PIERRE, S.D. – The South Dakota Department of Health (SD-DOH) can confirm that additional variants of the
COVID-19 virus have been detected in South Dakota. This includes one case of the B.1.351 (the “South African variant”) and five cases of B.1.429 (the “California variant”). The announcement comes two weeks after the B.1.1.7 variant (the “U.K. variant”) of COVID-19 was initially detected in the state, now at 14 cases.
“The appearance of new variants is something we have been tracking and preparing for,” said Dr. Joshua Clayton, State Epidemiologist. “Continuing mitigation practices, like washing hands, social distancing, and staying home when you are sick, help slow transmission rates. Getting tested as soon as COVID-19 symptoms are detected is key.”
The location(s) of the identified variants include: B.1.1.7: Brookings, Lyman, Minnehaha & Pennington County
B.1.351: Brookings County
B.1.429: Roberts County
Available COVID-19 vaccines have shown some reduced effectiveness against these variants but are safe and offer good protection. The SD-DOH strongly encourages state residents to choose getting vaccinated at their earliest convenience. On Monday, vaccination priority group 1E was opened statewide, covering approximately 227,000 South Dakotans.