Despite infections on the rise nationwide thanks to the emergence of the Delta Variant of COVID-19, South Dakota's new case numbers are among the lowest in America.

Forbes is reporting that the Mount Rushmore State has reported the second-fewest new infections overall, trailing only Vermont.

The latest data from the South Dakota Department of Health shows an infection rate of just 6.7 per 100,000 residents in the Mount Rushmore State. Vermont's rate was 5.3.

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South Dakota and Vermont are two of only five states with fewer than ten new cases per 100,000 residents. Maine (8.9), Maryland (9.5), and Pennsylvania (9.5) are the others.

Vaccination rates are helping keep the number of new infections down. Vermont leads the country with a partial vaccination rate above 70%, a little more than 57% of South Dakotans have had at least one shot.

The numbers aren't so good in other parts of the United States.

The Centers for Disease Control says the national average is 37.4 new infections per 100,000 people. But the overall numbers are still down - 17,736 new cases per day last week compared to more than 250,000 in January.

The current hotspots are Missouri and Arkansas.

In Missouri, infections are up nearly 70 percent - with 165.4 new cases per 100,000 people. Arkansas had 161.7 infections per 100,000 people, up almost 50% in one week.

Both states have lower-than-average vaccination rates: Arkansas has given at least one vaccine shot to just 42.8% of its residents, and Missouri’s partial vaccination rate is 45.8%.

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