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In South Dakota, active COVID-19 cases hit all-time high

Health systems in the state regularly report that the overwhelming majority of those hospitalized for COVID-19 are those who aren't vaccinated. Vaccination rates in the state have remained below the national average and continue to creep up, with nearly 58% of the state's population received a full course of a vaccine, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Of those, about one in three has gotten a booster shot.

coronavirus.jpg
A graphic of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, that causes COVID-19.
Contributed / Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. — The number of people who have tested positive for COVID-19 and are still considered sick has hit a pandemic high, according to the South Dakota Department of Health on Tuesday, Jan. 11.

There are now 20,475 active cases of COVID-19 in the state, rising 3,256 since Monday on the strength of several thousand new positive tests gathered over the weekend and added to Tuesday's case count.

COVID-19 hospitalizations rose eight to 315 statewide, the highest tally since Dec. 23, 2020. While hospitalizations remain elevated, they're nearly half of the all-time high recorded in mid-November 2020, when active cases last peaked at 19,240 — before vaccines were available.

Health systems in the state regularly report that the overwhelming majority of those hospitalized for COVID-19 are those who aren't vaccinated. Vaccination rates in the state have remained below the national average and continue to creep up, with nearly 58% of the state's population received a full course of a vaccine, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Of those, about one in three has gotten a booster shot.

The following are the state Department of Health COVID-19 case rates, deaths, hospitalizations and vaccinations tracked by the CDC as of Tuesday. All data is the latest available but should be considered preliminary and could be updated at a later date by health officials.

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Vaccinations

  • INITIAL DOSE ADMINISTERED (IF 2-DOSE VACCINE): 635,281 people, 71.8% of state's population*
  • FULLY VACCINATED: 509,896 people, 57.6% of state's population
  • BOOSTER DOSE RECEIVED: 182,802 people, 35.9x% of state's vaccinated population

*Note: The percentage presented here via the CDC differs from the state Department of Health percentage posted on its online dashboard, because the department's data indicates percentage of state population age 5 and older, not the state's total population.

Statewide case rates

  • NEW CASES: 4,110 (seven-day daily average: 2,016)*
  • CURRENT ACTIVE CASES: 20,475
  • TOTAL CASES: 195,204
  • TOTAL RECOVERED: 172,201

*Note: Tuesday's case count includes those reported over the previous weekend to the South Dakota Department of Health.

Hospitalizations, deaths

  • NEW HOSPITALIZATIONS: 66 (seven-day daily average: 24)
  • ACTIVE HOSPITALIZATIONS: 315
  • TOTAL HOSPITALIZATIONS: 9,316
  • DEATHS, NEWLY REPORTED AMONG CASES: 0
  • TOTAL DEATHS AMONG CASES: 2,528
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"We see through the data that when we have a high vaccination rate in facilities, absolutely we have less infection there," said North Dakota Long Term Care Association President Shelly Peterson. "It really does work. It really does make a difference."
They say the surging pandemic is stressing health systems by not only sending more people to the hospital, but also by taking staff away who are either sick with COVID-19, recovering, or have to stay home as caregivers because the virus has closed child care centers.
For the second day in a row, North Dakota reported more than 3,000 new coronavirus cases, a single-day threshold it had not met at any point during the pandemic prior to this week. Virus hospitalizations have climbed from 122 in the first week of January to 170 on Thursday.
The seven-day rolling average positive test rate reached 23.7%.