounded on all sides by five different counties (Davison, Hutchinson, McCook, Miner, and Sanborn) which have all had positives.

Kingsbury County sits just east of Beadle County, which was one of the early hot spots in South Dakota with 31 cases and two COVD-19 related deaths.

Not surprisingly, the Midwest boasts the biggest number of case-free counties in the country. Of the 231 counties without a confirmed Coronavirus case, 103 of them (44%) are in the heartland.