Unvaccinated & variants spiking COVID-19 cases in South Dakota


SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — This week, South Dakota saw a jump in the number of active cases to more than 1,100. According to a note from the Department of Health, during the past week, there were about 90 new cases reported each day. Health officials have also confirmed even more Delta variant cases in the state.

Unfortunately, South Dakota is catching up to the rest of the country when it comes to the spread of the more highly contagious Delta Variant.

South Dakota State epidemiologist Dr. Joshua Clayton says, without more vaccinations, the number of people infected will continue to rise.

“So, we do anticipate what you are seeing nationally in terms of increasing cases and hospitalizations will be a concern that South Dakotans will need to encounter here as well,” said Clayton.

The Delta Variant is driving much of the current spike. Here’s an example of just how much more contagious the Delta Variant is: While a person with the original COVID-19 would spread it to two or three others, a person with the delta variant is more likely to spread it to 5 others.

And COVID isn’t stopping at Delta, there are more variants on the way to KELOLAND.

“We are also seeing other variants that are out there some of them that have just been newly emerging, such as the Lambda Variant that has been identified in several states, and that is a variant that we don’t know a lot about yet, said Clayton.

Clayton says the fact that variants are continuing to emerge is always a concern. If you know someone who is on the fence about getting vaccinated they may want to consider this: The vast majority of current hospitalizations are those who are unvaccinated. According to Clayton, the one way we are going to get past the pandemic is through vaccination. He says there are currently three safe and effective options: Moderna, Pfizer, and Johnson & Johnson.

“They have shown their effectiveness time over time, they’ve shown their safety time over time, and while you may hear about some rare events occurring there are no large-scale negative effects of the COVID-19 vaccines. So we do encourage all individuals to get vaccinated against COVID-19 and help stop this pandemic,” said Clayton.

Most new cases in South Dakota are people in their 20’s followed by people in their 30’s. Clayton says they will be tracking cases from the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally to monitor the impact of large gatherings in the state.

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