SIOUX FALLS, S.D. — A significant percentage of active COVID-19 cases in South Dakota are clustered in the state's western half, according to a weekly virus report by the state Department of Health, posted Wednesday, July 7 — the first of new weekly pandemic updates.

The seven counties span the Black Hills and Badlands region, its northern approaches, and include Rapid City, the state's second-largest city, accounts for more than half of the state's 171 active cases. Pennington County, home to Rapid City, is home to 53 active cases. By contrast, Minnehaha County, home to Sioux Falls and the state's most populous county, only has 20 active cases as of Wednesday.

The state continues to log 90-100 new COVID-19 cases each week in recent months. The state's death toll climbed to 2,039, with an additional fatality reported since Friday and four reported in the last seven days, according to the Department of Health.

The department also logged an additional two known cases of the delta variant of COVID-19, with the state's first confirmed case announced last week, bringing the known cases of the more transmissible and dangerous variant to 3.

The vaccination rate continues to slow to a glacial pace, falling well short of the state health officials' state goal of 70% vaccination rate among those eligible — those age 12 and older. As of Wednesday, 57% of the state has gotten at least one vaccination shot, with 53% now considered fully vaccinated.

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The following weekly summary of South Dakota cases, deaths, hospitalizations and vaccinations are for the seven days ending Wednesday, July 7, based on data collected from the South Dakota Department of Health. This weekly summary is different than previous weekly summaries and overlaps our previous reporting, because the department this week began reporting COVID-19 data on a weekly basis, on Wednesdays:

Statewide COVID-19 weekly summary

  • TOTAL CASES: 124,641 (+105)
  • TOTAL HOSPITALIZATIONS: 6,749 (-82)*
  • TOTAL RECOVERED: 122,424 (+71)

  • TOTAL DEATHS: 2,039 (+4)

  • VACCINATION PERCENTAGE (ONE-SHOT): 57.1% (+0.1%)

  • VACCINATION PERCENTAGE (SERIES COMPLETE): 52.9% (+0.3%)

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 839, from a peak of 7,588 on May 28 to 6,749 hospitalizations reported Friday.

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