When it comes to fighting the COVID-19 pandemic, South Dakota is getting high marks from health officials.

The website Sykes, using data from the Centers for Disease Control’s COVID Data Tracker, has the Mount Rushmore State in the Top 20 nationally for the places with the best responses to Coronavirus based on:

  • Average COVID case rate 100,000
  • Average weekly growth rate of vaccine dose distribution per 100,000
  • Average-test positivity rate
  • Percent of vaccine doses used
  • Average number of hospital admissions per 100 beds
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According to the latest numbers from HealthData.gov, South Dakota actually landed in the Top 10 in two key categories - highest weekly growth of vaccine doses distributed in 2021 (#2 - 20.9%) and fewest cases in 2021 per 100,000 Residents (#9 - 133.7).

Two factors kept the state from ranking higher than 20th overall - a lack of mask mandates and stay-at-home orders. Those two elements combined for 15 percent of the overall response score.

But the overall rankings were a mixed bag when it came to mandates. Arkansas, Utah, and Oklahoma all lacked stay-at-home orders and landed in the bottom ten, while North Dakota was sixth-best in America, despite never instituting a statewide shutdown.

Kentucky, meanwhile, did enforce restrictions and mask mandates and still was tagged as the state with the worst response.


  1. Hawaii
  2. Maryland
  3. Washington
  4. Connecticut
  5. Pennsylvania
  6. North Dakota
  7. Oregon
  8. Wisconsin
  9. Illinois
  10. New Mexico


  1. Kentucky
  2. Oklahoma
  3. Georgia
  4. Utah
  5. South Carolina
  6. Arkansas
  7. New York
  8. Florida
  9. Arizona
  10. Texas

According to the latest numbers from the South Dakota Department of Health, there are 1,385 active COVID-19 cases in the state. 102 people are currently hospitalized.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, there have been 108,010 confirmed coronavirus cases in South Dakota with 1,976 deaths.

To date, 604,903 doses of COVID-19 vaccine to 331,863 people in the state, which is 55 percent of the population.

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