SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) — South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem marked the occasion of the state opening vaccines to adults 16 and older Monday by receiving her first dose of the vaccine.

The governor, who has taken a mostly hands-off approach to restrictions during the pandemic, has encouraged people to get the vaccine, saying she is “trusting people to do the right thing.”

Health officials reported that 46% of the state's population has received one dose of a vaccine. South Dakota also has one of the nation's highest rates of people fully vaccinated — about 25% of the population, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The rolling average number of daily new infections has also decreased by about 10% over the last two weeks. However, health officials have warned that new variants of the virus spread infections more easily.

The Department of Health reported 156 new cases Monday and tracked 2,485 active infections statewide. Hospitalizations dropped to 88, and no new deaths were reported. The state's 1,938 COVID-19 related deaths during the pandemic mark the nation's eighth-highest rate of deaths per capita.