Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, South Dakota's infection rates have been a topic of national discussion.

First, it was the Smithfield Foods outbreak in April, which saw nearly 1,300 employees test positive for coronavirus. Then it was the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally being a potential 'super spreader' event in August.

Now the Mount Rushmore State is making headlines again for a spike in COVID-19 numbers - this time in the prison system.

COVID Infection Rates Among Inmates
AP/The Marshall Project

The Associated Press, using data from The Marshall Project, is reporting that South Dakota has the highest infection rate among inmates in America.

As of December 18, 62 percent of South Dakota prisoners had been infected with the virus. That number is more than three times the rate of infection among state and federal prisoners across the county, and more than four times higher than the general population.

Nationwide, more than 275,000 prisoners have been infected and more than 1,700 have died from COVID-19.

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