Gov. Noem visits Rapid City to discuss COVID-19 concerns

RAPID CITY, S.D. — As coronavirus testing continues in South Dakota, processing those tests is on standby.

The state does not have the necessary tools to get test results, but Gov. Kristi Noem is hoping they’ll arrive in-state within the next day. Noem was in Rapid City on Wednesday to discuss COVID-19 concerns west river. Gov. Noem, along with the state’s health secretary, visited with Monument Health’s president and chief medical officer. The good news, for at least a day, there were no new cases of coronavirus in South Dakota. The number of confirmed cases holding at 11.

Noem said, “We don’t have any at this time a defined community spread. That means we don’t have anybody in the state of South Dakota that we can’t track how they got infected.”

But the big concern right now is the inability to process the tests that have been performed. There’s is a dire shortage of materials to learn the results.

“We have been ahead of the curve in how we’ve been performing and how we’ve processing tests until we had the supply shortage. So I’m expecting that our team at the lab is extremely dedicated and we will go around the clock and get them processed as soon as possible.” Noem said.

Regardless of any test results, Monument’s chief medical officer doctor Brad Archer says they’re continuing to treat patients based on symptoms. Monument Health president Paulette Davidson says they’re “Well prepared” to handle whatever may develop with the spread of the virus.

“Because we have blizzards and we have inclement weather, and we also have motorcycle rallies that we’re prepared for. So we do have a warehouse of supplies, and we know what our current status of our inventory looks like. And we have the supplies we need to take care of our communities.” said Davidson

Gov. Noem acknowledged that some people have already been laid-off from their jobs due to the virus, and that the state’s working to streamline the process to get jobless benefits to those affected. And for businesses around the state that may be struggling, the governor says the Small Business Administration is there to help.

 Noem said “We’ve been coordinating with the Small Business Administration. Already we have one package that is moving fairly well through Congress. There are phase two and phase three pieces of legislation that are working their way, so we’ll continue to evaluate these and implement them as soon as possible.”

Categories: Coronavirus, Local News, South Dakota News