State again passes 7,000 active cases


HURON — An active caseload number first reached as the state was entrenched in a significant swarm of new positive cases in October 2020, and last seen as the state came down from that deadly wave in December, has again been reached, according to Friday’s South Dakota Department of Health (DOH) COVID-19 numbers.

The state added 615 new positive cases, five new deaths, and 328 new recovered cases Friday. This puts the active caseload in the state at 7,032.

The state first eclipsed 7,000 active cases on Oct. 15, 2020. Active cases reached a daily peak of 19,359 a month later on Nov. 15. That wave of cases began to subside around the time vaccines first became available in the state, and Dec. 26 was the last day the state reported more than 7,000 active cases. The current upswing in cases has now surpassed that number again.

Beadle County added 13 new positive cases Friday along with one new recovered case. The county now has 65 active cases of the virus.

The Heartland Region added 23 new positive cases and three new recovered cases among the seven counties in the region in Friday’s DOH report. That brings the region up to 146 active cases.

DOH did note the Delta variant is now the predominant variant in the state, with 199 cases of the variant found in the state. The DOH dashboard does indicate that variant numbers are to be considered a sign of much larger spread, however, as genomic sequencing for variants is only done with a sampling of the tests done across the state, not every positive test within the state, so the true number of Delta variant cases in the state could be exponentially higher, as the confirmed cases of the variant has grown by more than 150 cases in six weeks.

While virus cases accelerate, vaccination continues to stay at a slow but steady pace.

The state added 5,057 first-time recipients of the vaccine to the rolls the past week. In total, the state has now administered 762,724 doses of vaccine to 410,940 persons in the state. Of those, 378,632 are fully vaccinated.

By percentage, the state has now seen 62.8% of eligible South Dakotans receive at least one dose of vaccine and 57.1% of eligible residents now fully vaccinated. The fully vaccinated in the state comprise 42.7% of the entire population of the state.

Beadle County’s vaccination rates went up by a better percentage than the state’s but still remain far below the rates seen in May and June when the vaccine became eligible for all adults and then when it became eligible for youth aged 12 and up.

The county added 130 first-time recipients of the vaccine in the past week, bringing Beadle’s totals to 15,964 vaccine doses administered to 8,627 persons in the county with 8,026 of those now fully vaccinated.

The county has now seen 57.5% of all vaccine-eligible residents receive at least one dose of vaccine and 53.5% of eligible residents fully vaccinated. Beadle’s fully vaccinated make up 41.9% of the county’s overall population.

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