SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) — State Department of Health officials said Thursday that the variant strain of the coronavirus first detected in the United Kingdom has now been confirmed in South Dakota.
Health officials said two cases have been reported and both of the patients recovered at home. State Secretary of Health Kim Malsam-Rysdon said in a release that her department has been “closely monitoring” the progression of the new variant.
This variant strain of the virus was first detected in the United Kingdom in September 2020 and has been found in numerous countries around the world. It is thought to be more contagious than other previously identified strains.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention tally as of Tuesday showed that only South Dakota and Oklahoma had yet to report a case of the UK variant. Neighboring states North Dakota had four cases, Minnesota had 78, Montana had three, Nebraska had seven, Iowa had 20 and Wyoming had nine.
South Dakota health officials on Thursday reported 203 new virus cases, increasing the total number of positive tests to 114,163 since the start of the pandemic. The death toll increased by one, to 1,905.