There are currently 12,578 active cases of COVID-19 in South Dakota (population of 884,600) – which translates to one out of 70 South Dakotans now sick with COVID.
Many counties, including Brookings, are following a similar pattern as the state (and the country):
The USA has the highest number of cases since the pandemic’s beginning. The significant increase began around December 21st.
Hospitalizations typically occur about one week after cases are diagnosed. The increase in hospitalizations began around December 28th.
Based on earlier data that was not Omicron, deaths typically occur about one week after cases are hospitalized. Therefore, an increase in deaths would be expected about one week after the rise in hospitalizations. South Dakota is about two weeks behind the rest of the country, with case numbers skyrocketing this past week.
Vaccines are Important Being fully vaccinated reduces the risk of testing positive for COVID, hospitalization, and death (https://covid.cdc.gov/covid-data-tracker/#rates-by-vaccine-status and NYC Health Dept https://www1.nyc.gov/site/doh/covid/covid-19-data.page#daily [hospitalization by vaccine data not available nationally]; all downloaded on 1/4/2022).
Vaccination rates in South Dakota are below the national average (https://www.washingtonpost.com/graphics/2020/health/covid-vaccine-states-distribution-doses/?itid=sn_coronavirus_5/):
- 57% of the state’s total population is fully vaccinated (vs. 62% nationally)
- 19% of the state’s total population have received a booster (34% of fully vaccinated people)
- 49% of the county’s total population is fully vaccinated
The low COVID vaccination rates will lead to an increase in hospitalizations as the number of cases increase. This will be on top of what looks like is going to be a bad flu year:
Health care workers are already stressed. Now would be a good time to thank any health care workers you know. They are in for a hectic winter.
Updated Mortality Data:
The SDDOH has updated mortality data (provisional) through October 2021. There have been a total of 3,256 more deaths in 2020 and 2021 (through October) than the average number of deaths between 2010 and 2019.
Brookings County (highest level of spread)
- 5,968 total cases: 223 new cases this week vs. 87 in the previous week. Of the new cases this past week:
- 19% were under 20 years of age (vs. 24% last week)
- 50% were 20-39 years (vs. 34% last week)
- 22% were 40-59 years (vs. 33% last week)
- 9% were 60 years or older (vs. 8% last week)
- Since December 29th, the largest percentage increase in cases has been in the 30-39 and 40-49 year age groups (5% increase each). However, the largest increase in the number of cases has been in the 20-29 year age group (n=70).
- 405 active cases (258 last week)
- Test positivity (PCR) this past week was 23.8% compared to 14.3% last week. You want this below 5%, and the lower, the better. With the availability of at-home testing kits, this has become more difficult to interpret.
- 177 Brookings County residents have been hospitalized with COVID: 1 new hospitalization posted this past week compared to 3 in the previous week.
- 41 Brookings County residents have died of COVID: no deaths were reported this past week compared to no deaths in the previous week.
- 56% of Brookings County and South Dakota residents have received at least one vaccine (same as last week).
South Dakota (highest level of spread)
- 185,284 cases: 6,889 new cases this week vs. 3,146 in the previous week. Of the new cases this past week:
- 18% were under 20 years of age (vs. 19% last week)
- 42% were 20-39 years (vs. 38% last week)
- 26% were 40-59 years (vs. 28% last week)
- 14% were 60 years or older (vs. 16% last week)
- 12,578 active cases (7,871 last week)
- Test positivity (PCR) this past week was 26.6% compared to 16.2% the previous week. You want this below 5%, and the lower, the better. With the availability of at-home testing kits, this has become more difficult to interpret.
- 9,163 South Dakota residents have been admitted to in-state hospitals with COVID: 105 people were admitted to in-state hospitals this week vs. 108 last week. Of those admitted this past week:
- 6% were less than 20 years of age (vs. 3% last week)
- 12% were 20-39 years (vs. 11% last week)
- 14% were 40-59 years (vs. 27% last week)
- 68% were 60 years of age and older (vs. 59% last week)
- 287 people currently hospitalized vs. 237 hospitalized last Wednesday (77 currently in the ICU vs. 76 last week)
- 2,507 South Dakotans have died from COVID: 33 deaths were reported this week vs. 24 in the previous week. Of those who died this past week:
- 2 was 20-39 years of age
- 8 were 40-59 years of age
- 23 were 60 years of age & older
- 58.04 million cases: 3.89 million new cases this week vs. 1.89 in the previous week
- 851,475 total deaths: 9,341 deaths this week vs. 11,171 in the previous week
- 296.4 million cases: 13.31 million cases this week vs. 6.42 million in the previous week
- 5.47 million deaths: 47,090 deaths this week vs. 42,181 in the previous week
As far as vaccines, it’s time to get boosted if it’s been 2-6 months since you completed the series (2 months for J&J, 5 months for Pfizer, 6 months for Moderna). The Omicron variant is likely not to be here for very long and will spread through South Dakota quickly, finding whoever is susceptible, including some vaccinated folks. Fortunately, people who have been vaccinated, especially those who have been boosted, are likely to do much better in terms of the severity of illness.
Something to think about: Have you ever wondered why some people are worried about the unknown long-term side-effects of the vaccine but not the unknown long-term side-effects of the virus?
Be safe and take care of each other.