Dec 1, 2021: COVID Weekly Update, Omicron & South Dakota Deaths

A few things about the Omicron variant*

  • November 26th – the WHO designated the Omicron variant (B.1.1.529) a variant of concern
  • A large number of mutations in the spike protein – may be more transmissible and associated with ‘immune escape.’
  • Main uncertainties:
    • How transmissible the variant is
    • Whether any increases are related to immune escape (via natural infection or vaccine)
    • How well vaccines protect against infection and clinical disease (severity, death)
    • Whether the variant presents with a different clinical profile.
  • Many questions should be answered within the next couple of weeks.
  • As long as there are cases of COVID-19, there will be variants that mutate: 
    • A better job needs to be done to vaccinate the majority of the world population to minimize the number of COVID-19 cases.
    • Fewer cases mean fewer numbers of possible viral mutations.  
  • CDC is continuously monitoring variants – Omicron was detected in the USA on December 1st
  • Everyone knows what it takes to prevent the spread of COVID-19:
    • wear a mask in public indoor settings in areas of substantial or high community spread
    • washing hands frequently
    • physically distance from others
    • avoid poorly ventilated spaces
  • CDC also recommends:
    • Everyone 5 years and older should protect themselves by getting fully vaccinated
    • COVID-19 vaccine booster dose for those who are eligible:
      • Pfizer or Moderna:
        • everyone 18 years or older
        • 6 or more months after completing the primary series
      • J&J
        • everyone 18 years or older
        • 2 or more months after the original vaccine

* Sources include: https://www.who.int/publications/m/item/enhancing-readiness-for-omicron-(b.1.1.529)-technical-brief-and-priority-actions-for-member-states, https://www.cdc.gov/media/releases/2021/s1126-B11-529-omicron.html, and https://www.cdc.gov/media/releases/2021/s1201-omicron-variant.html

Weekly Updates

A few highlights:

  • Mortality data for September of 2021 were updated.  The highest number of South Dakota deaths ever reported since 1960 during October, November, and December were seen in 2020, and the highest number of deaths ever reported in September was in 2021.  COVID was the third leading cause of death in September, with heart disease and cancer being the first and second leading causes.
  • Mobility data for South Dakota & Brookings County were updated through 11/26/21.
  • Monthly K-12 and higher ed data came out this week (https://doh.sd.gov/documents/COVID19/School-College_COVID_cases.pdf)
    • SDSU had 10 additional cases reported this past month, with a total of 98 cases since August 8.
    • Of the 899 K-12 schools, 647 schools have no active cases, 14 have 1-2 active cases, and 78 have 3 or more active cases.  Brookings Mickelson Middle School is one of the 78 schools that have 3 or more active cases. 

Brookings County (highest level of spread)

  • 5,389 total cases:  70 new cases this week vs. 70 in the previous week.  Of the new cases this past week:
    • 19% were under 20 years of age (vs. 28% last week)
    • 56% were 20-39 years (vs. 47% last week)
    • 14% were 40-59 years (vs. 18% last week)
    • 11% were 60 years or older (vs. 7% last week)
  • Since November 24th, the largest percentage increase in cases has been in the 0-9 year age group (4% increase, n=10). However, the largest increase in the number of cases has been in the 30-39 year age group (n=20), closely followed by the 20-29 year age group (n=19). 
  • 169 active cases (139 last week)
  • Test positivity (PCR) this past week was 10.4% compared to 8.0% last week.  You want this below 5%, and the lower, the better. 
  • 163 Brookings County residents have been hospitalized with COVID: there were no new hospitalizations posted this past week compared to 2 in the previous week.
  • 41 Brookings County residents have died of COVID: 1 new death was reported this past week compared to 1 death in the previous week.
  • 54% of Brookings County residents and 55% of South Dakota residents have received at least one vaccine. 

South Dakota (highest level of spread)

  • 167,144 cases: 2,852 new cases this week vs. 3,300 in the previous week.  Of the new cases this past week:
    • 23% were under 20 years of age (vs. 23% last week)
    • 34% were 20-39 years (vs. 32% last week)
    • 26% were 40-59 years (vs. 27% last week)
    • 17% were 60 years or older (vs. 18% last week)
  • 7,222 active cases (7,080 last week)
  • Test positivity (PCR) this past week was 16.1% compared to 15.8% the previous week.  You want this below 5%, and the lower, the better. 
  • 8,468 South Dakota residents have been admitted to in-state hospitals with COVID: 129 people were admitted to in-state hospitals this week vs. 128 last week.  Of those admitted this past week:  
    • 4% were less than 20 years of age (vs. 4% last week)
    • 15% were 20-39 years (vs. 15% last week)
    • 22% were 40-59 years (vs. 26% last week)
    • 59% were 60 years of age and older (vs. 55% last week)
  • 249 people currently hospitalized vs. 231 hospitalized last Wednesday (68 currently in the ICU vs. 67 last week)
  • 2,349 South Dakotans have died from COVID:  29 deaths were reported this week vs. 23 in the previous week.  Of those who died this past week: 
    • 6 was 40-59 years
    • 23 were 60 years of age & older

USA

  • 49.42 million cases:  593,697 new cases this week vs. 673,839 in the previous week
  • 803,045 total deaths:  6,726 deaths this week vs. 10,051 in the previous week

Worldwide

  • 263.0 million cases: 4.00 million cases this week vs. 3.95 million in the previous week
  • 5.23 million deaths: 49,796 deaths this week vs. 53,482 in the previous week 

Take care of yourself & your neighbors. We are all in this together.

Published by Bonnysblog78398238

I'm interested in numbers.

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