PIERRE, S.D. (KELO) — South Dakota is now reporting confirmed cases of three different COVID-19 variants.
The South Dakota Department of Health announced Thursday the state has 14 cases of the UK variant (B.117), five cases of the California variant (B.1.429) and one case of the South African variant (B.1.351).
The UK variant is now confirmed in four counties — Brookings, Lyman, Minnehaha and Pennington, while the South African variant has been confirmed in Brookings County and the California variant in Roberts County.
Health officials said they’ve been preparing for new variants.
“Continuing mitigation practices, like washing hands, social distancing, and staying home when you are sick, help slow transmission rates. Getting tested as soon as COVID-19 symptoms are detected is key,” State Epidemiologist Dr. Joshua Clayton said in a statement.
Officials also stress available COVID-19 vaccines have shown some reduced effectiveness against these variants but are safe and offer good protection.