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Dr. Wilde says omicron variant concerning, too early to sound alarm

Active COVID Cases In South Dakota.jpeg

As South Dakotans gathered for the Thanksgiving holiday, coronavirus cases were continuing to climb — with the state reporting 7,250 active cases and 8 more deaths on Wednesday.

Additionally, reports of the new omicron variant continue to rise.

Dr. Mike Wilde is the Chief Medical Officer at Sanford Health. He says it is still too early to tell if it’s worth sounding the alarm over the new variant.

“Some of its genetic makeup does make it a variant of concern, however, we have seen this before with other variants and they haven’t turned out to cause that big of an issue. And then of course variants like the delta variant turn seem to be more transmissible and certainly did cause a lot of issues. So, we’re really just waiting to see.”

Wilde says getting vaccinated and taking basic COVID mitigation measures are the best precautionary measures people can take.

11/29/21 COVID Update

Note: The data presented is from the previous day — Tuesday updates include data from over the weekend (Saturday 1 pm CT - Monday 1 pm CT)

  • State’s death toll: 2,328 (+8 from the previous report)
    • Note: 'Death toll' indicates the number of deaths among people with COVID, but COVID may not have been the sole cause of death.
    • Deaths verifiably caused by COVID: 2,071 (updated weekly)
  • Active cases: 7,253 (+173)
  • Eligable South Dakotans fully vaccinated: 53.25% (-7%)
    • NOTE: Percent of the population with 1-dose, series complete, and booster dose has been updated to reflect the 5+ year old population. There was a decrease of 7% from the 12+ year old population. The change was made to align with the vaccine-eligible population, which now includes children ages 5-11 years.
  • Vaccine boosters administered: 113,055
  • Currently hospitalized: 234 (+3)
    • Note: Currently Hospitalized numbers include COVID-19 cases and people that are in the hospital under transmission-based precautions. The number may include out-of-state cases and people.

The vaccination of children ages 5 to 11 against COVID-19 is well underway.

The Food and Drug Administration has given the OK for fully vaccinated Americans who are age 18 and older to receive a COVID-19 booster shot.

Click here to find a vaccine

The current advice from the CDC is to mask up indoors if you live in a place with "substantial" or "high" coronavirus transmission. In South Dakota, that's all but Harding and Aurora counties.

Click here to learn more