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South Dakota's active COVID cases soar to highest level since arrival of vaccines

COVID-19 infections in South Dakota have surged to their highest level since vaccines became available.

The 12,578 active cases reported today are the most since Dec. 14, 2020, which was the day vaccines arrived in the state.

The count of active cases is up more than 5,000 in the past week. The state Health Department says the number of people currently in the hospital with COVID-19, which has often been above 200 this winter, is up to 287. About 32 percent of adult intensive-care beds in the state are currently occupied by COVID patients.

The state has also surpassed 2,500 COVID-related deaths since the start of the pandemic. The latest report of nine new deaths pushes the state’s total to 2,507.

The portion of eligible South Dakotans who are fully vaccinated remains at 56 percent. Meanwhile, health systems in the state report about 90 percent of hospitalized COVID patients are not vaccinated.

Information on free vaccines is available at