Nebraska is not alone in changing what virus data it reports, but most states have continued to update their online COVID-19 dashboards at least on weekdays. Iowa and South Dakota recently switched to reporting virus data only on a weekly basis.
In South Dakota, health officials also stopped holding monthly news conferences. They justified the decision to scale back reporting because infection rates in the state hit their lowest rate since the pandemic began. But state health officials also have continued to issue reminders that the pandemic is not over and the delta variant poses a new threat.
South Dakota state epidemiologist Josh Clayton last month said he is concerned that coronavirus cases in the state will follow a similar trend as last year, slowing during the summer only to make a resurgence in the fall.
Although health officials say they still think the state can reach a goal of getting 70% of eligible people vaccinated, the rate of vaccinations has slowed to a trickle. About 53% of eligible people have been fully vaccinated, according to the Department of Health.
Iowa health officials said switching to weekly updates is part of the state’s “transition to COVID-19 pandemic recovery.” Gov. Kim Reynolds has said she believes it is time for the state to get back to normal now that case counts have slowed and nearly half of Iowa’s population has been vaccinated.