2 new COVID-19 variants detected in South Dakota as active cases climb

Nick Sabato, The Daily Republic, Mitchell, S.D.
·2 min read

Mar. 25—PIERRE, S.D. — Two weeks after the B.1.1.7 variant was discovered in South Dakota, the Department of Health confirmed additional COVID-19 variants are present in the state Thursday.

There is one case of the B.1.351 variant (the South African variant) and five cases of the B.1.429 variant (California variant) currently in South Dakota. Meanwhile, there have now been 14 confirmed cases of the B.1.1.7 variant, which is also called the U.K. variant.

Locations of the B.1.1.7 variant include Brookings, Lyman, Minnehaha and Pennington counties, while the B.1.351 variant was detected in Brookings County and the B.1.429 variant was found in Roberts County.

According to the Centers for Disease Prevention and Control, these variants appear to spread more quickly and easily than other COVID-19 variants. While studies show the B.1.1.7 variant has the propensity to be more deadly than other strains, the B.1.351 variant has not. Early studies show the B.1.429 variant to be 20% more transmissible, with reduced performance in vaccinations.

The DOH says available COVID-19 vaccines have shown reduced effectiveness against the variants, but "are safe and offer good protection." Vaccinations are now in priority group 1E, which applies to 227,000 people statewide.

Following are the South Dakota Department of Health COVID-19 case rates, deaths, hospitalizations and vaccinations as of Thursday, March 25. Because all data is preliminary, some numbers and totals may change from one day to the next.

Statewide case rates

* NEW CASES: 254 (seven-day daily average: 203)

* TOTAL ACTIVE CASES: 2,428

* TOTAL CASES: 116,624

* TOTAL RECOVERED: 112,269

* DAILY TEST POSITIVITY RATE: 26.4%

Hospitalizations, deaths

*

NEW HOSPITALIZATIONS: 24

*

ACTIVE HOSPITALIZATIONS: 74

*

TOTAL HOSPITALIZATIONS: 6,917

*

DEATHS, NEWLY REPORTED: 3

*

TOTAL DEATHS: 1,927

Vaccinations

*

INITIAL DOSE ADMINISTERED (if 2-dose vaccine): 228,659, total: 39% of population*

*

FULLY VACCINATED: 144,149, total: 24.9% of population

*(Vaccine total based on state distribution. Percentage includes vaccines given to South Dakota residents through federal programs, including IHS and VA)

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