The South Dakota Department of Health (SD-DOH) announced in a press release this week that the COVID-19 Delta variant is now present in South Dakota.

South Dakota had been the only state in the country that the more easily transmissible divergent strain of the virus had not appeared in yet. That distinction came to an end on June 30, 2021.

One case of this type of COVID-19 was found in Edmunds county, according to the SD-DOH. It was confirmed by an out-of-state laboratory and the health department said they assumed more cases will be discovered.

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SD-DOH Secretary Kim Malsalm-Rysdon said"

“We are closely following this development and would like to reiterate, to all South Dakotans, the importance of getting tested and vaccinated against the COVID-19 virus, with easier access to the vaccine and testing, it has never been easier to protect yourself, your family, and our communities.”

This variant of the pandemic virus was first found in India and continues to ravage that country's population. The Delta variant has become the dominant strain of COVID-19 in the United Kingdom and as of Wednesday, seven Australian cities have gone back to lockdown status to prevent its spread.

The good news is that being vaccinated against the virus, even if you do contract this strain, will prevent your hospitalization and death.

The somewhat distressing news is that there are a number of variants of this awful disease which you can find out more about from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

You can stay up-to-date with all COVID-19 developments and news with the South Dakota Department of Health.

Sources: Dakota News Now, South Dakota Department of Health, Centers for Disease Control & Prevention, the BBC, Scientific American, and John Hopkins University.

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