U.K. coronavirus variant confirmed in South Dakota

Published: Mar. 11, 2021 at 12:07 PM CST
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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - South Dakota health officials say the first cases of a variant coronavirus strain have been confirmed in the state.

The Department of Health confirmed Thursday that the B.1.1.7 variant - commonly called the “U.K. variant” - has been detected in South dakota.

Officials say the findings were verified by an out-of-state commercial laboratory. Thus far, there have been two identified cases of the variant, and neither patient was hospitalized, and both have since recovered.

“This variant is something our Department and partners have been closely monitoring,” said Kim Malsam-Rysdon, Secretary of Health. “I continue to encourage South Dakotans to practice good hygiene, get tested if they produce COVID-like symptoms, and get vaccinated as soon as your turn becomes available.”

The CDC has identified several different strains of the coronavirus, though the U.K. variant currently is the most widespread. Malsam-Rysdon said current COVID-19 vaccines have proven safe and effective against this variant.

South Dakotans can get more information on local opportunities to be vaccinated by clicking HERE. Additionally, state residents can request their FREE at-home COVID-19 test kits HERE.

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