SIOUX FALLS, S.D. — South Dakota will open COVID-19 vaccine availability to all state residents age 16-plus starting Monday, April 5, Gov. Kristi Noem announced in a video posted to Twitter on Wednesday, March 31.

"Late last year, under the leadership of President Trump, Operation Warp Speed was launched, with the end goal of delivering life saving vaccines to every American in our country," Noem said. "Now under the Biden administration, this initiative is yielding the fruits of such courageous efforts."

The population wide availability was previously projected to start May 1 but a growing vaccine supply and the state's vaccination progress have spurred broadening access earlier than expected, state health officials have said.

"This is definitely the result of the hard work of so many people working to vaccinate folks in our state," said Kim Malsam-Rysdon, thanking health care systems and providers, Department of Health staff, and the public for lining up to get vaccinated, in a Wednesday media briefing.

South Dakota is ranked third among states for its percentage of administering COVID-19 vaccines to its residents, according to a New York Times tracker.

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Combined with federal distribution programs in the Veterans Administration, the Indian Health Service and the federal pharmacy program, 43% of South Dakotans age 16 and up have gotten at least an initial vaccine shot, while 28% have gotten the full dosage of the vaccine, according to the state Department of Health.

For more information on where to get vaccinated and how to set up an appointment to do so, visit the state Department of Health COVID-19 vaccine information page: doh.sd.gov/COVID/Vaccine/Public.aspx.

The Department of Health also has a toll-free phone number for people to call to get help finding an appointment: 1-800-997-2880.

The state's speedy vaccination program is a central part of the state's battle against what appears to be a resurgent virus as case counts and hospitalizations have begun to rise in recent weeks.

Following are the South Dakota Department of Health COVID-19 case rates, deaths, hospitalizations and vaccinations as of Wednesday. Because all data is preliminary, some numbers and totals may change from one day to the next.

Statewide case rates

  • NEW CASES: 264 (seven-day daily average: 198)
  • TOTAL ACTIVE CASES: 2,522
  • TOTAL CASES: 117,759
  • TOTAL RECOVERED: 113,302

  • DAILY TEST POSITIVITY RATE: 11.3%

Hospitalizations, deaths

  • NEW HOSPITALIZATIONS: 20

  • ACTIVE HOSPITALIZATIONS: 104

  • TOTAL HOSPITALIZATIONS: 7,005

  • DEATHS, NEWLY REPORTED:

  • TOTAL DEATHS: 1,935

Vaccinations

  • INITIAL DOSE ADMINISTERED (IF 2-DOSE VACCINE): 244,553, total: 42.8% of population*

  • FULLY VACCINATED: 165,940, total: 28.4% of population

*(Vaccine dose count based on state distribution. Population percentage includes vaccines given to South Dakota residents through federal programs, including IHS and VA)

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