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South Dakota scales back COVID-19 reporting

The South Dakota Health Department will report COVID-19 data, including fatalities, hospitalizations and cases, weekly on Wednesdays at noon, posting data collected through 1 p.m. the previous day. The weekly reporting will begin Wednesday, July 7.

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A coronavirus graphic. Courtesy of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. — The South Dakota Department of Health will scale back its COVID-19 data reporting to a weekly update, it announced on its virus data dashboard on Friday, July 2.

The health department will report COVID-19 data, including fatalities, hospitalizations and cases, weekly on Wednesdays at noon, posting data collected through 1 p.m. the previous day. The weekly reporting will begin Wednesday, July 7.

While no reason for the change was given, it's likely because the pandemic situation in South Dakota is relatively stable, with the number of new cases, hospitalizations and deaths from COVID-19 lessening in recent months as thousands of South Dakotans have stepped up to get vaccinated against the virus.

The state is logging only about 90-100 new COVID-19 cases a week as of late. But the virus continues to claim new victims in South Dakota. The state's death toll mounted to 2,038 this week as state health officials reported eight new fatalities due to COVID-19.

The first confirmed case in South Dakota of the more contagious and deadly delta variant of COVID-19 was recently found by an out-of-state lab, the Department of Health announced Wednesday.

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And vaccination rates continue to slow, remaining well short of the state's goal of 70% of those eligible. As of Friday, about 57% of those age 12 or older in the state have gotten at least an initial vaccine shot.

The department has previously scaled down its publication of COVID-19 data before, dropping weekend publication in mid-May and ending weekly pandemic-related press conferences with health officials in mid-June.

The following weekly summary of South Dakota cases, deaths, hospitalizations and vaccinations are for the seven days ending Friday, July 2, based on data collected from the South Dakota Department of Health :

Statewide COVID-19 weekly summary

  • TOTAL CASES: 124,582 (+90)
  • TOTAL HOSPITALIZATIONS: 6,793 (-60)*
  • TOTAL RECOVERED: 122,377 (+85)

  • TOTAL DEATHS: 2,038 (+8)

  • VACCINATION PERCENTAGE (ONE-SHOT): 57% (+0.4%)

  • VACCINATION PERCENTAGE (SERIES COMPLETE): 52.7% (+0.6%)

Vaccination percentages include vaccines given to South Dakota residents through both state and federal programs, including through the Indian Health Service and the Department of Veterans Affairs, per the state Department of Health. The percentages are of eligible South Dakotans, those age 12 and older.
*According to the state Department of Health , the number of total hospitalizations has dropped in the past month as the department's data integrity processes have reclassified some counted hospitalizations as not actually due to COVID-19. Total hospitalizations have fallen 795, from a peak of 7,588 on May 28 to 6,793 hospitalizations reported Friday.

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Jeremy Fugleberg is an editor who manages coverage of health (NewsMD), history and true crime (The Vault) for Forum News Service, the regional wire service of Forum Communications Co, and is a member of the company's Editorial Advisory Board.
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