Cheyenne River went up to Level 3 this week. We went from “low risk and minimal threat to public health” to “moderate risk and medium threat to public health.” This means a curfew is now in place from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. MDT. Masks are still required.
In his daily broadcast on August 3, Chairman Harold Frazier said, “as of today we are going up top Level 3. So we’ll I have a curfew that will go into effect beginning tonight. We are continuing to follow the Response levels. Right now that’s where we’re at. Starting today we’ll be at Level 3.”
The trend on CRST follows the national one of increased infections, largely due to new cases in children and unvaccinated adults. Even though the percentage of breakthrough cases in vaccinated adults due to the Delta variant is in the single digits, new infections are happening.
The new variant is massively contagious, much more so than the original strain of SARS_CoV_2. While those who contract a breakthrough case recover quickly, the unvaccinated are filling hospitals coast to coast. The national 7-day daily average of cases has not been this high since February 15, 2021.
In South Dakota only 47% of the population is fully vaccinated. Far below the national goal of 70% and deep down on the leaderboard behind states with vaccination rates about 70% or even 80%.
The milestone set by President Biden to have 70% of all adults partially vaccinated passed back on the Fourth of July, but was met a month later.
According to the New York Times, the President’s goal “evaporated in recent weeks as the Delta variant spread rapidly, putting pressure on hospitals in regions with low vaccination rates, including many politically conservative areas in the south. Southern Missouri and Northern Arkansas, for instance, have been hard hit, swamping hospitals.”
97% of hospitalized patients have not been vaccinated.
At an event in Cincinnati, Ohio, on July 26, President Biden said, “We have a pandemic for those who haven’t gotten a vaccination. It’s that basic, that simple.” According to Dr. Megan Ranney, the breakthrough cases are notable not because the vaccine doesn’t work, but because breakthrough cases are so very rare. Dr. Thanh Neville, ICU physician and researcher at UCLA Health, recently wrote, “I cannot understand the simultaneous decision to not get vaccinated and the demand to end the restrictions imposed by a pandemic… Their inaction is a decision to let this pandemic continue to rage.”
Vermont, Hawaii, Massachusetts, Connecticut and Maine lead the way with the percentages of their populations being vaccinated. 77.9% of people in the Green Mountain State are fully vaccinated, 64.8% in the Aloha State, 74.7% in the Bay State, 74.9% in the Constitution State, and 74.1% in the Pine Tree State. In South Dakota, the number is 59.9%, up only 0.4% since last week.