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COVID-19 current case count

August 1, 2022

COVID-19 Response Plan Level 3

To follow along for tribal COVID-19 updates, follow the “CRST COVID-19 Updates” Facebook page. The reservation is still on a Level 3 Response Plan. 

According to the July 27 South Dakota Department of Health COVID-19 dashboard, 2,956 people have died during the pandemic, up 9 deaths from the week prior. The new deaths were from Brown, Lawrence, Lincoln, Lyman, Marshall, Meade, Minnehaha, Pennington and Tripp counties.

South Dakota’s total case count is now at 250,286, an increase of 1,498 cases from last week. This total does not include at-home positive results, which are not required to be reported to the state.

New variant

The latest COVID-19 variant comprises nearly 80% of new cases nationally, raising additional health concerns due to its ability to infect people even if they are vaccinated or have had a prior infection. Nationally, health officials are increasingly recommending precautions such as masking indoors and staying up to date on booster shots.

The BA.5 variant, which arrived in the United State at the end of April, is more contagious than previous variants. This means high case counts are likely, but not necessarily drastic spikes in hospitalizations and deaths due to the fact that vaccines and other forms of immunity can blunt the impact of infection.

The BA.5 surge is a strong reminder that the pandemic is not over. Experts suggest the following precautions: 

Find new community COVID-19 indicators. Home testing has complicated the recording of case numbers, blurring real-time tracking of the virus. Experts recommend checking the local news and tapping into your social networks. When more of your close contacts are getting COVID-19 or being reinfected more frequently, it’s a good signal to take precautions.

Max out vaccines and boosters.

Always wear masks.

Keep rapid tests on hand. Bookend social events by testing before and three to five days afterwards. Each household can order three rounds of free tests — or 16 tests in total — from the government.

If you’re traveling, find out how to get treatment. Set aside some money, if possible, and read health or travel insurance policies carefully to see which expenses are covered if you have to extend your trip because of COVID-19. Research clinics and pharmacies at your destination. If you are at high risk for complications, or are immuno-compromised, talk to your doctor about the monoclonal antibody treatment of Evusheld before you travel.

“Living with it” in South Dakota

South Dakota health care and school officials are moving from active prevention and intervention to an official stance of “living with the virus” this fall.

Sioux Falls, South Dakota’s largest school district, approved a Continue to Learn Plan for 2022-23 that eliminates the district’s Virtual Academy option, which was open for families uncomfortable with in-person classes during the height of the  pandemic.

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