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The inability of the American medical system to perform timely, accurate testing for the presence of COVID-19 has hampered efforts to understand and respond to the pandemic. (Photo: Stock image)

When it comes to COVID-19 in the education system of South Dakota, the number of higher education and K-12 cases are trending in opposite directions week-over-week, state health department data reveals. 

And there may not be a clear reason why, state health officials said this week.

Cases at the higher ed level climbed to 1,329 by Friday, while cases at the K-12 level reached 1,371. While those overall totals are similar, the change over time shows the difference. 

More: All S.D. public universities will require masks indoors when semester starts

Cases within South Dakota’s colleges haven’t been above 200 weekly since Sept. 12, with the highest amount of new cases reported the week of Aug. 29 at 457. This