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The COVID Tracking Project will stop collecting data on March 7, 2021.

For months, we have been collecting COVID-19 data, scrutinizing publicly available data definitions, and engaging in frequent conversations with jurisdictions to understand the data they share.

During this process, we have focused on three aspects of COVID-19 data reporting: 1) how the state defines and reports key metrics, such as testing data, cases, hospitalizations, and deaths, 2) how the state presents information about COVID-19 in long-term-care facilities, and 3) how the state reports race and ethnicity data.

Our assessment below reflects both the thoroughness of South Dakota’s reporting and the completeness and clarity of their data descriptions. We hope this work will not only help our data users to better grasp the limitations of these numbers but also might help health officials to understand the differences in data reporting across jurisdictions.

We require data definitions to be accessible from a state’s data pages and presented in a location where it is clear they will be maintained. Examples include data definition documents, data FAQs, dashboard footnotes, or definitions appearing daily in press releases.

Last updated March 2, 2021

State-level metrics

Some issues exist:

  • does not publish what test types are included in their main testing metric
  • does not provide a testing metric clearly including only viral RNA tests
  • does not regularly provide antigen total test counts
  • does not regularly provide antigen positive test counts
  • data for multiple key metrics is hard to discover or access
  • does not provide latest tests and cases data in machine readable format
  • does not provide historical tests and cases data in machine readable format

Race and Ethnicity

Some issues exist:

  • does not report race / ethnicity data for tests
  • does not report cases for: Native Hawaiians or Other Pacific Islanders
  • does not report deaths for: Native Hawaiians or Other Pacific Islanders
  • reports race data for 95% of cases and 96% of deaths

Long-Term Care

Serious issues exist:

  • does not provide per-facility data
  • does not break out staff cumulative deaths state-wide