First West River COVID-19 case reported, statewide cases jump to 28

PIERRE, S.D. – South Dakota COVID-19 cases grow to 28 with the first case announced West River.

Governor Kristi Noem held a press conference Monday morning addressing the new cases of coronavirus in the state. Noem stresses that projections show 30 percent of the state population could become infected between now and early June. She says she expects to see “dramatic increases in infections over the next eight weeks.”

Since the weekend, there are seven new positive test results:

  • Two in Beadle County
  • One in Codington County
  • One in Davison County
  • One in Hughes County
  • One in Lyman County
  • One in McCook County

Noem says three of the new patients are being hospitalized and of the new cases, the Department of Health is investigating who they may have been in contact with.

State statistics indicate a case in Pennington County but, officials say the patient who died of the virus was not West River in the weeks before hospitalization.

At the South Dakota Public Health Laboratory, 762 tests have come back negative and 265 tests are still pending. From commercial labs, over 700 tests await results. Noem says she expects those results in the next day or two.

State officials continue to stress good hygiene, hand-washing, and social distancing. “You have every opportunity to protect your family by staying home,” said Noem.

Later Monday, Noem will be signing an executive order “that provides guidelines to businesses and healthcare providers” that will use science and facts on how to operate moving forward.

Unemployment numbers are also rising alongside the number of coronavirus cases. Monday morning, Noem said during the week of March 2, there were 185 unemployment claims. In normal circumstances, she says there are 11 staff members in the department and since the influx of claims, 16 staff members were added to take calls.

Noem says the state must be prepared to sustain operations for the next eight weeks, at the least.

Categories: Coronavirus, Local News, South Dakota News