First COVID-19 omicron variant case detected in South Dakota

Published: Dec. 22, 2021 at 12:53 PM CST
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PIERRE, S.D. (KTIV) - Health officials have confirmed South Dakota’s first case of the omicron COVID-19 variant.

The case was identified in Minnehaha County with a male in his 20s. Officials with the South Dakota Department of Health say it safe to assume other cases across the state may exist already given the variant’s increased transmission.

“The best way to protect yourself from severe disease with this variant is to get vaccinated,” said Joshua Clayton, State Epidemiologist. “We urge South Dakotans to monitor for symptoms and get tested as soon as they experience symptoms.”

Officials say concerns with the omicron variant include a greater transmission rate from person to person, reduced effectiveness with existing treatments and reduced protection of the COVID-19 vaccine. However, currently available vaccines have so far proven effective to protect people against hospitalization and death from COVID-19.

More information on COVID-19 variants can be found at the CDC’s website here.

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