News Flash


Posted on: January 13, 2022

Winter COVID Case Surge


Winter Surge in Cases

COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations are rising in South Dakota and nationwide, largely due to the spread of the more contagious omicron variant. There is some evidence this variant may be less likely to cause severe illness if you are fully vaccinated and boosted, but any case of COVID-19 can lead to difficult symptoms, hospitalization, and long-term health effects. 

This winter's surge impacts us all, including people who are vaccinated and those who were previously infected. Everyone is at risk of infection, but unvaccinated people are significantly more likely to have severe illness from COVID-19, including from the omicron variant. 

Fight the Spread

Prevent the spread of COVID-19 by following the guidance from the CDC's latest advisory on COVID-19 prevention.

  • Get vaccinated and a booster shot.
  • Avoid crowded indoor spaces and large gatherings. It is especially important to avoid nonessential gathering if you are an older adult or have a health condition that increases your risk of severe COVID-19.
  • When you are indoors, wear a higher-grade mask or respirator, such as a KN95 or KF94, or a cloth mask over a disposable mask. If you do not have a higher-grade mask, it is still important to wear whatever mask you can
    • When outside, unvaccinated people should wear a mask everywhere and vaccinated people should be masked in crowded outdoor spaces. 
  • Get tested regularly. Testing is especially important if you have COVID-19 symptoms or were recently in contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19, and before and after traveling or gathering with others. 

We can all work to reduce the spread of COVID-19 by staying informed and taking the necessary steps in prevention.

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