COVID-19 cases on the rise again

New booster will be available early this fall

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COVID-19 is still present and beginning a new surge.

As of the July 27, 2022 weekly update on the South Dakota Department of Health’s COVID-19 dashboard, there were 1,498 new confirmed and probable cases in South Dakota. Active cases are now at 4,390, up from the previous week’s 4,176 active cases.

South Dakota’s 66 counties are listed as having “high” or “substantial” community spread. “High” community spread is 100 cases or more per 100,000, or a ten percent or greater PCR test positivity rate.

Kingsbury County, which is currently listed as having a “high” community spread, had eight new confirmed and probable cases last week and 12 active cases according to the Department of Health’s website.

COVID-19 VACCINES

Seventy-four percent of the population of 5-years-old and above has received at least one dose of the vaccine; 60 percent have completed the vaccination series. Only 34 percent of those eligible have completed their booster dose.

U.S. regulators are no longer considering a second COVID-19 booster shot for this summer; they are focusing instead on vaccines for the fall that will target the newest viral subvariants.

All the COVID-19 vaccines given in the United States have been based on the original version of the virus that began spreading in early 2020.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) told vaccine makers in June that any boosters for the fall would need to combine protection against the original strain, the omicron BA.4 and BA.5 variants.

The two omicron subvariants are more contagious than predecessors and are responsible for nearly all of the virus spread in the United States this year.

The FDA expects Pfizer and Moderna to have an updated version of their shots available as early as September.

“You can still benefit from existing booster options and leave time to receive an updated booster in the fall,” the FDA said in a statement.

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