Noem: SD schools close until May 1

Public universities, SDHSAA activities make adjustments

PIERRE, S.D. – Governor Kristi Noem announced Tuesday South Dakota schools should stay closed until May to give the state time to “flatten and bend” the COVID-19 curve.

In a press conference Tuesday morning, Noem said state projections of COVID-19 cases are expected to rise.

Noem says schools should remain closed through May 1 to give students and staff consistency in teaching from a distance.

“We are for sure not going to have children gathering in schools,” said Noem. “We will obviously reevaluate that in the next several weeks.”

She says the state continues to assess how students will meet certain benchmarks they are expected to complete annually. Federal testing assessments for this year have been waived by the U.S. Department of Education for South Dakota schools.

The South Dakota High School Activities Association Board of Directors says all spring sports practices and competitions including State Basketball, Visual Arts, Region Music, and All-State band – are cancelled through Sunday, May 3. The board will be meeting in the coming days to make decisions on the remainder of the spring semester’s sporting events.

Also in response to COVID-19 concerns, the South Dakota Board of Regents announced Tuesday, the state’s public universities will finish the remainder of the spring semester  online. 2020 commencement ceremonies have been postponed.

Noem also announced that state employees able to work from home will continue to do so through May 2.

There are two new coronavirus cases as of Tuesday morning – one in Brookings County and Beadle County. There are 30 total COVID-19 cases in South Dakota – two remain in the hospital. 790 tests have been negative and 268 tests are still pending in the state Public Health Laboratory.

Noem announced two more patients have recovered, bringing the total number of recovered coronavirus patients to eight.

Categories: Coronavirus, Local News, South Dakota News