March 10, 2021 marks one anniversary of first case of COVID-19 in South Dakota

PIERRE, S.D.(DRGNews)- Today marks one year since the first case of COVID-19 was diagnosed in South Dakota. Tomorrow marks one year since the World Health Organization characterized COVID-19 as a global pandemic.

Dr. Mikel Holland is the President and Chief Medical Officer for Avera St. Mary’s Hospital in Pierre. He says the one year mark is “quite a milestone.”


Case numbers are down and COVID-19 vaccines are available, but Holland says people need to continue following safety recommendations.


Medical employees at all levels saw work loads and stress levels increase dramatically when the pandemic began and while the current work days are more “normal,” Holland says they know COVID isn’t going to disappear anytime soon.


Holland says being able to get vaccinated and to vaccinate the public has been great for morale.


March 10, 2021, the South Dakota Department of Health opened up vaccine eligibility to the remainder of the people in priority group 1D which includes teachers, childcare workers, college staff, college students living in dormitories and funeral workers.