The State Department of Health confirmed that the B.1.1.7 variant (the “U.K. variant”) of COVID-19 has been detected in South Dakota. The findings were verified by an out-of-state commercial laboratory. So far, there have been two identified cases of the variant, and neither patient was hospitalized, and both have since recovered. According to the Department of Health, both cases were Minnehaha County residents.
State Health Secretary Kim Malsam-Rysdon said that the variant is something the Department and partners have been closely monitoring. She said that people need to continue to practice good hygiene, get tested if they produce COVID-like symptoms, and get vaccinated as soon as they are able.
The state reports that current COVID-19 vaccines have proven safe and effective against this variant.